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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 201076809 - Crop Irrigation Worker Is Found Dead

Accident: 201076809 -- Report ID: 0950632 -- Event Date: 06/03/2011
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
31534053906/06/20110161Desert Sky Farms
Sometime before 6:00 a.m. on June 3, 2011, an employee was working as an irrigator at Desert Sky Farms in Brawley, CA. He was working a 24-hour shift to water two fields, beginning at 6:00 a.m. on June 2, 2011, and working alone overnight, as was the usual practice for irrigators. The employee's supervisor arrived at approximately 6:00 a.m. on June 3, 2011, to check in with the employee as his 24-hour shift was ending. The supervisor found the employee's car on the road near the second check gate of the field Osage 9 West, but he could not find the employee. The supervisor noticed that the check gate to the second section of the irrigation canal was not fully open and that section of the canal had only about 18 inches of standing water in it. Observing that the amount of water and the flow rate of the water in that section of the canal were not enough to water the field adequately, the supervisor opened the check gate more to allow the water to flow into the canal. As the water flowed into the canal, he noticed the employee's shirt rising to the surface of the water in the canal, approximately 100 feet downstream from the check gate. The employee was face down in the water and had been dead for several hours when the supervisor found him. There was no blood at the scene and no other clues indicating how or why the employee got into the canal. The coroner's report indicated that the official cause of death was drowning, with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy as a contributing factor.
Keywords: cardiovasc system, unconsciousness, agriculture, cardiovasc disease, drown, irrigation equipment
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 315340539 Fatality Other Farm workers

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