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Painter dies in a 140-foot fall at a municipal water tower, September 22, 1988.
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 89-05, 1989 Feb; :1-5
On September 22, 1988, a 34 year old male painter died when he apparently inhaled vapors from paint containing xylene (1330207), lost consciousness and fell 140 feet within the vertical water supply pipe of a municipal water tower. The employer in the incident was a small contractor specializing in painting water towers. The victim had been employed by the company for 3 months, and had worked as a painter for the 2 months. At the time of the incident the victim was working alone, painting the inside of the riser. The foreman had noticed the victim exiting the tank in an apparent intoxicated condition on the previous afternoon, and had reprimanded him for not wearing his issued supplied air respirator. On the morning of the incident, the foreman reminded the victim that he must wear his respirator when painting inside the tank. The victim had been painting for about one half hour when he fell within the riser. He was pronounced dead on arrival at a local hospital. Investigation showed that he had not been using his respirator, instead relying on a bandana worn over his nose and mouth. He had not connected his safety belt to the lifeline, and had worked from a fixed ladder instead of the boatswain's chair provided. An autopsy conducted on the victim revealed 0.2 milligram % xylene in a sample of blood taken from the victim's heart. The cause of death was multiple fractures and internal injuries.
NIOSH-Author; Region-4; FACE-89-05; Organic-solvents; Solvent-vapors; Painters; Confined-spaces; Accident-analysis; Safety-equipment; Personal-protective-equipment; Construction-Search
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