OSHA: Training Needed for Temp Workers in Shipyards
A new bulletin published by OSHA focuses on hazards in shipyards and safety of temporary workers. The bulletin is part of a series of guidance documents developed under OSHA’s Temporary Worker Initiative, which is intended to help host employers and staffing agencies understand their responsibilities for protecting temporary workers. According to the new publication, shipyard workers are exposed to hazards associated with industrial operations such as steel fabrication, welding, abrasive blasting, electrical work, and coating applications. Workers face additional hazards related to the operation and servicing of complex machinery and equipment. Many shipyards are multiple-employer worksites, and shipyard employees, crew members, temporary workers, contractors, and subcontractors often work together on the same ship at the same time. OSHA warns that this can complicate the safe coordination of work activities. “Many fatal incidents occurred when workers, particularly temporary workers, were not provided timely training necessary to do their job safely,” OSHA’s bulletin states. OSHA stresses that both staffing agencies and host employers share the responsibility for training temporary workers. Staffing agencies and host employers should also jointly assess all worksites for potential hazards to which temporary workers might be exposed during assigned work. The new bulletin includes example scenarios intended to illustrate what can happen when temporary workers are not adequately trained and when host employers and staffing agencies do not coordinate appropriately to protect workers. The bulletin on shipyard hazards is available as a PDF on OSHA’s website. More information can be found on the agency’s web page on protecting temporary workers.