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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 170362180 - Employee Drowns As Excavator Goes Over A Bank Into The River

Accident: 170362180 -- Report ID: 0950623 -- Event Date: 12/19/1994
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
11976158312/23/19949621Humboldt Co Public Works

A four-person crew working for a county department of public works went to repair a drainage pipe. The pipe emerged from under the road and ran down a steep bank toward the south fork of the Eel River. The pipe had separated near the top and the crew was going to move the pipe aside, repair the bed the pipe rested on, then replace and reconnect the pipe. They were using a 1973 Gradall was going to be used to move the pipe and repair the bed. The Gradall had two operating cabs: the truck cab for going down the road, and the excavator cab for operating the excavator. Each cab had its own engine and its own air system to control the brakes. There was a cab-controlled brake toggle that in the unlocked position allowed the brakes to be operated from the truck cab. In the locked position it locked the brakes until they were overridden by the excavator. The excavator operator was apparently unable to stop the excavator, and it went into the river. The operator drowned.

Keywords: embankment, repair, river, excavator, drown

Employee Details
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 119761583 Fatality Asphyxia Excavating and loading machine operators

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