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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 116597.015 - Employee Dies From Over Exposure To Hydrogen Sulfide In Tank

Accident: 116597.015 -- Report ID: 0552652 -- Event Date: 05/24/2019
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
1403966.01505/25/2019Sieler Farms
At 4:00 p.m. on May 24, 2019, Employee #1, a farmer, entered a 1,500 gallon bulk milk tank to clean it. He was using a paste of cleaning granules and well water. The employee died within 20 minutes of entry into the tank due to the inhalation of excess concentrations of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) that evolved from well water that was contaminated with naturally-occurring hydrogen sulfide. The lack of ventilation in the tank trapped the gas. Lab tests of the vapor space above a sample of the well water showed more than 1,000 ppm H2S versus the allowable 8-hour exposure limit of 10 ppm. The cleaning granules did not play a role in the event.
Keywords: tank, water, hydrogen sulfide, overexposure, confined space
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 1403966.015 43 M Fatality Poisoning(Systemic) Farmers, except horticultural

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