English-Spanish & Spanish-English
Communication is key when establishing a successful safety and health culture in the workplace. The following is a compilation of available dictionaries to aid SH&E professionals, employers and employees in communicating with their Hispanic workforce.
- Vol. 5, No. 1 English
- Vol. 5, No. 1 Spanish
- Vol. 4, No. 3 English
- Vol. 4, No. 2 English
- Vol. 4, No. 1 English
- Vol. 3, No. 3 English
- Vol. 3, No. 2 English
- Vol. 3, No. 1 English
- Vol. 2, No. 3 English
- Vol. 2, No. 2 English
- Vol. 2, No. 1 English
- Vol. 1, No. 3 English
- Vol. 1, No. 3 Spanish
- Vol. 1, No. 2 English
- Vol. 1, No. 2 Spanish
- Vol. 1, No. 1 English
- Vol. 1, No. 1 Spanish
OSHA Spanish E-newsletters
Other Training Resources
- Arizona Division of Occupational Safety & Health
- California Department of Industrial Relations
- California Publications
- California e-Tools
- Consultation Connection
- Emergency Action Plan
- Georgia Tech Occupational Safety & Health Program
- Spanish Language Training Materials
- PowerPoint Presentations
- Highway Worker Safety Training, Wayne State University, Dept. of Civil & Environmental Engineering
- Hispanics Work Safe
- OSHA 10-Hour Training Course: Spanish & English
- International Labor Organization (ILO): SafeWork
- Iowa Center Immigrant Leadership & Integration
- Lead Hazards in General Industry by Employers Association Inc.
- Landscaping & Horticultural Services by Ohio State University Center on Education & Training for Employment
- Landscaping & Horticultural Services Industry by Kansas State University
- Maryland Occupational Safety & Health (MOSH)
- Spanish Language Information
- Michigan Occupational Safety & Health Administration (MIOSHA)
- Spanish Language Information
- Minnesota Department of Labor & Industry
- New Mexico Occupational Health & Safety Bureau
- Safety Videos for Loan
- North Carolina Department of Labor
- Northwest Public Power Association
- Oil & Gas Well Drilling & Servicing by Texas Engineering Extension Service
- OSHA Training & Reference Materials Developed by the Directorate of Training & Education
- Oregon Occupational Safety & Health Division
- PESO: Oregon OSHA Occupational Safety & Health Program in Spanish
- Puerto Rico OSHA State Plan
- Safe Driving Brochure (Spanish)
- Safety & Health Management Systems by RIT
- Safety & Health Management Systems for Small Businesses
- Safety & Health Management System for Small Construction Companies
- Safety & Health Training for Retail Grocery & Convenience Stores by All Safe Mart
- Safety Orientation for Excavation Workers
- Safety Professional Brochure (Spanish)
- Texas Engineering Extension Service
- Tree Worker Safety by the International Society of Arboriculture
- Washington State Department of Labor & Industry / (Spanish Page)
- Workplace Violence: Montana Nurses Association
- Workplace Violence: Taxi Drivers & the Retail Industry
Revisiting the Cahaba Towboat Incident 25 Years Later—A Case Study
Although over 25 years have passed since the Merchant/Motor Vessel (M/V) Cahaba towboat somersaulted under Rooster Bridge on the Tomigbee River, interest in this incident continues to stand at an all-time high. Photographs chronicling the events of that fateful day in late April 1979 permeate the Internet, and “Cahaba towboat” continues to be one of the most popular Internet searches today.
We revisit the Cahaba towboat incident in the following account, which is based on information from several online resources and personal reports. Many call the captain’s and crew members’ survival a miracle, but in fact, a full fuel tank and cement ballasts played the greatest part in rescuing the Cahaba.
Members of the ASSE Transportation Practice Specialty have inquired about this incident, and interest in maritime transportation safety issues continues to grow. The Transportation Practice Specialty leadership believes that this is a good case study for review, and even after 25 years, there are still lessons to be learned from the Cahaba towboat incident.
Overview of the Cahaba Towboat Incident
In late April 1979, M/V Cahaba, an 80-foot, 1,800-horsepower towboat with twin diesel engines, released two barges on the Tomigbee River in western Alabama as it approached Rooster Bridge (a drawbridge on Route 80). According to Professional Mariner journal, it is a common nautical practice to release barges under a bridge near the shore and then to “throttle the towboat full-steam astern, bring the boat through the open drawbridge and catch up with the barges downstream” (Professional Mariner, #64, June/July 2002). The Cahaba’s captain, Jimmy Wilkerson, intended to do just that—as the towboat approached the non-lifting east span of the bridge, he planned to run the towboat through the lifting west span and then meet up with the barges downstream.
Pilot Earl Barnhart and two deckhands were slated to cast off the safety and winch wires, but the deckhands could not properly detach the starboard tow-knee wire that connected the towboat to the barge that contained coal. Instead of passing through the drawbridge, the Cahaba collided with the bridge and turned sideways.
