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One dead, one near miss in sewer in Kentucky, May 15, 1987.

Authors
NIOSH
Source
NIOSH 1987 Jun; :1-5
NIOSHTIC No.
00177519
Abstract
Two laborers were overcome, one fatally, after entering a 15 foot deep sewer manhole in which there was an oxygen deficient atmosphere. The surviving worker revived and was treated and released from hospital. Their purpose for entering the sewer was to clean out a blockage in a sewer manhole adjacent to a sewage lift station. The sewer department, of which the victim was an employee, had no written safety policies or confined space entry procedures. Safety on the job was of an informal nature. The two men were to go to the location of the blockage with the sewer cleaning machine and await arrival of engineering department workers. The victim removed the manhole cover and noted two boards stuck in the sludge. He descended into the untested atmosphere to remove the boards. His coworker noticed that the victim had entered the hole and observed him having difficulty and loosing consciousness. The coworker reported the trouble, and was told not to enter the hole in a rescue attempt. He did enter, however, and was also overcome. The victim had fallen face down in the sludge, while his coworker fell backwards. The engineering crew arrived and evacuated air out of the manhole with a vacuum system, which caused fresh air to flow in. The coworker revived. The victim was pronounced dead due to prolonged acute exposure to sewer gas and aspiration of foreign material. It is recommended that the employer develop a comprehensive safety program for entry into confined spaces.
Keywords
NIOSH-Author; FACE-87-45; Region-4; Sewer-cleaning; Sewage-treatment; Accident-analysis; Sewage-industry; Accident-prevention; Safety-practices; Hypoxia
Publication Date
19870630
Document Type
Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation; Field Studies
Fiscal Year
1987
NTIS Accession No.
PB88-189766
NTIS Price
A01
Identifying No.
FACE-87-45
NIOSH Division
DSR
SIC Code
NAICS-22
Source Name
Division of Safety Research, NIOSH, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Morgantown, West Virginia, Report Number FACE-87-45, 5 pages
State
KY; WV
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