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Lucas Marine added to SVEP list after drowning fatality

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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has added Lucas Marine Acquisition Co. to its Severe Violators Enforcement Program (SVEP) after the company experienced its second worker fatality in five months. Lucas Marine, which is based in Stuart, Florida, will have to pay a fine of $290,000 for 22 safety violations.

Employers who are added to the SVEP have 'demonstrated indifference to their [Occupational Safety and Health] Act obligations by willful, repeated, or failure-to-abate violations.' As a result, they are subjected to greater levels of scrutiny in OSHA investigations.

Lucas Marine committed several willful violations, including failing to provide adequate training to its staff, particularly those performing underwater tasks. Employees were not given two-way communications equipment, nor was any individual with adequate experience charged with overseeing diving operations.

'Lucas Marine intentionally disregarded safety standards and sent construction workers underwater without proper training and without adequate equipment,' Condell Eastmond, OSHA's area director in Fort Lauderdale, said in a news release. 'A worker should not have to sacrifice their life to earn a paycheck.'

The company had previously been inspected in March 2013, when it was fined $2,000 for one serious violation. The most recent fatality occurred in August, when an employee drowned while performing underwater operations on a storm protection project.

Safety management software can make a huge difference when you're trying to ensure that your staff is prepared for any workplace safety emergencies. IndustrySafe, which can be installed on both a PC and a tablet, can be used to conduct inspections to ensure that your workers and facility are in compliance with OSHA standards.

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