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Confined space safe work practices and the corrosion engineer.

Manwaring JC
Controlling Corrosion in the Northern Latitudes, 1996 Canadian Region Western Conference, February 19-21, 1996, Anchorage, Alaska 1996 Feb; :387-404
Case studies of six confined space accidents were reviewed. In the first case, a three man crew was attempting to shut down a 24 inch water main. Two of the workers died after entering the valve pit which had not been ventilated and was oxygen deficient. The second case study involved a 59 year old barge operator who entered a barge compartment used in ice making operations to inspect the condition of the compartment, which had been previously sealed for 1 year. Not only had the compartment not been ventilated prior to his entry, he was not using any personal respiratory equipment. The third case involved a construction worker who died and a coworker who became seriously ill after 2 days of painting steel valves and flanges with paint coatings containing 2-nitropropane (79469) and coal-tar-pitch inside a newly constructed underground water valve vault. The fourth case involved a painter who died when he apparently inhaled vapors from paint containing xylene (1330207), lost consciousness and fell 140 feet in a vertical water supply pipe of a municipal water tower. The fifth case concerned three contract workers who died at a wastewater treatment facility while attempting to repair the rubber interior lining of an 18,000 gallon sodium-hypochlorite tank. They were using toxic and flammable chemicals without ventilation or respiratory protection. In the sixth case, a painter died after falling 40 feet from a scaffold while sandblasting the interior of a steel water tank. The common element in each of these cases was the effect of corrosion and corrosion control activities in confined spaces. The main risk factors contributing to the fatalities include: the lack of testing and monitoring the air quality before and after entry, lack of a confined space ventilation act, lack of respiratory or fall protection equipment, lack of adequate emergency response, and a general lack of entry procedures including worker training in hazard awareness.
Confined-spaces; Accident-analysis; Construction-workers; Respirators; Personal-protective-equipment; Risk-factors; Case-studies; Air-quality-monitoring; Oxygen-deficient-atmospheres
79-46-9; 1330-20-7
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Controlling Corrosion in the Northern Latitudes, 1996 Canadian Region Western Conference, February 19-21, 1996, Anchorage, Alaska
Page last reviewed: March 4, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division