Focus on Safety Pays Off for SCA Member Shipyards

Thursday, May 09, 2002
Injury and illness rates at shipyards that belong to the Shipbuilders Council of America (SCA) have declined over the past three years helping facilities to drastically their overhead costs. The average Total Recordable Incident Rates (TRIR) for SCA member facilities declined from 12.94 percent in 1998 to 11.76 percent in 2001, while the average TRIR for the industry as a whole (SIC 3731) as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) was 20.2 percent in 1999 and 22 percent in 2000. SCA’s data is based on the quarterly injury and illness surveys calculated by the Council. SCA has an active safety committee that reviews the results of each quarterly survey and holds bi-annual safety seminars to address the areas where most injuries occur. Recent seminars have focuses on innovative ways to address the structure and activities of shipyard safety committees in both union and non-union yards, comparing the safety practices of commercial shipyards with naval shipyards and the importance of worker orientation programs. Each year, SCA issues safety awards to the shipyards with the lowest TRIR based on their annual safety record. Awards are given in different categories, depending on the size and number of hours worked. Only companies whose incident rates are below the association average are eligible for awards. This year awards went to Jeffboat of Jeffersonville, Ind.; Firstwave Marine, headquartered in Houston, Texas; Trinity Marine Products, headquartered in Dallas, Texas; and LEEVAC Industries, LLP, of Jennings, La. Several shipyards that did not win awards had a TRIR below the association’s average. These included Bollinger Shipyards, Inc., headquartered in Lockport, La; Bender Shipbuilding & Repair Co., of Mobile, Ala.; and Friede Goldman Halter of Gulfport, Miss.

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