Shipbreaking workers are exposed to asbestos, falls, electric shock and fires when removing gear and equipment from outdated ships and breaking down these vessels for recycling. According to an OSHA press release, a new document, Safe Work Practices in Shipbreaking, offers ways to help protect workers from injury and death and outlines employers' obligations for providing safe work environments for their workers.
The document, available online only at http://www.osha.gov/Publications/3375shipbreaking.pdf, includes references to OSHA standards, such as fire protection in shipyards, and explains that employers are required to have emergency response and fire prevention plans. "Shipbreaking workers' safety and health depend on their employers following the standards meant to prevent work-related hazards," said OSHA Assistant Secretary David Michaels.
The document also highlights information on shipbreaking safety and health issues through references and hyperlinks to OSHA regulations. These regulations can help employers develop safety and health programs to protect workers through all phases of the shipbreaking process.