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Restaurant maintenance worker wedged between sump pump pipe support bar and sump pump crock rim.

Michigan State University
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 01MI064, 2002 Apr; :1-9
On March 18, 2001, a 54-year old restaurant maintenance worker died of asphyxiation when he became wedged between a metal support bar for sump pump piping and the rim of the sump pump crock. The uncovered sump pump was located in a storage area behind a row of refrigerators in the restaurant basement. The victim used the storage area as an area to hang his coat. After punching out, the victim went downstairs to retrieve his coat. The victim's coat pocket may have contained several pieces of jewelry. The owner thinks that some jewelry may have fallen out of his coat pocket while he was putting on his coat and/or getting car keys. The victim may have thought that some jewelry fell into the open sump pump crock and he attempted to retrieve the jewelry. During the retrieval process, the victim became pinned between the metal support pipe and the sump pump well rim. Another restaurant employee found the victim and called the restaurant co-owner. The co-owner called 911. The victim was found bent at the waist, headfirst in the sump crock with his head in the water. Rescue workers used a reciprocating saw to cut the metal support to free the victim. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. Recommendations: 1. Employers should evaluate the workplace to identify any confined spaces and develop and enforce written work procedures for entry into these areas. 2. Employers should cover sump crock openings with a solid cover to prevent items and/or people from falling into the sump pump area. 3. Employers should develop and enforce written work procedures, including general electrical safety-related work practices.
Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Safety-equipment; Safety-practices; Traumatic-injuries; Region-5; Maintenance-workers; Occupational-accidents; Occupational-hazards; Confined-spaces
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-01MI064; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-521205
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Michigan State University
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division