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 F2005-34, 2006 Aug; :1-10
On November 7, 2005, a 32-year-old male career fire fighter/engineer (the victim) was fatally injured during a silo fire at a livestock feed supplement manufacturing plant. As the fire was being contained in one silo, the victim and the department's training officer were directed to search for fire extension in an adjacent silo. The victim, who was dressed in full turnout gear and wearing his self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), received operating instructions from a plant employee on the use of a manlift to access the top of the silo. About one minute later, as the victim was being elevated, the manlift came to an abrupt stop. After investigating potential problems with the manlift, a plant employee climbed a fixed ladder and found the victim wedged between the manlift and the edge of the floor opening on the fourth level. The victim was not breathing and was unresponsive. The plant employee used the victim's radio to call "fire fighter down." Several minutes later, a Captain climbed the fixed ladder to the fourth floor and tried chest compressions with no success. The victim was later pronounced dead on the scene. NIOSH investigators concluded that to minimize the risk of similar occurrences, fire departments should: 1. conduct pre-incident planning and inspections of potentially hazardous structures in their jurisdiction; 2. revise and enforce policies and guidelines regarding activation of Personal Alert Safety Systems (PASS) devices; 3. review, revise where appropriate, implement, and enforce written standard operating guidelines (SOGs) as a vital component of the Department's operations; 4. ensure that all fire fighters are equipped with radios capable of communicating with the Incident Commander (IC). Additionally, owners/managers of manufacturing plants should ensure that all hazards within the plant that might negatively impact the health and safety of fire fighters responding to their facility are marked, minimized, or eliminated.