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Sewer worker dies when inflatable sewer plug bursts in Washington, D.C., November 29, 1989.

Authors
NIOSH
Source
NIOSH 1990 Jul; :1-9
NIOSHTIC No.
00206128
Abstract
A 45 year old male municipal sewer maintenance worker who was working inside a 12 1/2 foot deep sewer chamber died when an inflatable sewer plug burst, allowing sewage to flood the chamber. A crew of ten workers was assigned the task of diverting the flow of sewage in a 6 foot diameter sewer main branch in preparation for installing some adjustable weirs. The crew lowered an inflatable sewer plug into a diversion gate chamber and anchored it several feet into the right leg of the sewer main. An air line, connected to an air compressor at the surface, was attached to an air valve on the inflatable sewer plug. The victim was operating the compressor and left it running unattended, entering the gate chamber to inspect the plug. The plug burst in a few minutes, forcing water and air into the chamber, fatally injuring the worker. It is recommended that where worker entry into sewers is necessary, slide gates be used instead of or in conjunction with inflatable sewer plugs; that employers ensure that sewer workers follow all the sewer plug manufacturer's safety recommendations; and that employers develop and implement a comprehensive confined space entry program.
Keywords
NIOSH-Author; Region-3; FACE-90-17; Accident-analysis; Sewer-cleaning; Sewage-industry; Confined-spaces; Maintenance-workers; Traumatic-injuries
Publication Date
19900719
Document Type
Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation; Field Studies
Fiscal Year
1990
NTIS Accession No.
PB92-183946
NTIS Price
A02
Identifying No.
FACE-90-17
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 Number FACE-90-17, 9 pages, 2 references
State
DC; WV
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