Three Workers Suffer Burns at Norfolk’s Colonna Shipyard

I was concerned to read about reports from Norfolk’s Colonna Shipyard about how three workers were injured in a flash fire on Saturday.

Norfolk Fire & Rescue reported the incident at 4:29 p.m. A report on WAVY.com stated units found three victims with burns when they arrived at the shipyard. The incident was ruled under control around 5:25 p.m.

The workers were injured on the McFarland in a dry dock. All were transported to Norfolk Sentara General’s trauma unit, WAVY reported.

Three workers were burned at Norfolk's Colonna Shipyard

The station said initial reports suggested they were injured in a flash fire in the engine room of the vessel. The cause of the fire is unclear and no further details were available.

Every year there are industrial accidents in Hampton Roads. Usually, few details are released so the public is given scant information about how serious these accidents are unless there is a fatality.

Shipyard workers face a raft of dangers from fires to electricity and working with heavy machinery and objects. We hope these three workers make a full recovery.

Norfolk's Colonna Shipyard was Cited for Safety Violations

Recent incidents at Colonna Shipyard are a cause of concern about the safety regime at the yard.

In 2015, a 58-year-old worker from Chesapeake died at Colonna. Pictures taken from WAVY’s chopper showed a concrete piling crashed through the cab of an excavator at the yard.

In 2014, a from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited Colonna’s Shipyard Inc. in Norfolk for safety numerous violations that were uncovered during an inspection.

The yard was fine $101,000, according to reports. OSHA found 12 safety violations, including four that were repeat violations.

The owner or the operator of a shipyard or any other industrial premises has a duty to provide a safe environment for its employees. When your safety practices impact the lives of hundreds of workers and their families, this is a very grave responsibility.

There are too few details about the fire at Colonna to know how it broke out. However, if you are hurt as an employee you have a right to claim workers’ compensation, regardless of fault. If a shipyard or the owners or operators of a building site or a workshop are responsible for your injuries, you may also make a personal injury claim.

If you become injured you may lose your income and will need to recover the most money you can. You can find out more about industrial and construction site accidents here. Call us at (757) 455-0077 or enter your details in the chat box on our website.

Griff O'Hanlon

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