Final rule updates shipyard standards

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Washington – A final rule updating OSHA’s standards on general working conditions for shipyard employment was published May 2.

Scheduled to go into effect Aug. 1, the rule will revise requirements found in Subpart F of 29 CFR 1915, including those pertaining to housekeeping, illumination, confined spaces, and health and sanitation, among others. As part of the updates, several sections of the rule were renumbered (e.g., Sec. 1915.92 has changed to Sec. 1915.82).

The revisions incorporate updates to national consensus standards and recommendations from OSHA committees to include industry best practices, and have consolidated several provisions. Additionally, the language in parts of the final rule was changed to be performance-based to provide employers with flexibility in meeting the requirements.

New lockout/tagout provisions specific to the maritime industry also were added. Before the rule was created, some employers implemented lockout/tagout controls from the general industry standard.

The new final rule also includes a provision for motor vehicle safety. Nearly 20 percent of shipyard deaths are due to transportation incidents, according to OSHA.

The final rule provides the first significant update to the shipyard standards since they were adopted in 1972.

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