Diver Drowns in Golf Course Pond, OSHA Cites Company for 12 Serious Violations
Federal workplace safety inspectors examining how a 26-year-old diver drowned in a golf course pond – after only three days working for a commercial diving and recovery company – found the employer failed to follow required safety standards, including ensuring adequate supervision was in place and that required training was provided.
The incident occurred as the dive technician and a coworker employed by Ballhawker of Florida Inc. recovered sunken golf balls in a pond on a golf course. When the diver became unresponsive, the coworker pulled him from the water and asked a passing golfer to call 911. The diver was transported to a local hospital where he later died.
Following an investigation, the OSHA issued citations to Ballhawker for 12 serious violations. Among the violations were failure to:
- Train divers to handle assigned tasks safely, including using equipment.
- Ensure all dive team members are CPR trained.
- Provide continuous monitoring and oversee diving operations.
- Inspect diving equipment and components prior to every dive.
- Test air compressor systems for air purity every six months.
- Set up an operational communication system among all dive team members.
- Develop and maintain a safe practice manual for divers.
OSHA proposed $55,870 in penalties.