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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 201035672 - Fall Into Manhole Kills Employee

Accident: 201035672 -- Report ID: 0950635 -- Event Date: 11/22/2003
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
30547466011/24/20035031Westside Building Material Corp
At approximately 9:30 a.m. on November 22, 2003, Employee #1, a truck driver, was working as a construction site helper and had fallen down a manhole at a construction site. The construction companies at the site were building two 18-story residential condominiums. On the day of the accident, the building material supply company was delivering drywall to the site and distributing it throughout the east building as directed by the drywall contractor. The building material supply company had parked their trucks while forklift drivers unloaded the trucks. Employee #1's assignment was to act as traffic director for any pedestrians walking along the walkway that the forklifts had to cross. The manhole was approximately 18 ft south of the south curbing of an intersection and approximately 16 ft east of the road's centerline. There were no witnesses to the accident, but, at the time of the accident, Employee #1 had apparently decided to either police his area or wanted a piece of plywood to smooth out ruts in the dirt pathway. Employee #1 had told two coworkers that he wanted to clean up and level the area around the site gate entrance. One coworker stated there were some muddy areas around the gate. A piece of unmarked plywood was covering a 30-ft deep surface drainage manhole opening. Employee #1 apparently picked up the plywood as he walked forward and walked into the 36-in. manhole opening. The plywood fell back down, covering all but 4-in. to 6 in. of the manhole opening. Employee #1 was able to use his cell phone at the bottom of the manhole to summon the fire department. Rescuers had a difficult time locating Employee #1 because the plywood was obscuring the hole and the fact that the general contractor's personnel did not remember the manhole. Employee #1 was rescued from the manhole but subsequently died of internal injuries.
Keywords: delivery work, construction, traffic control, fall, manhole, truck driver
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 305474660 Fatality Other Helpers, construction trades

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