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Construction sub-contractor asphyxiated in manhole in New Hampshire, August 20, 1988.

Authors
NIOSH
Source
NIOSH 1988 Dec; :1-5
NIOSHTIC No.
00186197
Abstract
The case of a 26 year old male construction worker who died when he entered a manhole containing an oxygen deficient atmosphere was examined. The worker was employed by a prime contractor for whom he had worked before. He had 8 years of construction experience. He was working on the construction of a new sewer system. He was going to install a plug in the lines leading to the manhole to keep out the ground water and then break for lunch. A wooden ladder had been left in the manhole since some earlier construction but the hole had not been opened for about 6 months. A coworker arrived on the scene a few minutes later, saw the victim lying at the bottom of the manhole, and telephoned for help. One of the firefighters responding to the call entered the hole without respiratory protection and had to be pulled out. The cause of the death was listed as asphyxiation. Testing of the manhole indicated that oxygen levels were 20.5 percent at 5 feet below the surface, decreasing to 4.0 percent at 13 feet below the surface. It is recommended that the atmosphere in a confined space always be checked for oxygen and the presence of toxic or flammable vapors before entry. Confined spaces should never be entered without an observer outside and the use of appropriate rescue equipment. Contractors should ensure that all subcontractors have a safety program that addresses the hazards to which they will be exposed on the job.
Keywords
NIOSH-Author; FACE-88-44; Region-1; Accident-analysis; Safety-research; Construction-industry; Construction-workers; Confined-spaces; Breathing-atmospheres; Work-practices; Respiratory-protective-equipment; Construction-Search
Publication Date
19881221
Document Type
Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation; Field Studies
Fiscal Year
1989
NTIS Accession No.
PB89-187678
NTIS Price
A01
Identifying No.
FACE-88-44
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-88-44, 5 pages
State
NH; WV
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