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Painter dies after fall inside 250,000 gallon water tank - North Carolina, July 2, 1993.

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 93-23, 1993 Oct; :1-8
The case of a 20 year old painter who died after he fell from an undetermined height inside a 250,000 gallon municipal water tank was reviewed. The employer was a painting contractor employing six workers. The company had been contracted to sandblast, prime, and paint the interior and exterior of a 250,000 gallon water tank. At the time of the accident, three workers were working on the outside of the tank, sandblasting the exterior surface and applying an epoxy primer. The foreman had an air line respirator and was working inside the tank. Every 30 minutes one of the workers on the outside would climb a fixed ladder 25 feet to check on the foreman by looking through a 24 inch diameter opening. The victim apparently climbed to the top of the tank and entered the tank. The foreman heard a noise, turned, and saw the victim lying on the floor of the tank. Coworkers removed the victim and transported him to a hospital. He died several hours later. The cause of death was listed as excessive pooling of blood in the brainstem. He also suffered fractures of two cervical vertebrae. Whether the victim slipped or was overcome by the vapors was not known. It was recommended that a comprehensive written confined space entry program be developed and implemented, that all supervisors and workers be made aware of all potential hazards, that employers train all workers in first aid, and that all contractors have a written safety program specific to the work they are performing.
NIOSH-Author; FACE-93-23; Region-4; Painters; Accident-analysis; Confined-spaces; Accident-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Construction-Search
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Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
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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