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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 200001873 - Employee Is Killed Due To Asphyxia

Accident: 200001873 -- Report ID: 0728500 -- Event Date: 08/04/2004
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
30670789408/05/20041623Holthouse Construction, Llc

At approximately 1:30 p.m. on August 4, 2004, Employee #1 was grouting the seams in a newly constructed sewer manhole that was about 16.5-feet deep. About an hour later, Employee #1 was found lying at the bottom of the manhole with most of the grouting completed. Emergency services were contacted and the local fire department responded to the accident. Employee #1 was pronounced dead due to asphyxia. During the accident investigation, it was revealed that the manhole had failed a vacuum test approximately one week earlier and according to the fire department's report, the oxygen levels near the bottom of the manhole measured levels of 17 and 16.3, using a Draeger Mini-Wam and Area Rae tester. Additionally, air samples taken by OSHA on August 13, 2004, indicated similar results. At the time of the incident and during air sampling, the plug inserts for the vacuum test equipment were in place at the bottom of the manhole to cover the newly laid sewer pipe which was connected to the manhole.

Keywords: oxygen deficiency, sewer, unconsciousness, asphyxiated, installing, construction, inhalation, pipeline, manhole, untrained
Accident Details
End Use Proj Type Proj Cost Stories NonBldgHt Fatality
Single family or duplex dwelling New project or new addition $250,000 to $500,000 X

Employee Details
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation Construction
1 306707894 Fatality Asphyxia Occupation not reported FallDist:
Cause: Installing underground plumbing conduit
FatCause: Asphyxiation/inhalation of toxic vapor

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