Western Ocean Enterprises, Inc
Morss Ship Restoration
P.O. BOX 3931
Westport, MA 02790-0299
Tel: 508-636-4998
Fax: 508-636-9143

Introduction: The Great American Dream: Motherhood, Home Ownership, Apple Pie, and Chevrolet. Surely museum/memorial ships fit into that category, symbolizing the great efforts to preserve freedom so that the Great American Dream can be realized.

They do not.

Museum/memorial ships are regarded as industrial enterprises, subject to all the regulations as the largest industries in the land. What was normal practice aboard ship 50 years ago, is now often both illegal and immoral.

1.0 Responsibility for Health and Safety aboard a museum ship

1.1. Operating management is responsible for the health and safety program for the museum ship workplace. For the program to work:

  1. Top management must be genuinely committed to the program, providing both resources and staff time.
  2. Foremen and supervisors must lead by example and enforce disciplinary policy as necessary.
  3. Workers must participate, and stay alert for hazards at all times.
1.2. In 1994, total funding available to Historic Naval Ships averaged $368,200 per ship per year for all expenses: Staff, maintenance, insurance, electricity, advertising, etc. The health and safety program compete for funding out of the same pot.

1.3. Construction industry categories found aboard ship include, but may not be limited to:

  1. Painting
  2. Carpentry
  3. Steel erection
  4. Wrecking and demolition
2. Applicable OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Act Regulations

2.1. In addition to named regulations, there is a "general duty clause" . This requires the employer (museum ship) to provide a workplace free from recognized safety and health hazards, not specifically covered by other OSHA standards, including the hazard of failure to have an accident and incident reduction program.

2.2.Violation of OSHA Standards Cited (10/1992-09/1994) in descending order of frequency:

o-Hazard Communication 29 CFR 1910.1200; 1926.59
o-Scaffolding 29 CFR 1926.451
o-Fire Protection, Fire Prevention Flammable and Combustible Liquids 29 CFR 1926.150;.151;.152
o-General Safety and Health 29 CFR 1926.20 & Section Provisions 5(a) (1)
o-Personal Protective  29 CFR 1926.28;. 95;. 100; Equipment .102
o-Records and Recordkeeping 29 CFR 1904.02; 1910.20; 1926.33
o-OSHA Rights Poster 29 CFR 1903.02
o-Lead Exposure in Construction 29 CFR 1926.62
o-Safety Training and Education 29 CFR 1926.21
o-Respiratory Protection  29 CFR 1910.134; 1926.103
o-Medical Services and First Aid 29 CFR 1926.50
o-Safety Belts, Lifelines and Lanyards, and Safety Nets 29 CFR 1926.104, .105
o-Asbestos 29 CFR 1926.58
o-Occupational Noise Exposure and Hearing Protection  29 CFR 1926.52, .101
o-Sanitation 29 CFR 1926.51
o-Gases, Mists, and Vapors 29 CFR 1926.55
o-Permit-Required Confined Spaces 29 CFR 1910.146
o-Cadmium  29 CFR 1926.63
o-Process Safety Management of Hazardous Chemicals  29 CFR 1926.64
o-Control of Hazardous Energy 29 CFR 1926.147 
o-Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response 29 CFR 1926.65
2.3. For Painting Contractors and the Steel Erection industries, there were 6854 citations of the more than 24,000 citations issued.
o-Hazard Communication, 31.96% of citations
o-Lead Exposure, 11.46% of citations
o-Scaffolding,  10.44% of citations
o-Respiratory Protection,  7.82% of citations
o-General Safety and Health,  5.8% of citations
o-Records and Record Keeping,  5.47% of citations
o-Fire Protection,  5.33% of citations
o-Personal Protective Equipment, 5.03% of citations
o-Safety Training and Education, 3.99% of citations
o-Safety Belts, Lifelines, etc, 3.85% of citations
o-OSHA rights Poster,  2.66% of citations
o-Medical Services and First Aid,  1.75% of citations
o-Permit-Required Confined Spaces,  0.248% of citations (17 of 6854)
o-Asbestos,  0.1% (5 of 6854) of citations
2.4. The percentages show
  1. The most likely areas that industry is likely to be deficient, and
  2. The results when certain areas are highly publicized, such as: lead, training and education, and asbestos
  3. Major Programmatic difficulties if your organization/museum ship has problems in areas that few others appear to have had problems.
  4. $5,000 OSHA penalty assessed for a willful, serious violation is a waste of a scarce resource, your funds. Over 50 employees, the fine increases to a minimum of $25,000. It is not clear if part-time employees and volunteers are included in the count.
  5. You pay the fine, and still have to pay to comply with the appropriate regulations.
2.5. Some Specifics

