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OSHA Cites Shipyard for 50 Safety Violations

Thu, 12/29/2011 - 5:35am
the Associated Press

PASCAGOULA, Miss. (AP) — The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited a Pascagoula, Miss., shipyard for 50 safety violations and has proposed penalties of $176,444.

OSHA officials say in a news release that the penalties against Huntington Ingalls Industries and five subcontractors come from a June inspection after receiving a complaint about safety hazards.

Huntington Ingalls was cited for violations carrying penalties of $166,300. The violations included blocked exits; tripping and fall hazards; allowing lead, arsenic and cadmium dust to accumulate in a lunch area; and the dispensing of flammable liquids in improper containers.

Five subcontractors were cited for violations that included improper handling of compressed gas cylinders and other safety and electrical hazards. One subcontractor had no monetary penalty.

The companies have up to 15 business days to appeal the citations.

Ingalls spokesman Bill Glenn said the shipyard is on a winter break from work and will meet with OSHA the first week back.

"The OSHA inspection was an opportunity for us to identify opportunities to further enhance our safety program," Ingalls said in a statement Wednesday. "We monitor the safety of our shipyard and shipbuilders daily and we are focused on continually improving. In fact, injuries and lost time cases in Pascagoula are down in 2011 from 2010 by 15 and 8 percent respectively.

"Wherever possible, inspection citations were corrected immediately or corrective action plans were immediately implemented,' the statement said. "We share OSHA's commitment to the safety of our shipbuilders and appreciate this opportunity to further improve our safety program."

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