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Steel worker dies in industrial waste pit in Pennsylvania.
Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, FACE 86-15, 1986 Mar; :1-7
A fatal accident in which a steel worker fell into an industrial waste pit in Pennsylvania was investigated. A mobile crane was being used to change a steam operated vertical pump in the pit. The steel worker, a 58 year old man, fell into the waste pit and died as a result. The pit was a collection point for wastes from coke oven operations. The covering on the pit consisted of several pieces of 1 inch thick unsecured steel grating. Light tars, light oils, water and naphthalene (66773) usually filled about 10 to 11 feet of the pit with a resulting temperature of about 160 to 180 degrees-F. Two of the four workers involved were standing on a piece of steel grating measuring 22 by 42 inches, supported by two I-beams, one along each short edge of the grating. These I-beams were covered with tar and condensation which may have contributed to the accident. The grating slipped and fell from the I-beams into the pit. One worker straddled an I-beam and avoided injury; the other fell into the pit and was killed. While the victim had worked for the company over 30 years, including 2 years as equipment repair technician, this was the first time he had been involved in this kind of operation. The following recommendations were made: lifelines, safety belts, and lanyards be worn by workers near or over open waste pits; enforcement of existing regulations regarding pits; specific adjustments to the pumps themselves; knowledge of contents of the pit; development of rescue procedures to aid in the event of similar accidents.
NIOSH-Author; Region-3; FACE-86-15; Coke-oven-emissions; Equipment-design; Steel-foundries; Steelworkers; Industrial-wastes; Accident-analysis
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division