Fla. diver dies during underwater construction work
A 45-year-old untrained driver died June 10, 2014 while completing surface-supplied air diving during underwater construction activities for the City of Weston, Florida.
OSHA’s investigation into the fatality resulted in Ric-Man International Inc. being cited for 19 safety violations, including one willful, for failure to provide cave-in protection for employees working inside an excavation approximately 12-feet deep.
From the company's website:
"At Ric-Man, we have cultivated a philosophy that promotes an environment free of accidents and injuries. We are dedicated to provide a high level of safety in the construction industry which includes partnering with the insurance industry through training, education and guidance.
"In our Industry, safety is measured by an “Experience Modification Rate” (EMR), it is the industry standard the calculation of workers compensation rates. This standard measures a particular company's occurrence and gravity of accidents and injuries. The industry average is 1.0. Ric-Man’s modifier has consistently been below this average. We are dedicated to providing a safe working environment for our employees, our clients and the general public, with our weekly tool box safety meetings, quarterly supervisors continuing safety classes, and our company wide safety classes three times a year.
"We are prepared to provide our employees with the tools, expertise, and means to reduce risks throughout or worksites."
OSHA standards require that all trenches and excavation sites 5 feet or deeper be protected against sidewall collapses. Protection may be provided through shoring of trench walls, sloping of the soil at a shallow angle or by using a protective trench box. OSHA has created a National Emphasis Program on Trenching and Excavation. OSHA cited the company four times previously for lack of cave-in protection and excavation hazards.
Inadequate training, supplies
Thirteen serious violations were issued to Ric-Man International for failure to ensure workers who performed diving operations were experienced and trained to perform underwater tasks safely; provide divers with a backup air supply, safety harness and two-way voice communication for emergencies; and to plan and assess risks associated with diving, including underwater conditions, obstructions and visibility. The company also failed to provide dive team members with CPR training.
Proposed penalties total $161,000. To view the current citations and five other-than-serious violations, visit http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/Ric-Man_Internationa_Inc_980215_12_09_14.pdf*
Founded in 1965 Ric-Man International, of Pompano Beach, employs approximately 60 workers and provides services, including engineering design/build; heavy construction; land development; trenchless technologies; emergency repairs; hurricane cleanup; and marine and bridge construction.