CSB: Chemical Leak Caused Fire at ITC Houston Terminal
The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) said on Wednesday that a fuel leak, possibly due to open valves and a running pump, set off a massive blaze at a Mitsui & Co Ltd petrochemical storage operation along the Houston Ship Channel in March.The fire that began on March 17 at Intercontinental Terminals Co (ITC) spread black smoke across Houston, shut the nearby ship channel, slowed production at local oil refineries and closed roadways and schools as it spread from one giant storage…
"Green" Ammonia's Future as a Marine Fuel
Ammonia, the same pungent solution used in fertilizers and cleaning agents, may one day be the key to transporting renewable energy around the world. There are currently a number of government and corporate projects assessing the feasibility of converting excess renewable energy from sources like wind, solar, tidal and nuclear into ammonia and then back into usable energy.In its purist form, ammonia or NH3 is composed of one nitrogen and three hydrogen atoms making it an ideal candidate to chemically bind excess renewable energy.
Sydney Ferry Fatality Raises Best Practice Issue
The importance of maintaining chemical toilets onboard ship has been raised following an incident in February onboard a Sydney Harbor-operating passenger ferry in which a high level of toxic gas was detected in a toilet cubicle after a passenger was fatally injured.A 39-year-old passenger was found unconscious in a toilet cubicle aboard the Lady Rose and could not be revived by paramedics. While the reasons behind her death are unconfirmed, during the initial investigation HAZMAT…
OP/ED: Maritime Industry Faces Compliance Standard from OSHA on Respirable Crystalline Silica
Companies with workers repairing and refurbishing ship components utilizing sand blasting have become the subject of a new U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standard.All employers and employees in the maritime industry need to be aware of the new requirements as OSHA continues efforts to protect workers from the hazards of exposure to breathable silica dust. The new application of the "Respirable Crystalline Silica" standards requires…
Preventing Maritime Vessel Explosions – The Role of the Marine Chemist
With advances in technology, increased regulatory requirements for training, and an industry that has been committed to improving working conditions, especially those associated with confined space entry and fire prevention, why are we still seeing maritime related fires and explosions that often include serious injury or loss of life? HistoryFollowing the First World War, as cargo vessels, particularly tank ships, were being converted to carry larger cargos, the incident rate of fires and explosions during shipbuilding, repair, and conversion began to rise.
Tugboats & Vessel Response Plans
Traditionally, tugs and towboats (hereinafter tugs) have largely been uninspected vessels of the United States. They were subject to basic examinations by the U.S. Coast Guard, but the standards were little higher than those applicable to recreational craft. These tugs were also subject to examination by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The OSHA examinations were rare, but when they took place any violations found could be costly. After one of the OSHA penalty cases was litigated all the way to the U.S.
What to Know When Welding Primer-Coated Steel
Solving one problem can create another. Safety always comes first. Amid competitive bidding, contract deadlines and the general drive to gain the best productivity and quality, welding operations in the shipbuilding industry face their own set of challenges. That’s especially true when it comes to welding primer-coated steel, a material prevalent for its ability to withstand atmospheric corrosion from sources such as saltwater. Most primer coatings are zinc-based and used on steel that is between 70 to 120 ksi in strength (and sometimes higher).
Subchapter M: Slow Walking the Inspection of Towing Vessels
On June 20, 2016, the U.S. Coast Guard promulgated its long awaited or dreaded (depending on your perspective) final rule regarding inspection of towing vessels. The new regulations, which will enter into effect on July 20, derive from a 2004 legislative amendment which added towing vessels to the list of ‘vessels subject to inspection’. That statute also authorized regulations to establish a safety management system for towing vessels and maximum hours of service and related provisions for individuals engaged on towing vessels.
One Business, Two Regulatory Worlds: Handling DOT and GHS Regulations
The Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) deadlines that went into effect on June 1 and December 1, 2015, respectively, have had a significant impact on U.S. chemical manufacturers and distributors. By now, all chemicals being shipped by manufacturers and distributors should meet the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) GHS requirements, as well as the packaging, marking and labeling requirements for hazardous materials transported in commerce (e.g., 49 CFR Parts 171-180, IATA, IMO, etc.). The transport regulations help protect against accidents while hazardous materials are in transit – short-term…
Shipyards Leading the Way on Safety in OSHA Partnership
The Shipbuilders Council of America (SCA) has announced a new partnership with the National Shipbuilding Research Program and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), a part of the Department of Labor (DOL), focused on continuing employee safety practices in U.S. shipyards. The Alliance Program will develop training and best practices to promote safety and health in the shipbuilding and repair industry including preventing worker exposure to electrical, ergonomic, struck-by and slip, trip and fall hazards.
USCG Guidance and Reporting Marine Casualties
U.S. Coast Guard Guidance Helps to Bring some Clarity to the Debate. In July 2015, the U.S. Coast Guard released Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular 01-15 (“NVIC”), titled Marine Casualty Reporting Procedures Guide with Associated Standard Interpretations. The purpose of the NVIC is to assist vessel owners and operators in understanding the marine casualty reporting requirements, which many in the industry think are about as clear as mud. Confusion as to what constitutes a marine casualty and what incidents need to be reported has persisted in the marine industry for years.
Monitored Confined-Space Entry
Protecting Workers, and Ensuring Safe Sailing for the Maritime Industry. The cable-laying vessel GS Global Sentinel was undergoing repair work. Shipyard workers and members of the ship’s crew found a mysteriously high hydrogen sulfide reading in a confined space on board that created a toxic environment. They could not understand why. What caused this potentially lethal scenario? After investigation and safe entry into the tank, crewmembers of the vessel and shipyard workers discovered…
Martinez Head NSWC Indian Head EOD
Capt. Vincent Martinez relieved Capt. Thomas Smith, II, as commanding officer of Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division (NSWC IHEODTD) during a change of command ceremony at Indian Head, Md., June 26. Martinez served most recently as the Deputy Director, Navy Staff, Pentagon Washington, D.C. A native of Syracuse, New York, Martinez received his commission from Officer Candidate School in 1988. His initial training included Surface Warfare, Basic Diving and Salvage Officer and Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD).
