Austal honored for safety

The crew of USS Mobile (LCS 26), man the ship during the commissioning ceremony of Mobile. Mobile is the Navy’s 13th Independence-variant littoral combat ship. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Alex Millar/Released)

For the seventh straight year, Mobile shipbuilder Austal USA has been honored with the Shipbuilders Council of America Excellence in Safety Award. Austal has won the award 14 times since it began operations on the Mobile waterfront 20 years ago.

Austal also received kudos for 2020 from American Equities Underwriters.

“At Austal USA, safety is at the core of our culture. Providing our workforce with the safest working environment possible is our number one priority,” Austal USA interim president Rusty Murdaugh said. “This award is another indication of the total team dedication to workplace safety.”

Austal’s Total Recordable Incident Rate was 2.49 in 2020, well below the Bureau of Labor industry average of 5.10.

“U.S. shipyards are dedicated to upholding the highest safety standards and advancing safe practices for our workforce, and as such, were prepared and ready to take on the challenges brought on by COVID-19,” SCA President Matthew Paxton said. “We commend these yards for not only rising to the occasion to keep our country operating during the pandemic, but also for continuing to prioritize the well-being of this essential workforce.”

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Still working to improve safety, Austal has hired Sam Cordts as director of health, safety and environmental operations. Cordts has been working to develop employee-driven, proactive safety upgrades.

Mobile’s largest manufacturing employer, Austal is also the nation’s fifth-largest shipbuilder.

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