NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search
Worker dies in fermentation tank in Montana.
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 86-13, 1986 Mar; :1-5
A 35 year old worker at an alcohol and feed mash production operation died of asphyxiation from carbon-dioxide (124389) in a fermentation tank. The victim had been working for 3 weeks at his present job, which was to hose down the interior of fermentation tanks, 84 inches in diameter by 88 inches high, which hold about 1200 gallons each. His safety training had been minimal; the only reference to entering a fermentation tank was not to do so because of the carbon-dioxide hazard. It was felt, following the accident, that the victim's hat may have fallen into the tank and in an effort to retrieve it, he fell into the tank. He was unable to climb out and efforts on the part of the foreman to aid his escape failed. He was in the tank approximately 2 hours before he was removed. The atmosphere in the tank tested as 48 percent carbon-dioxide and 6 percent oxygen. Recommendations arising out of this accident include the introduction of a comprehensive safety program at this facility, in addition to the operations manual now available. This was to include air quality testing; ventilation of the space to remove contaminants; monitoring of the space to maintain a safe oxygen level; lockout/tagout procedures to control hazardous energy; employee and supervisory training in entry, testing and use of personal protective equipment; and emergency rescue procedures.
NIOSH-Author; Region-8; FACE-86-13; Confined-spaces; Safety-practices; Air-quality; Occupational-hazards
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: April 12, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division