California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health is investigating the June 14 death of a construction worker at the San Jose-Santa Clara Regional Wastewater Facility.

The incident occurred during a $7-million facility control upgrade being carried out by Kiewit Infrastructure West Co. According to Kiewit spokesperson Bob Kula, the worker, identified only as a craft pipefitter, was fatally injured while removing sections of large piping. Cal/OSHA confirmed that the worker was transported to a hospital where he died from his injuries. 

Other details regarding the incident and the worker’s union affiliation could not be immediately confirmed by ENR.

“We are working closely with the city of San Jose and other local and state authorities on the investigation – which is still ongoing – to determine exactly what happened and how it can be prevented,” Kula said in a statement.

Cal/OSHA has six months to complete its investigation and issue citations if safety and health violations are found, according to an agency spokesperson.

Serving more than 1.4 million residents, the San Jose-Santa Clara facility treats more than 110 million gallons of wastewater per day (mgd), with a maximum capacity of 167 mgd. The 30-month controls upgrade is part of a 10-year, $1.4-billion capital improvement program that began in July 2014. 

City records indicate that the 30-month design-bid-build project was scheduled to reach substantial completion later this year. The scope of work includes replacing 52 flow meters, 24 valves, 12 valve actuators, 60 sensors and transmitters, associated piping modifications and electrical improvements. 

Because the engineer’s estimate for the controls upgraded exceeded $3 million, the project qualified for San Jose’s project labor agreement with the Santa Clara and San Benito Building Trades Council.