OSHA Investigation into Deadly Diving Accident in Florida

by | Oct 17, 2022 | Industrial Accident, Maritime Law, Wrongful Death

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) has completed its investigation into the April 4, 2022 drowning of a diver in Florida.  During the incident, a worker was removing sand with an industrial vacuum as part of an embankment project.  The diver was trapped when sediment above him collapsed onto him.  He eventually drowned as a result.

The OSHA investigation found that Erosion Barrier Installations Corp. did not follow required safety standards. Following the investigation, OSHA issued multiple citations, related to the below violations:

  • Failing to train divers in dive-related physics and physiology.
  • Not training dive teams on equipment use, techniques and emergency procedures required to perform underwater tasks safely.
  • Not ensuring that all dive team members are CPR-trained.
  • Failing to require that an experienced dive team member supervise dredging operations in a canal with zero-visibility.
  • Failing to have an emergency aid list at the worksite.
  • Performing underwater dredging in a canal without a standby diver.
  • Not providing employees with harnesses capable of distributing the pull forces over divers’ bodies.

Commercial divers face risks and hazards that must be planned for before work begins.  It goes without saying that safe companies must have adequate policies and procedures to protect their workers.  It is not just workers who are at risk, but also members of the public or employees of other companies.  Of course, adequate training of workers is also required.  Whether it is a commercial diver or the supervisor, everyone involved must know what is required to safely perform the task.  It is more than merely having a written down procedure, companies must ensure that their workers understand and follow what has been developed.

Here, a worker tragically lost his life as a result of the failures found in the OSHA investigation.  OSHA provides commercial diving guidelines which should have been followed.

Our experienced lawyers have handled personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits of all kinds and have the skills needed to represent the families of loved ones who have lost their lives or those who have been seriously injured in a diving accident.  The experienced construction personal injury and wrongful death attorneys at Spagnoletti Law Firm can help you understand your rights if you or a loved one was a victim of an accident.

Our lawyers have represented numerous workers who have sustained serious and catastrophic injuries on a job site as a result of the negligence of another party.  There are strict and short time limits on making claims, so please contact us online or call 713-804-9306 or 877-678-5864 to learn more about your legal rights.