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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 171054414 - Two Employees Die In Oxygen Deficient Atmosphere

Accident: 171054414 -- Report ID: 0854910 -- Event Date: 08/10/1996
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
12676223608/12/19963711Naptech Inc.
After 4:00 p.m. on August 10, 1996, Employee #1 entered a 30-in.-diameter stainless steel pipeline that was connected to a "cold box" being manufactured. Earlier in the day argon had been used in a blocked area of the pipeline to maintain the integrity of a weld that had been done on the pipe. Apparently the pipeline had not been purged properly. When Employee #1 entered the pipeline, the oxygen deficient atmosphere overcame him. Employee #2, the supervisor, also entered the pipeline and was overcome in what appears to have been an attempt on his part to retrieve the victim. The victims were not discovered or reported missing until sometime around 11:00 p.m. the same night. Employee #2 was found approximately 2 ft from the opening of the 30-in. pipeline. Emergency Services were summoned and located Employee #1 approximately 13 ft into the pipeline. Both employees died at the scene.
Keywords: oxygen deficiency, asphyxiated, confined space, welder, pipeline, argon
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 126762236 Fatality Asphyxia Welders and cutters
2 126762236 Fatality Asphyxia Welders and cutters

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