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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 126541.015 - Employee Is Killed After Overexposure To Hydrogen Sulfide/Dr

Accident: 126541.015 -- Report ID: 0454722 -- Event Date: 05/29/2020
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
1476739.01505/29/2020James J Harris Llc

At 9:00 a.m. on May 29, 2020, Employee # 1 and 2 coworkers discussed entry int o a manhole to clear a blockage. Employee # 1 entered into the manhole without p ersonal protective equipment, without training, and without performing any air q uality testing. Employee # 1 successfully placed the line to clear the blockage and began to climb out. Before he could exit, he was overtaken, likely by hydrog en sulfide, an oxygen deficient atmosphere and lost consciousness. The manhole c ontained approximately two feet of standing water. When the others realized that Employee # 1 was unconscious, Coworker #1 tied a ratchet strap around a fence a djacent to the manhole entrance and around his waist. As Coworker #2 contacted e mergency services, Coworker #1 entered the 17 foot deep manhole. Coworker #1 rea ched Employee # 1, lifted him out of the water, but was unable to pull him out o f the manhole. Coworker #1 began climbing out of the manhole but lost consciousn ess prior to reaching the top. Coworker #2 pulled Coworker #1 up several feet al lowing Coworker #1 access to fresh air. He regained consciousness and began clim bing out of the manhole with assistance from Coworker #2. Employee # 1 could not be rescued. Coworker #1 was taken to the hospital for assessment of his injurie s (cuts and bruises). After more than one hour and positive pressure ventilation had been implemented in the manhole, atmospheric monitoring performed by the fi re department indicated that oxygen levels were at 20.4% and hydrogen sulfide wa s present at 5.5- 6 parts per million. Employee # 1 was killed. Coworker #2 was provided basic screening for injury and illness by emergency services at the si te as he had momentarily entered the manhole during his rescue of Coworker #1. He was not hospitalized.

Keywords: cleaning, climbing, cut, drowning, hydrogen sulfide, lack of oxygen, loss of consciousness, manhole, overcome by vapors, overexposure, oxygen, ppe, training, unconsciousness, water

Employee Details
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 1476739.015 38 M Fatality Plumber, pipefitter and steamfiter apprentices
2 1476739.015 31 M Non Hospitalized injury Plumber, pipefitter and steamfiter apprentices

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