2.5.1. Oil

  1. Pollutant and hazardous waste
  2. Certificate of Financial Responsibility for Pollution Liability (33 CFR 130)
    1. Administered by U.S. Coast Guard
    2. Applicable to all waterborne craft 300 GRT and over navigating U.S. and international waters
    3. Permanently moored museum ships exempt, unless
      1. Transferring oil to or from ship
      2. To be moved in navigable waters
  3. 33 CFR 130 defines scope, how to apply, financial responsibility, fees, enforcement, and service of process
    1. $10,000 fine for each violation
    2. Coast Guard denies movement or vessel operation in navigable waters of United States
    3. Oil spills covered by 40 CFR 300 (Superfund)
      1. Planning for spills
      2. Response to oil spills
2.5.2. Confined Space Entry
  1. Worker killed aboard Texas 2/17/89 opening and entering an empty tank before certification
  2. At Least Two Standards apply
    1. NFPA 306, latest edition, Control of Gas Hazards Aboard Vessels
    2. 29 CFR 1910.146, Permit-Required Confined Spaces for General Industry, and while ship is at her permanent berth. Requirements:
      1. Facility operator evaluates workplace to determine if permit-required confined spaces exist
      2. Employees must be informed of identified permit-required confined spaces
      3. Operator takes necessary steps to keep employees out of permit-required confined spaces
      4. Contractors working in facility
        1. Operator informs contractor of existence of permit-required confined spaces
        2. Operator informs contractor of hazardous materials/conditions existing
      5. Operator prepares written permit-required confined space program and makes it available to employees and their representatives
        1. Program has required specific elements
        2. Training and education required before employee allowed to enter permit-required confined space. Each employee receives training certificate
          1. Retraining required under specific circumstances
        3. Rescue and Emergency Services
          1. Provide rescue and emergency equipment
          2. rovide rescue personnel training
          3. Annual rescue training drill required
      6. Comment: Owner/operator and contractor share responsibility for permit-required confined space entry program
    3. A new confined space shipyard rule was issued on July 25, 1994, effective October 24, 1994
      1. Rule has been in works since 1988. Average of 2 workers killed aboard ship each of last 10 years
      2. Rule applies to all shipyard-related activities, not just work aboard ship
      3. Rule covers, among other things
        1. Shipyard Competent Person
        2. Marine Chemist
        3. Certified industrial hygienist, or Coast Guard authorized person to evaluate confined space conditions and institute appropriate measures to protect workers
        4. Training workers
        5. Posting unsafe spaces
        6. Safely performing cleaning, cold, and hot work
        7. Classifying a person as a shipyard competent person
2.5.3. Asbestos (29 CFR 1926.58)
  1. New OSHA Standard issued August 1994 with full compliance in effect July 10, 1995
    1. Revised exposure limit (cut in half) in effect October 11, 1994.
  2. Requirements (Among others)
    1. Regular monitoring
    2. Notification of workers and training
    3. Regulated access
    4. Respiratory protection, protective clothing
    5. Regular employee medical surveillance
    6. Asbestos removal, repair work
      1. Requires State certified and licensed organization
    7. Handled as hazardous waste
      1. Packaged, shipped, and disposed of as required by this and other CFR's
      2. Licensed hauler, licensed disposal site
2.5.4. Lead (29 CFR 1910.1025 and 1926.62)
  1. Poison
  2. 29 CFR 1910.1025- General Industry Standard
  3. 29 CFR 1926.62- Construction Industry Standard
    1. Effective 2 August 1993
    2. OSHA will enforce any operations disturbing lead paint under 1926.62
    3. Applies to any one exposed to stipulated levels of lead dust for 1 day in 1 year
    4. Requirements (among others)
      1. Respiratory protection
      2. Mandatory written compliance program
        1. Equipment
        2. Training
        3. Containment
        4. Air monitoring
        5. Protective work practices
        6. Available to OSHA inspectors
      3. Exposure assessment
      4. Methods of compliance
      5. Medical surveillance and removal
      6. Other protective measures: Employer provides:
        1. Protective Clothing, including laundry and replacement
        2. A clean workplace
        3. Hygiene facilities, and insure compliance with basic hygiene practices
        4. Prohibit smoking, eating, applying cosmetics in work area exposed to lead
        5. Prohibit tobacco and food products storage in work area exposed to lead
        6. Clean lunchroom facilities, clean of lead contamination
        7. Employees clean-up, change clothes before entering lunchroom
      7. Information and training
        1. Required for all employees exposed to lead, on any day
        2. Training provided before initial exposure
        3. Training covers
          1. Hazards
          2. Protective measures
          3. Employee rights under standard
        4. Training repeated annually for covered employees
      8. Warning signs required in each lead work area
      9. Recordkeeping including l. Exposure monitoring and assessment 2. Medical surveillance and temporary removals
  4. Title X, Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992
    1. Almost Good News: Act does not require the identification and elimination of lead-based paint. Presence of lead-based paint does not trigger rule. Decision to identify and abate lead-based paint is the trigger.
    2. My guess: 1926.62 requires coating I.D.: would trigger Title X, if lead-based coatings found.
    3. Applicability: Among other things, covers public buildings: any building built before 1978, generally open to public and occupied by children, such as. . .museums.(museum ships?)
    4. 5 areas for training and certification in public buildings .
    5. It's coming: The Final Rule was expected in October 1995, and was issued for residential structures in August 1996. Industrial structures will be much later, due to extreme industry concern and comment (which I believe has been reasonable). Public meetings are due in 1997.
2.5.5. Hazard Communication (29 CFR 1910.1200 and 1926.59)
  1. By far the most frequent OSHA violation citation-more than three times those for scaffolding
  2. Because definition of "hazardous chemical" in the standard is so broad, this subject MUST BE included in every employer's health and safety program.
2.5.6. OSHA Rights Poster (29 CFR 1903.02)
  1. Goes hand-in-hand with Hazards Communication but only about 12% as many citations as Hazard Communication
  2. Hazard Communication and OSHA Rights Poster are basic fundamentals. If ignored, they are strong indications that organization "Does not care .
3.0 Potential Toxins in Old Coatings

