At approximately 10:30 am on July 13, 2021, Safety Representatives Juliel Arias and Travis Dillard from Tidewater Staffing’s Safety Deparment were doing a regular MARMAC walk-through on the USS Wasp at BAE when an announcement came over the intercom that there was a toxic gas leak nearby. Juliel and Travis quickly searched the adjacent spaces and found several associates that were unaware of the safety announcement and quickly helped the employees safely evacuate the ship.
The Navy’s Rescue Team entered upon clearance to check the spaces and found that it was diesel fuel, a highly flammable substance. A gas leak can easily lead to a fire or explosion. One of the biggest hazards in a shipyard work environment is flammable liquids such as gasoline, this is especially true in areas where welding and other types of “hot work” take place. What’s even more important is that the smoke from a non-ventilated area may be harmful to workers far before the fire even appears. It was a moment of quick thinking from the Tidewater Staffing Safety Reps that could have turned a mild situation into a possible disaster.