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Laborer dies after inhaling fumes and drowning in California.

Public Health Institute
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 92CA001, 1993 Apr; :1-4
A 20-year-old male Hispanic laborer (victim) died after inhaling trichloroethane and drowning. A tote bin is a fiberglass container which measures 65 inches in height and 45 inches in diameter, with an opening on top measuring 18 inches in diameter. A valve at the outside bottom of the bin allows the water and glue to flow out into the drain. This valve had not been opened and the bin was full of water when the victim was discovered and pulled out. The victim was performing his routine job cleaning out the residual glue in the bin. He was standing on the top step of an 23 inch ladder while using a high pressure steam hose to loosen the glue on the bottom of the bin. There were no co-workers in the immediate area and the victim was not discovered until an hour after the initial incident. The California FACE investigator concluded that, in order to prevent future similar occurrences, employers should: 1. provide respirators and respirator training to all employees working with hazardous materials. 2. implement and maintain a safety plan for all employees and all work areas. Safety plans contain specific safety rules and training documentation for all jobs. 3. allow safe access to all equipment and work areas. 4. develop and implement a confined space safety program. 5. cover the opening on the top of the tote bin with wire or other material so that employees cannot fall through or climb into it.
Region-9; Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Work-operations; Work-analysis; Work-areas; Work-performance; Work-practices; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-measures; Safety-monitoring; Maintenance-workers; Training; 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-92CA001; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-907284
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Public Health Institute
Page last reviewed: May 11, 2023
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division