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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 200050987 - Employee Drowns When Water Wagon Falls Into Canal

Accident: 200050987 -- Report ID: 0728900 -- Event Date: 07/17/2000
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
30005941707/20/20001542Western Engineering Co., Inc.
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
30005938307/20/20001542Adams Construction

Employee #1 was operating a Caterpillar 631C scraper that had been modified into a water wagon by replacing the blade with a 7,600 gallon water tank. He was working at a new road construction project where water was applied to the surface to keep down the dust and dirt. Employee #1's normal duty was to drive the equipment down the road adjacent to a canal, 15 to 20 ft from the water, to load the water tank. He would typically stop the vehicle, walk to the back and hook up the hose, return to the cab and flip the toggle switches to start the loading process, and then rev the engine to pump the water into the tank. On the day of the accident, the water wagon went into the canal and Employee #1 was found floating in the 12 to 15 ft deep water. He had drowned. Apparently, Employee #1 was in the cab of the scraper when it went into the canal. It was in eighth gear when it was pulled from the water, suggesting that when he revved the engine to load the water, the scraper had lunged forward, dropped a tire over the canal bank, and ran into the water. Employee #1 had been on this project for eight days and had hauled a total of 67 loads. At the time of the accident, he had hauled three loads of water that day and was obtaining his fourth load.

Keywords: loading, scraper, vehicle in gear, construction, earthmoving equip, drown, lost control, mech malfunction, water
Accident Details
End Use Proj Type Proj Cost Stories NonBldgHt Fatality
Highway, road, street Other $500,000 to $1,000,000 X

Employee Details
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation Construction
1 300059417 Occupation Not Listed FallDist:
2 300059383 Fatality Other Occupation not reported FallDist:
Cause: Site grading and rock removal
FatCause: Drown, non-lethal fall

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