U.S. Aqua Vac Cited in Diver's Death, Penalized $223,454

The company was cited for similar failures in 2009 that caused another death, according to OSHA.

An OSHA inspection following a fatal incident involving an U.S. Aqua Vac Inc. diver found that the company failed to provide the 23-year-old worker with a reserve air tank, line-tending, and continuous visual contact during a dive in a New Albany, Ohio, pond in November 2014, the agency reported.

These omissions led to the worker's death, according to OSHA, which cited the company for two willful, four repeat, and 11 serious safety violations. U.S. Aqua Vac has also been placed in the agency's Severe Violator Enforcement Program. OSHA has proposed $223,454 in penalties against the company, which is based in Hebron, Ind., and specializes in removing muck, sludge, and silt from lakes and ponds.

"This man's family has been devastated by this preventable tragedy," said Deborah Zubaty, OSHA's area director in Columbus. "Without training and protective equipment, U.S. Aqua Vac's divers are put at risk. The company is responsible for the safety and well-being of its employees above and below the water."

Inspectors also found that U.S. Aqua Vac divers were not provided with two-way communication devices, a guard at the end of a suction hose, a standby diver, and depth gauges for surface-supplied air. The company also failed to assess conditions before diving operations began and to provide a safe practices manual. Similar violations were found by inspectors after a diver died in Deerfield, Ill., in 2009, according to OSHA's news release, which said U.S. Aqua Vac also did not train the New Albany dive team in CPR, pressure test hoses, or maintain equipment and failed to provide a manual resuscitation mask, first aid equipment, or quick-release dive weight belts.

Download Center

  • OSHA Recordkeeping Guide

    In case you missed it, OSHA recently initiated an enforcement program to identify employers who fail to electronically submit Form 300A recordkeeping data to the agency. When it comes to OSHA recordkeeping, there are always questions regarding the requirements and ins and outs. This guide is here to help! We’ll explain reporting, recording, and online reporting requirements in detail.

  • Incident Investigations Guide

    If your organization has experienced an incident resulting in a fatality, injury, illness, environmental exposure, property damage, or even a quality issue, it’s important to perform an incident investigation to determine how this happened and learn what you can do to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps of performing an incident investigation.

  • Lone Worker Guide

    Lone workers exist in every industry and include individuals such as contractors, self-employed people, and those who work off-site or outside normal hours. These employees are at increased risk for unaddressed workplace accidents or emergencies, inadequate rest and breaks, physical violence, and more. To learn more about lone worker risks and solutions, download this informative guide.

  • Job Hazard Analysis Guide

    This guide includes details on how to conduct a thorough Job Hazard Analysis, and it's based directly on an OSHA publication for conducting JHAs. Download the guide to learn how to identify potential hazards associated with each task of a job and set controls to mitigate hazard risks.

  • The Basics of Incident Investigations Webinar

    Without a proper incident investigation, it becomes difficult to take preventative measures and implement corrective actions. Watch this on-demand webinar for a step-by-step process of a basic incident investigation, how to document your incident investigation findings and analyze incident data, and more. 

  • Vector Solutions

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - November December 2022

    November December 2022

    Featuring:

    • IH: GAS DETECTION
      The Evolution of Gas Detection
    • OSHA TOP 10
      OSHA's Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Standards for FY 2022
    • FALL PROTECTION
      Enhance Your Fall Protection Program with Technology
    • 90TH ANNIVERSARY
      The Future: How Safety WIll Continue to Evolve
    View This Issue