Stronger safety measures may have saved the lives of two workers who died at a Pearl Harbor naval maintenance facility in December 2014 after being struck by a 7-ton buoy, which has led OSHA to order safety upgrades.

Workers at the Naval Inactive Ships Maintenance Office were repairing moorings on a barge when a chain suspending the buoy broke and struck the men. Two other workers suffered injuries during the incident at the Middle Loch facility. The work was subcontracted to Healy Tibbitts Builders Inc. by Truston Technologies Inc. for the Navy.

"Our hearts go out to the family and friends of those killed and injured," said Jeffrey Romeo, Honolulu OSHA area director. "Navy personnel and contractors they hired should have taken a series of common-sense steps to protect workers from facing dangerous conditions on-the-job. The best thing we can do to honor these fallen workers is to make sure similar accidents don't happen in the future."

OSHA issued citations for the following violations:

  • Failing to protect employees from impalement hazards.
  • Neglecting to follow written Navy procedures.
  • Exceeding the rated capacity of a wire rope sling to suspend a load.
  • Subjecting a wire rope sling to a shock load.
  • Failing to provide safe access to the top of a concrete sinker.

View the citations at

OSHA is proposing $46,000 in penalties for the violations.

Truston Technologies is based in Annapolis, Maryland, and Healy Tibbitts, in Aiea.