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Three contract workers die while repairing a sodium hypochlorite tank at a wastewater treatment plant - Virginia, September 25, 1992.
Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, FACE 93-08, 1993 Mar; :1-7
This case involved the death of three contract workers who were killed while repairing the interior rubber lining of an 18,000 gallon sodium-hypochlorite tank located at a municipal treatment facility for wastewater. The victims, a male foreman and two male laborers, were employed by a contractor that specialized in repairing and fabricating storage tanks. They were using toluene (108883), xylene (1330207), methanol (67561), isopropanol (67630), and methyl-ethyl-ketone (78933) in the tank with no protective masks, respiratory, ventilation system, standby person, or emergency procedures. The victims had contact on September 23 with a maintenance worker; 2 days later they were found dead at the bottom of the tank, near the ladder. The cause of death was toluene poisoning. It was recommended that a confined space entry program be developed, implemented and enforced, that a standby person be provided on the outside of all confined spaces, and that all contractors have a written safety program specific to the work to be performed.
NIOSH-Author; FACE-93-08; Region-3; Accident-analysis; Safety-practices; Waste-treatment; Organic-solvents; Confined-spaces; Toxic-effects
108-88-3; 1330-20-7; 67-56-1; 67-63-0; 78-93-3
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division