Captain Wilkerson reversed as much as possible to avoid this collision, but he underestimated the current’s strength. Heavy rains that spring happened to raise the Tomigbee to record levels and made for a swift current. This high water left only about 11 feet of clearance under the bridge, and the Cahaba, at 37 feet high, could not pass under it. Instead, the towboat rolled underwater while the current pulled it under the bridge.
The Cahaba then passed beneath the bridge, completely submerged, before partially righting itself after clearing it. Once the tow-knee wire broke, the Cahaba resurfaced right-side-up on the downstream side of the bridge. Amazingly, Captain Wilkerson remained at the helm throughout the incident, and the Cahaba’s starboard engine ran the entire time.
M/V Cathy Parker’s crew witnessed the incident while it waited to pass through Rooster Bridge and radioed the M/V Tallapoosa, another vessel nearby on the Tomigbee, to help the Cahaba. The Tallapoosa’s captain tied off its tow and then reached the Cahaba to push it into a flooded cornfield. The Tallapoosa helped to secure the loose barges and confirmed that the Cahaba’s captain and crew were safe and accounted for.
So just how did the Cahaba manage to survive this ordeal? Before it approached Rooster Bridge, the Cahaba filled its one central fuel tank 14 miles upstream in Demopolis, Alabama. Thanks to its full fuel tank, the Cahaba’s weight did not shift as it rolled over. Also, the Cahaba’s operator, Warrior and Gulf Navigation Company, ballasted the towboat with three to four feet of cement in the bottom. The combination of the full fuel tank and the cement ballasts is what helped the Cahaba to right itself.
In the early 1980s, Rooster Bridge was removed and replaced by a new bridge further up the Tomigbee River. On June 11, 1999, Madison Coal & Supply purchased the Cahaba and has since refurbished and renamed it.
The Cahaba towboat incident most clearly illustrates the importance of conducting a risk assessment before all maritime operations. Safety, health and environmental (SH&E) professionals working in the transportation/maritime industry have taken the position that a risk assessment is required for such operations. Transportation SH&E professionals have expressed the view that a risk assessment could have identified the potential that deckhands might not correctly release the safety and winch wires.
Additional observations include the following:
- Planning and training for the movement of barges and maritime materials should address the hazards and concerns involved with bridges, channels and other water obstacles
- The proper training of deckhands is essential
- Never underestimate the strength of currents
- Understand the safety factors of winch wire and rope in relation to the load that is towed
- Allow a wide berth for towboats and barges
- Avoid boating near bridges when water levels are high
Websites Cited and Consulted
Canfield, Clarke. “Old Photos of Towboat Hitting Bridge Became an Internet Sensation.” Professional Mariner, #64, June/July 2002.
Law Offices of Byron Countryman and Michael McDaniel, http://www.cargolaw.com/2002nightmare_towboat.html
Little River Books, http://www.littleriverbooks.com/cahaba.htm
Marine-Movers Boat Transport, http://www.marine-mover.som/TowboatPhotos.html
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- Follow-Up Article on Z10 Standard
- How to Empower and Communicate with your Spanish Speaking Workforce
- Revisiting the Cahaba Towboat Incident 25 Years Later—A Case Study
- Using ES&H Practices as a Business Strategy
- Designing for Construction Worker Safety by John W. Mroszczyk, Ph.D, P.E., CSP
- Follow-Up Article on Z10 Standard - In Spanish
- Revisión del Incidente del Remolcador Cahaba 25 Años Después – Un Caso Práctico
- Utilizando las Prácticas de Seguridad y Salud Ambiental como una Estrategia Comercial
- El Diseño y la Seguridad para los Trabajadores de la Construcción
- El Mantenerse Alerta al Manejar
- Equipo de Proteccion Personal para Mezclar Productos Quimicos Usados en el Cuidado de Areas (zonas) Verdes
- Herramientas de Corte Motorizadas a Gasolina
- Uso Seguro de Equipos Pequenos en Labores de Jardineria
SPALW Meeting Minutes
- SPALW Meeting Minutes 5-26-11
- SPALW Meeting Minutes 5-5-11
- SPALW Meeting Minutes 3-31-11
- SPALW Meeting Minutes 3-11-11
- SPALW Meeting Minutes 1-27-11
- SPALW Meeting Minutes 10-28-10
- SPALW Meeting Minutes 3-26-09
- SPALW Meeting Minutes 2-26-09
- SPALW Meeting Minutes 10-31-07
- SPALW Meeting Minutes 10-12-07
- SPALW Meeting Agenda - 6-12-06
SPALW / OSHA Products
The OSHA and ASSE Alliance uses its collective expertise to help advance a culture of prevention while sharing best practices and technical knowledge, especially in the areas of ergonomics and reducing musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) and motor vehicle safety. In addition, the OSHA and ASSE Alliance addresses issues that impact non-English speakers and youth employees in the workplace and promotes the annual North American Occupational Safety and Health Week.
To address the issues affecting the Latino workforce, SPALW is working collaboratively with OSHA to develop new training materials and to translate into Spanish and/or review already-translated materials for accuracy. The training products are listed below: