On June 5, 2002, two male Hispanic laborers drowned after a canoe capsized on a golf-course pond. Victim 1 was working with another laborer trying to sink some tires that were floating on the pond. Neither was wearing personal floatation devices. Victim 1 was the only person in the area who had a radio, and while he left it on the shore, none of the co-workers on shore knew how to use it. One of the co-workers ran to the equipment shed where another employee with a telephone notified emergency services. The EMS providers arrived within several minutes after receiving the call. Due to the worker’s fear and the inability of workers and responders to communicate effectively, divers began searching the south side of the pond. The co-workers all spoke Spanish and only a few spoke English, so when a co-worker was located who could communicate with the deputy, the sheriff department learned that the victims had not gone into the water on the south side, but rather on the north side. The deputy and two other divers were then sent to the north side. Both victims were soon located, resuscitation efforts were started and both victims were transported to a nearby hospital. Both were pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital. The FACE investigators concluded that, to prevent similar occurrences, employers should: 1. Ensure U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation devices are available and used when an employee works near, on or over water where the danger of drowning exists. 2. Develop, implement and enforce a comprehensive written safety program for all workers that includes training in hazard recognition and the avoidance of unsafe conditions when using small water craft. 3. Train employees on how to use two-way radios for emergency communication. 4. Train non-English speaking workers about emergency situations and the role of law enforcement and/or rescue services in order to reduce anxiety when emergency contact with official agencies occurs. 5. Develop and implement a program that would remind all employers who must call for emergency services to request an interpreter for a specific language when a substantial immigrant population is employed or present at a worksite.
Region-5; 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; Protective-measures; Training; Safety-programs; Maintenance-workers