‘Serious violations’ led to boatyard fire that destroyed superyacht, says report
The company operating Hinckley Yacht Services (Portsmouth, US) has been fined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) after a massive fire in December that destroyed a superyacht and a second boat on the property.
The initial fines totalled more than $56,000, but these have since been reduced to around $31,000.
OSHA says employees were exposed to fire hazards while working in an enclosed work area. That enclosed area was under the hull of a boat surrounded by hay bales stacked three-high, and the employees had not been provided with effective information and training on the hazardous chemicals they were using (flammable liquids, which ultimately ignited).
Seventy firefighters fought the blaze after workers, making repairs on the hull of a superyacht, accidentally started the fire.
Both vessels were total losses and damages were also incurred to some surrounding equipment, including a 200-ton lift, reports the Newport Daily News.
OSHA lists serious violations, including:
- The employer did not review the emergency action plan with each employee when the employee was assigned initially to a job.
- In locations where flammable vapours may be present, precautions were not taken to prevent ignition by eliminating or controlling sources of ignition.
- Ground areas around buildings and unit operating areas were not kept free of weeds, trash, and/or other unnecessary combustible materials.
- The employer did not provide a medical evaluation to determine the employee’s ability to use a respirator, nor were employee(s) using tight-fitting facepiece respirators fit-tested prior to initial use of the respirator.
- Employees were not provided effective information and training on hazardous chemicals in their work area.
As well as the settlement, Hinckley Yacht Services has agreed to correct the hazards cited.