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OSHA issues new NEP and PPE directives on shipbreaking (11/30)

November 30, 2010
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Under OSHA’s newest update to its National Emphasis Program on Shipbreaking, inspections will focus on 20 worker safety and health issues, including asbestos and lead exposure, polychlorinated biphenlys, confined spaces, heavy metals, powered industrial trucks, guarding of deck edges, oil/fuel removal and tank cleaning, hearing conservation, fire prevention, scaffolds, cutting and welding, and personal protective equipment.

Based on a 1999 agreement between OSHA, the U.S. Navy, the Maritime Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency, the Shipbreaking national emphasis program (NEP) was instituted in 2000, and previously updated in March of 2005.

The latest revision, issued earlier this month, is aimed at reducing injuries and illnesses among Latino workers – a significant part of the shipbreaking workforce.

Alhough OSHA standard 29 CFR 1915.73 does not require guarding deck openings and edges during shipbreaking operations, the revised NEP does clarify fall protection requirements.

Along with the NEP directive, OSHA issued an Enforcement Guidance for Personal Protective Equipment in Shipyard Employment, which requires employers to provide, at no cost to the worker, a number of PPE items, including steel-toed rubber boots, goggles, hard hats, hearing protection and respirators. This directive also specifies the equipment that employers do not have to pay for, such as ordinary clothing, non-specialty prescription safety eyewear, and PPE already owned by the worker.

This revised shipyard PPE guidance also recognizes consensus standards updates in OSHA's September 2009 final rule, Updating OSHA Standards Based on National Consensus Standards; Personal Protective Equipment. It sets forth enforcement policies that OSHA inspectors should use when citing employers for failing to provide the necessary PPE to their workers.

Under OSHA’s newest update to its National Emphasis Program on Shipbreaking, inspections will focus on 20 worker safety and health issues, including asbestos and lead exposure, polychlorinated biphenyls, confined spaces, heavy metals, powered industrial trucks, guarding of deck edges, oil/fuel removal and tank cleaning, hearing conservation, fire prevention, scaffolds, cutting and welding, and personal protective equipment.

Based on a 1999 agreement between OSHA, the U.S. Navy, the Maritime Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency, the Shipbreaking national emphasis program (NEP) was instituted in 2000, and previously updated in March of 2005.

The latest revision, issued earlier this month, is aimed at reducing injuries and illnesses among Latino workers – a significant part of the shipbreaking workforce.

Alhough OSHA standard 29 CFR 1915.73 does not require guarding deck openings and edges during shipbreaking operations, the revised NEP does clarify fall protection requirements.

Along with the NEP directive, OSHA issued an Enforcement Guidance for Personal Protective Equipment in Shipyard Employment, which requires employers to provide, at no cost to the worker, a number of PPE items, including steel-toed rubber boots, goggles, hard hats, hearing protection and respirators. This directive also specifies the equipment that employers do not have to pay for, such as ordinary clothing, non-specialty prescription safety eyewear, and PPE already owned by the worker.

This revised shipyard PPE guidance also recognizes consensus standards updates in OSHA's September 2009 final rule, Updating OSHA Standards Based on National Consensus Standards; Personal Protective Equipment. It sets forth enforcement policies that OSHA inspectors should use when citing employers for failing to provide the necessary PPE to their workers.

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