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Jackson & New Orleans Workers' Compensation / Blog / Workers Compensation / South Carolina Shipyard Sees 5 Worker Deaths Since 2019

South Carolina Shipyard Sees 5 Worker Deaths Since 2019


When the death of a worker happens, one can hope that in all of the tragedy and chaos, the worker’s employer will make changes to implement higher safety standards to prevent future worker deaths and injuries. In a stunning turn of events, a South Carolina shipyard has seemingly failed to adhere to shipyard safety standards, and has seen not only one, but five worker deaths in the last four years. According to local reports, Detyens Shipyard’s most recent worker death occurred just last weekend. The terrible workplace accident at the shipyard that led to 41-year-old shipyard worker Hugo Antonio’s death was a fall down several floors of stairs into a former fuel tank, causing him to hit his head. According to the North Carolina Police Department, when Antonio was found, he was not wearing a safety harness.

While the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is still investigating Detyens Shipyard’s most recent tragic worker fatality, the company’s safety protocols are called into question based on the sheer number of recent worker deaths at the single employer in recent years. Indeed, since 2019 alone, the company has seen a total of 5 worker deaths. Those horrific workplace deaths include:

  • In April, 2019, a Detyens Shipyard employee was involved in a fatal workplace accident when “a cord snapped and pinned him against equipment”;
  • In approximately June, 2019, a Detyens Shipyard worker was killed after falling from a ladder on a ship while he was painting;
  • In early 2020, a Detyens Shipyard employee died after being hit in the head by a “sheared-off shackle” and fell down from a height of approximately four floors;
  • In 2022, a Detyens Shipyard worker was killed while he was welding a ship’s smokestack and fell.

Importantly, prior to Hugo Antonio’s death, OSHA had already investigated Detyens Shipyard in the past and issued 13 safety violations, totaling $91,836 in fines in 2023. Those safety violations related to the company’s guardrail systems, electrical equipment, and other breaches in safety standards. However, the company was able to reach a settlement with OSHA, and reduced the fine to a mere $55,102. News 2, a Lowcountry news station, reached out to Detyens Shipyard for comment regarding the tragic string of worker deaths, but the company only replied that it “has no comment during an ongoing investigation.”

Help for Injured Workers in Louisiana

Whether employed by a shipyard employer or another type of employer, it is important for Louisiana workers to know that most Louisiana workers are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if they are injured on the job and are disabled from working. In addition, certain dependent family members of Louisiana workers killed in their line of work may be entitled to Louisiana workers’ compensation death benefits.

To learn about your rights and options to Louisiana workers’ compensation or Louisiana workers’ compensation death benefits, it is best to speak with an experienced Louisiana workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as possible. The experienced Louisiana workers’ compensation lawyers at Lunsford Baskin & Priebe offer a free and confidential consultation to learn about your case and to see if they can help you. Contact Lunsford Baskin & Priebe today and learn about your rights and options for free.



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