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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 14347942 - Employee Dies In Oxygen-Deprived Manhole

Accident: 14347942 -- Report ID: 0418300 -- Event Date: 08/25/1988
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
1740745308/26/19881623Chris Matthews Construction, Inc.
At approximately 10:25 a.m. on August 25, 1988, Employee #1 was sent into a sewer manhole called a valve vault to open a valve. While in the vault, Employee #1 passed out. Employee #2, not knowing why Employee #1 had passed out, went down to help him. Once in the vault, Employee #2 passed out. Employee #3, who had seen Employee #2 enter the vault, decided that there might be bad air in the vault. He tied a rope around himself, then entered, tied a rope around Employee #2, and then passed out himself. Somehow, Employees #2 and #3 were able to get out of the vault. Employee #4, seeing that Employee #3 was dazed, took the rope off him and went into the vault but passed out before he could tie the rope around Employee #1 and had to be pulled out himself. When the fire rescue quad arrived wearing air packs they retrieved Employee #1, who was dead. Employees #2, #3, and #4 recovered.
Keywords: oxygen deficiency, unconsciousness, confined space, work rules, construction, manhole
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 17407453 Fatality Asphyxia Occupation not reported
2 17407453 Non Hospitalized injury Asphyxia Occupation not reported
3 17407453 Non Hospitalized injury Asphyxia Occupation not reported
4 17407453 Non Hospitalized injury Asphyxia Occupation not reported

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