While a shipyard worker welded the frame of a U.S. Navy vessel, the employee stood about a foot away from three open manholes that fall for almost 30 feet.
That and other alleged hazards were cited against Colonna’s Shipyard on East Indian River Road following a May 2014 inspection by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Now the company faces more than $100,000 in proposed penalties after OSHA’s investigation pointed to 12 safety and health violations.
Along with the unguarded manholes, inspectors found that fall protection wasn’t there for people working on a barge. They also determined, because of defective equipment, employees were exposed to a number of electrical risks while welding.
Colonna’s Shipyard received four repeat citations from 2010, which carried an $85,000 penalty. It was also cited for four serious violations for expecting workers to use damaged electrical equipment and unguarded machinery. It had a $16,000 fine.
Serious violations happen when there’s a substantial chance of death or serious physical harm that the employer knew or should have known about.
“Every employer needs to be proactive on maintaining a safe work site,” said Jessica Brookman, acting Norfolk area director of OSHA.
Four other violations were given for other guarding, electrical and fire extinguisher hazards.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees