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Owner/foreman of construction company dies in 15 foot-deep manhole in California, October 14, 1986.

Authors
NIOSH
Source
NIOSH 1986 Nov; :1-5
NIOSHTIC No.
00174350
Abstract
The owner of a construction company was discovered face down at the bottom of a 15 foot deep manhole which had about 3 feet of muddy water at the bottom. The company employed about 13 individuals and was subcontracted to install a sewage collection system in a park. Extensive damage to a section of the concrete cylinder produced by efforts to straighten the manhole allowed mud and water to seep into the hole. The manhole was not connected to a sewer line. The victim was operating a backhoe, and requested a worker to remove the manhole cover so he could check the grade. The victim was observed walking toward the manhole; 15 minutes later he was found in the manhole, face down. One worker who entered the manhole felt breathless and nauseated. Other workers removed the victim, and did not suffer any ill effects from entering the manhole. The autopsy report suggested that the man slipped and fell on entering the manhole, was knocked unconscious, and drowned in the water at the bottom. The day after the accident, normal levels of oxygen were found in the manhole, and tests for noxious gases indicated they were below the level of danger. Recommendations arising from this accident include the training of a standby person when workers enter a confined space, the development of a comprehensive safety program that documents procedures for safe entry to confined spaces, and a requirement by property owners who contract construction projects that all safety requirements are enforced during the job.
Keywords
NIOSH-Author; Region-9; FACE-87-05; Safety-practices; Construction-industry; Construction-workers; Confined-spaces; Accident-analysis; Construction-Search
Publication Date
19861125
Document Type
Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation; Field Studies
Fiscal Year
1987
NTIS Accession No.
PB88-154901
NTIS Price
A01
Identifying No.
FACE-87-05
NIOSH Division
DSR
SIC Code
NAICS-23
Source Name
Division of Safety Research, NIOSH, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Morgantown, West Virginia, Report No. FACE-87-5, 5 pages
State
CA; WV
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