Updated eTool to Help Prevent Maritime Industry Injuries

October 3, 2005

Workers in the maritime industry will reportedly benefit from information featured in the updated version of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Shipyard Employment eTool, posted to OSHA’s Web site.

The eTool’s new modules are a product of established alliances between OSHA and the American Shipbuilding Association, the National Shipbuilding Research Program, and the Shipbuilders Council of America.

“This updated eTool will help employers and employees improve shipyard safety by utilizing work practices that identify, correct and eliminate hazards,” said Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Jonathan Snare. “Our alliances with the maritime industry have been effective in getting help to those who truly need it.”

Shipyard work is traditionally hazardous, with an injury-accident rate reportedly more than twice that of construction and general industry. OSHA originally developed the Shipyard Employment eTool with a Ship Repair Module to describe common hazards and possible solutions for tasks performed during the ship repair processes including altering, converting, installing, cleaning, painting and maintaining vessels. The new modules added to the eTool are Shipbuilding, Shipbreaking and Barge Cleaning.

The Shipbuilding Module covers many types of ship construction including modular, traditional (from keel up), and fiberglass/composite material mold. The Shipbreaking Module addresses the safety and health issues associated with dismantling an obsolete vessel’s structure for scrapping or disposal. The Barge Cleaning Module shows hazards that may impact employees when cleaning barges that previously contained chemicals.

OSHA’s eTools are stand-alone, interactive, Web-based training tools on occupational safety and health topics. They are highly illustrated and utilize graphical menus. Some also use expert system modules, which enable the user to answer questions, and receive advice on how OSHA regulations apply to their work site.

For more information, visit www.osha.gov.

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