AUGUSTA — The employer of two men who were killed by sewer gases on a job site in Kennebunkport in September has agreed to pay $16,800 in federal safety fines.

Tim Stevens, owner of Stevens Electric & Pump Service in Montmouth, met Wednesday with officials at the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s office in Augusta. He agreed to pay the fines and OSHA agreed to add language to its safety citations acknowledging that the employer had provided safety equipment that the employees did not use, said William Coffin, area director for OSHA’s Augusta area office.

Winfield Studley, 58, of Windsor and Richard Kemp, 70, of Monmouth died from inhalation of hydrogen sulfide, a sewer gas, while working on a pump inside a sewer tank at the Lodge at Turbats Creek, a motel in Kennebunkport.

OSHA cited the employer for four safety violations, including failure to ventilate the area where the men were working and failing to test the air quality before and during the work. OSHA also said the workers were not using harnesses designed to help them escape the tank in such an emergency.

Tim Stevens had said he planned to challenge the citations because the company had provided all the needed safety training and equipment for monitoring the air quality and protecting the workers. He said he did not know why the workers, his friends, decided not to use the equipment. Stevens could not be reached today.


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