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.
The rule addresses at least 14 workplace safety and health categories involving shipyard workers. There are new provisions for minimum lighting in certain worksites, as well as provisions for shipyard workers who are working alone at the end of job shifts. The rules also provide for adequate number of trained first aid providers.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has also added provisions for motor vehicle accident prevention in order to address the risk that shipyard workers face in transportation accidents. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these accidents account for approximately 20% of shipyard worker fatalities every year. Under the new rules, all workers must wear seat belts while driving inside the shipyard.