Lead is not the only potential toxin in old coatings, and a coating may contain several compounds of heavy metals that are considered environmentally unfriendly. In some cases the OSHA limits for airborne concentrations of dust conflict with each other.

3.1 Lead Pigments

  1. Read lead (orange)
  2. Lead silichromate (green)
  3. Calcium palumbate (white)
  4. White Lead (white)
  5. Basic lead sulfate (white)
  6. Basic lead silicate (white)
  7. Litharge yellow (yellow)
  8. Chrome Yellow (yellow and orange)
  9. Molybdate Orange (orange and red)
3.2 Potentially Toxic Pigments That Do Not Contain Lead
  1. Barium Chromate (yellow)
  2. Strontium Chromate (yellow)
  3. Zinc tetroxychromate (yellow)
  4. Cadmium pigments (yellow, orange, and red)
  5. Chrome greens (green)
  6. Mercadium pigments (red and maroon)
  7. Zinc yellow-zinc chromate- (yellow)
3.3 Some Fun Non-Metallics in Coatings, when Removing
  1. Asbestos: sometimes used as a thickener/filler Almost zero tolerance for air-borne asbestos dust
  2. Coal tar based materials. The dust is a carcinogen.
  3. PCB's sometimes used as a coating plasticizer.
4.0 Thermal Decomposition Products

There are hazards when welding or burning on a previously painted/coated surface. Some examples:

  1. Zinc galvanized, or zinc painted
  2. Epoxy coated: thermal decomposition products are phenols, carbon monoxide and formaldehyde.
  3. Polyurethane coated surfaces: Thermal decomposition products include cyanide and phosgene gases (choking gas)
  4. Lead bearing paints. Even what appears to be a totally rusted surface that has been previously coated with lead will release lead bearing smoke.
  5. Check your Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for thermal decomposition products.
5.0 Other Fun EPA and OSHA Regulations

5.1 Most HNSA ships have had little involvement with either EPA or OSHA regarding lead

  1. Clean Air Act: Sets limits on respirable dust and lead particulate matter that can travel over an owner s property line.
  2. Clean Water Act requires permits if construction debris or waste water is to be intentionally dropped into a stream or river.
    1. Permits are described as " difficult or impossible" to obtain. Some form of debris collection is required. Not inexpensive.
    2. Three later, SALEM has yet to paint her hull to get away from the "Philadelphia Look" because of this requirement .
    3. This also is now affecting the Navy Donation Requirement: to maintain the vessel in a manner so as to reflect credit on the Navy and the ship's own good name.
5.2. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
  1. These basically are the evaporative solvents in a coating, the compounds that give a coating most of its distinctive smell.
  2. Coatings are now manufactured under increasingly severe VOC restrictions. Our friend the Clean Air Act, again. In many cases, last year's coating is not legal this year, and this year' will not be legal next year.
    1. Individual states are into this area big-time and are often more restrictive than the Feds
  3. Today to comply with VOC restrictions, many coatings are required to be thinned in the field (putting the solvents back in) before application. Rules are now in process that will forbid a manufacturer from recommending thinning a product beyond the VOC limits, even if the product needs additional thinning to work.


l. Components of a Comprehensive Health and Safety Plan for Painting Contractors by Novak and Bosch Steel Structures Painting Council, Journal of Protective Coatings and Linings, March 1995

2. Potential Toxins in Old Coatings by Byrnes National Association of Corrosion Engineers, MP Materials Performance, January 1995

3. Regulation News, Steel Structures Painting Council, Journal of Protective Coatings and Linings, various issues

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