Virtual Game Simulation for Marina Safety
MYMIC LLC offers a spin ontraditional maritime training with their Virtual Marina Safety Awareness Game-Based simulation. Today MYMIC, a high-technology company specializing in game-based learning, simulations, modeling and computer visualization solutions, launched Marina Safety Awareness Training, that utilizes 3D game-based training to allow trainees to interact with a virtual marina. Faced with realistic scenarios, the trainee learns how to identify and deal with potential hazards.
Proposal on Spray Painting Passes
NMMA in conjunction with Lauderdale Marine Center (LMC) and the National Fire Protection Committee on Spray Finishing, recently drafted and approved a new standard which reduces the fire risks of spray painting large objects, including yachts in temporary membrane enclosures. Temporary membrane enclosures are used in the marine industry to paint yachts that are too large to fit in a spray booth. The standard not only makes painting safer but eases the concerns of fire marshals and regulators who oversee this work. The new standard will be published in Chapter 18 of the 2015 edition of the National Fire Protection Association’s code 33 (NFPA33) and promotes best-practices throughout the industry.
Safety in Numbers
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently cited a shipyard for 61 alleged violations of workplace safety and health standards. Faced with $293,450 in proposed fines, the shipyard’s alleged violations include electrical hazards, such as failure to guard lights from damage, failure to provide effective electrical grounding for equipment, failure to provide covers on electrical box openings, and failure to ensure wiring was protected from abrasion and strain.
MEBA Points to a US-crewed Cruise Ship
The Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA) raises awareness of U.S. mariners in the cruise industry in light of recent media interest. MEBA say it is proud to represent U.S. Merchant Mariners on the only U.S.-flagged and U.S. crewed cruise ship, the Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) Pride of America. Recent media coverage concerning the cruise line industry has highlighted the lack of qualified ship’s officers in this industry. However, the coverage has not addressed the skill…
M.E.B.A. Calls for Recognition of U.S. Cruise Industry Mariners
The Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association Raises Awareness of U.S. The Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (M.E.B.A.) will represent U.S. Merchant Mariners on the only U.S.-flagged and U.S. crewed cruise ship, the Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) Pride of America. Recent media coverage concerning the cruise line industry has highlighted the lack of qualified ship’s officers in this industry. However, the coverage has not addressed the skill and professionalism of the crew of the Pride of America, a U.S- flagged cruise ship. This vessel and its mariners have an outstanding safety and environmental record. In fact, it is the best in the industry; exceeding all the requirements and regulations set in place by the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), the U.S.
Conference to Address Crane Operator Certification Question
Joint industry conference to consider Occupational Safety & Health Administration’s (OSHA) Crane Regulation requirements. With the Cranes and Derricks in Construction standard requiring U.S. operators to be certified by November 2014, Maximum Capacity Media’s 'Crane and Rigging Conference' and 'Industrial Crane and Hoist Conference' will focus on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s crane operator certification requirements. The jointly held crane safety and management conferences will take place May 29-30, 2013 at the Indianapolis Marriott North in Indianapolis, Ind. The operator qualification requirements are part of the Cranes and Derricks in Construction standard that governs crane safety.
OSHA Settles Whistleblower Case
US Department of Labor's OSHA settles whistleblower case against New Orleans-based riverboat company; Agency found employee was illegally terminated under Seaman's Protection Act. The U.S. Department of Labor has entered into a settlement agreement with St. James Stevedoring Partners LLC New Orleans to resolve findings by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration that the company illegally terminated an employee for safety complaints, in violation of the Seaman's Protection Act. "Employees must feel free to exercise their rights under the law without fear of termination or retaliation by their employers," said John M. Hermanson, OSHA's regional administrator in Dallas. An OSHA whistleblower investigator found that St.
Boston Whaler Hits 3 Million Hours Without Lost Time Incident
Boston Whaler announced that its manufacturing facility has reached three million hours without a lost-time accident or illness. The facility has a long history of emphasizing and practicing worker safety in the production of its high-quality, “unsinkable” boats. “Safety and quality are a part of the Boston Whaler culture, and the extraordinary achievement of three million hours is a testament to that commitment,” said Boston Whaler President Tim Schiek. “Our employees care about what they do, and about the Whaler brand. A commitment to best practice, constant technical improvements and open communication has resulted in Boston Whaler’s safety record.
U.S. Provides $9.98 Million to Strengthen Shipyard Competitiveness
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced $9.98 million in grants to 15 small shipyards throughout the United States to pay for modernizations which will increase productivity and help the country’s small shipyards compete in the global marketplace. “In cities and towns across America, shipyards are creating jobs and keeping our nation's economy growing," said Secretary LaHood. The U.S. Maritime Administration’s (MARAD) Small Shipyard Grants Program provides equipment and technical skills training for America’s maritime workforce…
Continental Receives Star Status From OSHA
Huntington Ingalls Industries, Inc. (NYSE:HII) announced that its subsidiary, Continental Maritime of San Diego (CMSD), has been recognized for exemplary shipyard safety and received "star" status in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's Voluntary Projection Program (VPP). "Receiving this status is the most important recognition our employees can receive because working safely is our top priority," said Daniel Flood, vice president and general manager, CMSD. "We have instilled awareness and accountability across the board…