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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 14477822 - Employees Entered Barge Hold Which Was Oxygen Deficient

Accident: 14477822 -- Report ID: 0111100 -- Event Date: 04/11/1985
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
94165804/11/19854492Penobscot Bay Towing Company
FIVE PEOPLE ENTERED THE HOLD OF A SURFACE STORAGE BARGE IN WHICH THE ATMOSPHERE COTAINED APPROXIMATELY 10% OXYGEN. THE FIRST PERSON TO ENTER (EMPLOYEE #3) DID SO FOR UNKNOWN REASONS. THE OTHER EMPLOYEES WHO ENTERED THE SPACE DID SO IN AN EFFORT TO RESCUE EMPLOYEE #3. EMPLOYEE #3 SURVIVED WHILE EMPLOYEES #2 AND #3 DIED. THE TWO CONTRACTOR EMPLOYEES WHO ENTERED WERE ABLE TO SELF RESCUE. APPROXIMATELY 28 HOURS AFTER THE EVENT THE FOLLOWING ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS WERE DETECTED IN THE HOLD: OXYGEN - 10% (12% AFTER THE HOLD HAD BEEN OPEN FOR 45 MINUTES), CARBON DIOXIDE - 0.12%, COMBUSTIBLE GASES - 3% OF LEL (SUBSTANCE UNIDENTIFIED) AND CARBON MONOXIDE - 300 PPM. THE OXYGEN DEFICIENCY APPARENTLY RESULTED FROM SURFACE OXIDATION OF THE STEEL STRUCTURE. THE CARBON MONOXIDE APPARENTLY WAS GENERATED BY THE OXY-ACETYLENE TORCH TORCH USED TO BURN OFF THE HATCH COVER. THE OXYGEN LEVELS DETECTED ARE BELIEVED TO BE SOMEWHAT HIGHER THAN THSE ON THE DAY OF THE ACCIDENT BECAUSE THE EMPLOYER LATER TRIED TO OXYGENATE THE SPACE USING THE OXYGEN LINES FROM THE OXY-ACETYLENE TORCH.
Keywords: oxygen deficiency, respiratory, barge, asphyxiated, confined space, work rules, air monitoring
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 941658 Fatality Asphyxia Occupation not reported
2 941658 Fatality Asphyxia Occupation not reported
3 941658 Hospitalized injury Asphyxia Occupation not reported

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