The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued a request for information (RFI) as the agency considers updating its safety standards under Subpart E of the Occupational Safety and Health Standards in Shipyard Employment. The standards address falls in shipbuilding, ship repair, shipbreaking, and other shipyard-related employment.
Specifically, the RFI seeks comments and information on the safe access and egress of vessels, buildings, and other structures in shipyard employment (including the use of stairways and ladders); use of fall and falling object protection; and erection, use, and dismantling of scaffolding systems.
Comments and materials may be submitted electronically to www.regulations.gov, the Federal eRulemaking Portal, or via mail, facsimile or hand delivery. The submission deadline is Dec. 7, 2016.
Fall hazards are a leading cause of shipyard fatalities. Forty percent of all fatal occupational incidents in shipyard employment from 1992 to 2014 were caused by falls to a lower level, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics.
OSHA says it has not updated these safety standards since adopting them in 1971. Current standards do not cover all access/egress hazards and do not address advances in technology such as new scaffold systems.
OSHA said information obtained will provide insight on current practices used to protect workers from shipyard hazards, and will help the agency determine if revisions or updates to the standards are necessary.
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