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Municipal water-line inspector dies after entering oxygen-deficient vault in Missouri.

Missouri Department of Health
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 92MO033, 1993 Mar; :1-5
A 31-year-old municipally employed inspector for the city's water and pollution control department died as a result of the lack of oxygen in a water-main maintenance vault. At the time of the incident, the victim was working alone inspecting the recent construction of a water main. The victim climbed into the eight-foot-deep water maintenance vault which contains the water main and an air relief valve. The victim was overcome by the lack of oxygen and did not survive. The Missouri Department of Health investigator concluded that, in order to prevent future similar occurrences, employers should: 1. recognize that confined-space atmospheres are dynamic environments subject to unexpected changes, and address those dynamics in all written and practiced safe work procedures and subsequent worker training. 2. develop and implement a comprehensive confined-space entry program to address all provisions outlined in NIOSH publications 80-106, "Working in Confined Spaces," and 87-113, "A Guide to Safety in Confined Spaces." In addition, Municipalities should ensure that: 3. fire, rescue and police personnel are trained in confined-space entry and rescue procedures.
Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Safety-climate; Safety-education; Safety-practices; Traumatic-injuries; Water-industry; Region-7; Confined-spaces; Oxygen-deficient-atmospheres
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
FACE-92MO033; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-707084
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Missouri Department of Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division