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Wastewater treatment plant operator drowns in recirculation pit in Iowa, May 25, 1988.

Authors
NIOSH
Source
NIOSH 1991 Sep; :1-15
NIOSHTIC No.
00201849
Abstract
An examination was made into the May 25th, 1988 death of a 21 year old male operator at an aerobic wastewater treatment facility in Iowa. There were two municipal employees who worked at the facility, the superintendent and the operator. At the time of the incident, the superintendent was driving a contractor to town to pick up a piece of equipment. The operator apparently fell into the recirculation pit while performing general maintenance duties, and was sucked to the bottom and trapped. He had been assigned to hosing down foam in an adjacent transfer pit. While it was possible to hose down the foam from another location, it is thought likely that the victim went inside the railing and was standing on a fiberglass panel over the recirculation pit or the transfer pit, or on an 8 inch curb around the front of the pit. There was no indication of an oxygen deficient atmosphere or that toxic gases had been present at the time to overcome the worker. It is recommended that employers conduct job hazard analyses to identify potential hazards, that employers develop a written safety program with procedures specific to the wastewater treatment facility, and that the employer develop, implement and enforce confined space entry procedures.
Keywords
NIOSH-Author; FACE-91-23; Region-7; Accident-analysis; Waste-treatment; Confined-spaces; Sewage-treatment; Safety-practices
Publication Date
19910917
Document Type
Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation; Field Studies
Fiscal Year
1991
NTIS Accession No.
PB92-123991
NTIS Price
A03
Identifying No.
FACE-91-23
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 No. FACE-91-23, 15 pages, 2 references
State
IA; WV
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