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Assemblyman dies from injuries received in the failure of a gasket during a hydrostatic test.

NIOSH 2000 Apr; :1-68
A 43-year-old assemblyman died on May 26, 1999 from chest injuries he received earlier that day when struck by a high pressure water jet emitted after the failure of a gasket during a hydrostatic test of a cooling coil for an air cooled heat exchanger. At the time of the incident the victim was part of a two-man team conducting the hydrostatic test at a heat exchanger manufacturing company. The laborer was positioned on a stepladder near the heat exchanger coil manifold to close an isolation valve on the pressure line connected to the manifold flange when the gasket failed, releasing a high pressure water jet in the direction of the worker. The water struck the assemblyman in the chest knocking him approximately 20 feet off the end of a loading dock onto the concrete drive below. Another employee nearby immediately contacted 911 by mobile phone and the victim was evacuated by helicopter to a local hospital where he died from injuries sustained in the incident. Face investigators concluded that, to help prevent similar occurrences, employers should: 1. Incorporate specific safe work practices into the work instructions for setting up and conducting hydrostatic testing, and train workers in those practices; 2. Provide the proper materials and equipment for use in performing high-risk work; 3. Analyze or otherwise investigate critical system failures and take corrective action to prevent future occurrences; and 4. Provide barrier protection for employees who must work in close proximity to potentially weak points in the hydrostatic test system or provide a remote control to physically separate the employee from the high-risk area.
Region-6; Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Work-operations; Work-analysis; Work-areas; Work-performance; Work-practices; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-measures; Safety-monitoring; Protective-measures; Protective-equipment; Protective-materials; Air-conditioning-equipment
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
FACE-99OK018; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-613938
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Oklahoma State Department of Health