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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 200970036 - Employee Drowns When Excavator Falls Into Roadside Pond

Accident: 200970036 -- Report ID: 1032700 -- Event Date: 01/27/1999
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
30069776001/29/19991629Bureau Of Land Management
Employee #1 was using an excavator to remove quantities of debris blocking the mouth of a culvert under a logging road. Heavy rains had caused a 20 ft deep by 40 ft wide by 60 ft long body of water to form next to the road and to flow over it. As he removed debris from the bottom of the pool of water, the side of the road on which the excavator was located was gouged away. This undermined the surface on which the excavator was situated, but since the water was muddy and as high as the surface of the road, Employee #1 did not notice this. When the excavator arm was extended and caused the machine's center of gravity to shift beyond the road surface, the excavator fell into the water. It landed on the door of the operator's cab, trapping Employee #1 inside. He died as a result of drowning. Employee #1 had never been involved in removing material from such a large project, and he was unfamiliar with the slope of the shoulder at the side of the road.
Keywords: equipment operator, construction, earthmoving equip, clogged, inexperience, excavator, unstable soil, drown, unstable position, water
End Use Proj Type Proj Cost Stories NonBldgHt Fatality
Highway, road, street Maintenance or repair Under $50,000 X
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation Construction
1 300697760 Fatality Asphyxia Occupation not reported FallDist:
FallHt:
Cause: Installing culverts and incidental drainage
FatCause: Crushed/run-over/trapped of operator by operating

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