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.

Product Showcase

  • Kestrel 5400 Heat Stress Tracker WBGT Monitoring for Workplace Safety

    Ensure safety with the Kestrel® 5400 Heat Stress Tracker, the go-to choice for safety professionals and endorsed by the Heat Safety & Performance Coalition. This robust, waterless WBGT meter is ideal for both indoor and outdoor environments, offering advanced monitoring and data logging essential for OSHA compliance. It features pre-programmed ACGIH guidelines and alert settings to quickly signal critical conditions. Integrated with the cloud-based Ambient Weather Network, the 5400 allows managers to view, track, and log job site conditions remotely, ensuring constant awareness of potential hazards. Its capability for real-time mobile alerts and remote data access promotes proactive safety management and workplace protection, solidifying its role as a crucial tool in industrial hygiene. 3

  • Matrix's OmniPro Vision AI Collision Avoidance System

    OmniPro Vision AI is a state-of-the-art collision avoidance system that features NIOSH award-winning Visual Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology. This highly accurate, powerful system identifies and alerts on pedestrians, vehicles and specified objects, ensuring safer facilities, mining operations and industrial sites. With its web-based cloud application, OmniPro Vision AI also logs and analyzes a wide range of data related to zone breach notifications. Operating without needing personal wearable devices or tags, OmniPro has visual and audible zone breach alerts for both operators and pedestrians. 3

  • NoiseCHEK Personal Noise Dosimeter

    SKC NoiseCHEK is the easiest-to-use dosimeter available! Designed specifically for OEHS professionals, SKC NoiseCHEK offers the easiest operation and accurate noise measurements. Everything you need is right in your palm. Pair Bluetooth models to your mobile devices and monitor workers remotely with the SmartWave dB app without interrupting workflow. Careful design features like a locking windscreen, sturdy clip, large front-lit display, bright status LEDs, and more make NoiseCHEK the top choice in noise dosimeters. Demo NoiseCHEK at AIHA Connect Booth 1003. 3

Featured