Articles Posted in Longshore

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Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently released new rules targeting safety for shipyard workers. The agency believes that the rule can help prevent at least 350 shipyard worker injuries every year.

The rule was published in the May 2 Federal Register, and updates several provisions in shipyard safety standards that were established in 1972. The new rules take into consideration changes in industry practices and technology and address hazards that did not exist earlier.
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A shipyard worker was seriously injured in an accident near Chula Vista harbor in California over the weekend. According to Signs on San Diego, the man was working with a crew on disassembling a 124-foot-long barge at the Marine Group Boat Works shipyard. At some point, a beam that the man believed was still attached to the barge, fell on his head and face. He suffered serious facial lacerations, and injured his trachea.

Fire crews transferred to the man to the University of California San Diego Medical Center, where he has now been placed in a medically induced coma. His condition is reported to be critical.

According to police, there was no foul play involved in this incident. The man was wearing a hard hat at the time that could not protect him from facial and neck injuries.

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NANTUCKETT, MA. – A seaman employed by Toscana Corporation barge was injured Tuesday, December 18, after being pinned between a barge and Steamboat Wharf and then falling into the freezing water. The incident occurred as workers on the Toscana Corporation barge were attempting to untie the vessel after unloading material at the wharf in rough weather, Detective Lt. Jerry Adams said. Other Toscana employees were able to get the man out of the water as police and EMTs rushed to the scene.

The victim was placed on a stretcher after his coworkers pulled him from the water. He was taken to Nantucket Cottage Hospital.
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The large lock at the Ballard Locks is closed for the next two weeks for annual maintenance.

During the closure, US Army Corps of Engineers workers will remove barnacles from the walls and floor. According to Andrea Takash with the Corps, the annual work reduces the hazards to juvenile salmon drawn into the filling tunnels.

The small lock will remain open for boat traffic throughout the closure. The small lock can normally accommodate vessels 100 feet in length with 25 foot beams.

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More World War II-era ammunition has been brought to the surface from underneath Seattle’s busiest cruise ship terminal at Pier 91 in the Magnolia neighborhood.

Most of what they recovered earlier this fall included harmless objects such as training rounds and empty shell casings. But they also discovered projectiles containing high explosive material.

On Thursday, Port of Seattle divers found yet more ammunition at the bottom of Elliott Bay while working on a completely different project: inspecting pier pilings the Port is about to replace.
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A King County Judge has ordered B&N Fisheries to reinstate an injured crewman’s maintenance and care benefits.

The Court further ordered the company to authorize surgery for the crewman’s elbow and to pay reasonable attorney fees in connection with the motion. B&N Fisheries moved to block the attorney fee award, arguing that only a jury can determine the amount of attorney fees due in a case involving the wrongful withholding of maintenance and care. The Court denied the motion and again affirmed the crewman’s right to be compensated for attorney fees.

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Recently discovered military shells and other weapons found buried in silt under Seattle’s new cruise ship terminal create obvious public safety and ecological risks.

“This stuff is toxic,” said Kathy Fletcher of People For Puget Sound. Fletcher said not only does this pose an active risk to salmon and other fish in the area, but also threatens to delay badly needed cleanup projects. 

The Coast Guard has said they don’t know yet the extent of the weapons in that area.

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A controversial new permit governing Washington boatyards is going back to the drawing board in the wake of reaction from stakeholders.

The Boatyard General Permit, which governs about 100 boatyards around the state, was expected to be implemented this month and would impose stricter water standards but also give struggling boatyards more time to meet the new requirements.

After receiving 80 pages of written comments from boatyards, port authorities, trade groups, environmental organizations and others, the state Department of Ecology, which issues the permit, is considering revising the draft document. Gary Bailey, Ecology’s water quality permit specialist, said he is putting together a report detailing possible changes to the permit, which will go to Ecology management for review and a decision.

The draft permit proposes stricter benchmarks for copper and zinc but a more lenient limit for lead (benchmarks are considered target levels and are not legally enforceable, while limits are legally enforceable levels). The permit also sets the same benchmarks for boatyards on both freshwater and saltwater. Many boatyards would need to install costly treatment systems, which can cost upward of $100,000, to meet the new standards.
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The large lock at the Chittenden Locks in Ballard will open Thursday Oct. 14 on a limited basis, due to the need to manually operate the large lock, which experienced an electrical outage from a lightning strike Oct. 11.

At this time, there will be two lockages daily — one beginning at 9 a.m. and one at 1 p.m. Both lockages will include an up and then down lockage or vice versa, depending on the flow of the traffic. Vessels entering the Locks from Lake Washington require lowering the water. Vessels entering the Locks from Puget Sound require raising the water.

Lockages will be done on a priority basis. The barges and freighters on scheduled runs will get a one per lockage priority. The next priority will go to all other commercial vessels. If there are no other commercial vessels, another barge and freighter could be included.
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Puget Sound Naval Shipyard has agreed to pay a $56,000 fine for the improper handling and storage of hazardous chemicals, officials say.

The fine was issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency following an unannounced inspection in January 2009. Inspectors from both the EPA and Washington Department of Ecology were involved.

State and federal officials had worked with the shipyard over the years to improve waste-handling techniques, said Jack Boller, an EPA inspector. During the surprise inspection in 2009, “we started finding things that we thought we had addressed years ago.”

Among the more serious violations was an open-grated floor in the shipyard’s plating shop, where hexavalent chromium was allowed to drip down and accumulate in the basement below.
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