OSHA Determines Downrite Engineering Could Have Prevented Worker’s Death

OSHA Determines Downrite Engineering Could Have Prevented Worker’s Death

The Miami-based company faces a proposed $258,935 in penalties.

Downrite Engineering Corp.—a Miami-based construction company specializing in part in the excavation of lakes and the installation of storm draining systems—employs more than 400 workers. But in January 2023, a 48-year-old diver drowned on the job while removing debris from a canal. Now the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has stepped in.

In a release dated July 31, the DOL announced an OSHA investigation into the incident resulted in the citation of 18 serious violations and a proposed $258,935 in penalties. The violations centered on Downrite’s failure to provide effective safety training for underwater tasks as well as emergency situations. The absence of such precautions resulted in this incident, OSHA said.

“Our investigation found Downrite Engineering Corp. did not follow required standards to protect workers who conduct commercial diving activities,” OSHA Area Office Director Condell Eastmond in Fort Lauderdale said in a statement. “This company’s failures before, during and after this tragedy are inexcusable and now this diver’s family, friends and co-workers are left to grieve their terrible loss.

OSHA previously cited Downrite for safety violations as far back as 2018. In 2019, the company faced a similar violation, as OSHA determined it failed to provide timely medical attention and first aid to an injured worker. Now Downrite Engineering has 15 business days to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA or contest its findings.

About the Author

Robert Yaniz Jr. is the Content Editor of Occupational Health & Safety.

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