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Oct. 3, 2007

Westport Shipyard fined for serious safety violations

TUMWATER — The Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) has fined a Grays Harbor yacht-building company for numerous safety violations. Included are two “willful” violations for hazards that involved using a crane that had previously been found to be unsafe for use.

Westport Shipyard Inc. was cited for two “willful,” 14 “serious” and five “general” violations of workplace-safety rules involving operation and certification of maritime cranes, fall hazards, forklift operation, and machine hazards.

The proposed penalties for the violations total $127,200.

The investigation began in March when an L&I safety inspector working in the vicinity of the Westport work site observed a crane being operated in an unsafe manner. The inspector then found that the crane was badly damaged and was not certified for operation. The company had previously been notified that the crane was not safe to operate and could not be certified without extensive repairs.

During the inspection of the crane, other violations were observed, which led to a comprehensive safety inspection at three company work sites – Westport, Hoquiam and Port Angeles. In addition to the crane-operation violations, the company was cited for:

  • Exposure to falls from heights.
  • Forklift safety, including not wearing seat belts.
  • Unguarded machinery, including a bench grinder and table saws.

The company has 15 business days to appeal the citations.

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For media information: Elaine Fischer, L&I, 360-902-5413


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