SeaHunter Boats was fined by the US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) following an accident that “severely burned” two workers. The Florida boatbuilder reported that both workers were back to work.
The Miami Herald reported that the workers were trying to fix a fuel leak on a boat in Miami, when they turned on a light on a cell phone. The light ignited fuel vapours, causing an explosion that burned the workers’ hands and faces.
OSHA fined SeaHunter Boats US$9,100 for three safety violations. Two were considered “serious”, including failing to test the work area for a flammable atmosphere and not providing workers with safety lamps.
“Employers and employees need to be aware that a commonly used device such as a cell phone can be a huge danger around flammable products,” said Condell Eastmond, director of OSHA’s Ft Lauderdale office, in a statement. “Employers must ensure they provide the correct tools for their workers to perform their job safely.”
Charlie Schiffer, vice president of SeaHunter, told The Miami Herald that the employees were back to work. “There was no scarring,” he said. “Everything is good, thank God.”
SeaHunter paid the fine without appealing. Schiffer said that the company would make sure its workers used lamps and a metering device in the future. “Things you can’t smell can still cause an explosion,” he said.
SeaHunter builds custom boats for sportfishing.