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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 201103298 - Employee Dies From Asphyxiation After Falling Into Wine Tank

Accident: 201103298 -- Report ID: 0950624 -- Event Date: 09/25/2002
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
30081572709/25/20022084Canandaigua Wine Company
On September 25, 2002, Employee #1, a temporary employee of The Plus Group, was working as a tank turner in the wine fermenting tanks area at the Canandaigua Winery, located in Escalon, CA. There were 16 wine tanks in the area with dimensions of 17.5 feet by 17.5 feet by 13.5 feet, each with a 29,000-gallon capacity. Employee #1 had a casual conversation regarding work tasks with two coworkers. The coworkers were finishing their night shift work. Sometime between 7:56 a.m. and 7:58 a.m., the coworkers observed Employee #1 looking down into Wine Tank #263. The tank had been completely drained of its liquid product; had been purged with carbon dioxide and nitrogen; had approximately 3 feet of pulp mixture (seeds and grape skins) at the bottom of it; and, was scheduled to be sluiced and cleaned. At approximately 8:10 a.m., two other coworkers observed that the grating over Tank #263 was missing. They looked down inside the tank and saw Employee #1 unconscious at the bottom of the tank. Emergency services were called and Employee #1 was transported to Doctor's Medical Center in Modesto, CA, where he was pronounced dead. The cause of death was asphyxiation by atmospheric suffocation.
Keywords: unconsciousness, asphyxiated, work rules, grating, fall, tank
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 300815727 Fatality Asphyxia Mixing and blending machine operators

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