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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 127759.015 - Employee Dies After Experiencing Heat-Related Illness

Accident: 127759.015 -- Report ID: 0729300 -- Event Date: 07/12/2020
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
1483326.01507/14/2020Waste Connections Of St Louis, Inc.
On July 7, 2020, an employee was working for a solid waste collection firm. He w as a new employee. He was working as a helper on a collection truck. He collecte d recycling materials and used a lifting arm to dump them into the back of the t ruck. The employee worked outside from around 7:15 a.m. until 4:15 p.m. During t he day, he took approximately three 10- to 15-minute breaks and a 30-minute lunc h break. He spent most of his day riding on the back of a truck. At about 10:00 a.m., he complained to his driver of overheating. He continued to work for an ad ditional six hours. The driver did not notify anyone of the new employee's sympt oms. At the end of his shift, he began exhibiting symptoms of heat-related illne ss. He complained of cramps and nausea. He also vomited several times and was un able to retain fluids. The employee returned to the office and described his sym ptoms to a member of management. By now, these symptoms included cramps in his a rms and nausea. Sometime after 6:00 p.m., the employee was driven to De Paul Hos pital after suffering multiple episodes of vomiting. He was diagnosed with hypon atremia and heat exhaustion. The employee was admitted to the intensive care uni t of a hospital. He died on July 12, 2020. On July 7, 2020, the ambient air temp eratures ranged from 26.1 to 33.9 degrees C (79 to 93 degrees F), with 44 to 79 percent relative humidity, and a calculated wet-bulb temperature of 23.9 to 34.4 degrees C (75 to 94 degrees F). The excessive heat level exposed acclimatized a nd non-acclimatized workers alike to heat-related illnesses such as heat exhaust ion.
Keywords: cardiovasc system, garbage truck, heat exhaustion, heat index, heat-related illness , nausea, training, vomit
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 1483326.015 24 M Fatality Truck drivers, heavy

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