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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 201153764 - Employees Asphyxiated While Working In Manhole

Accident: 201153764 -- Report ID: 0950633 -- Event Date: 05/22/2000
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
11994752105/22/20001731Cadri Company, Inc
Two employees of an electrical contractor were working in a 7.9-meter-deep sump manhole at a water desalination facility site under construction. An employee of a general contractor found the employees unconscious at the bottom of the manhole. An outside rescue service from a local fire department responded and found the atmosphere in the manhole to contain 8 percent oxygen at the bottom of the sump. The two employees died of hypoxic asphyxia. Postaccident evaluations found oxygen levels as low as 2 percent and elevated levels of nitrogen and carbon dioxide. The sump was found to be in contact with warm, moist soil through a series of interconnected perforated pipes designed to drain excess groundwater. It was suspected that biological activity in the surrounding soil consumed the available oxygen and generated excess levels of nitrogen and carbon dioxide.
Keywords: oxygen deficiency, unconsciousness, asphyxiated, confined space, manhole
End Use Proj Type Proj Cost Stories NonBldgHt Fatality
Sewer/water treatment plant New project or new addition $5,000,000 to $20,000,000 26 X
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation Construction
1 119947521 Fatality Asphyxia Electricians FallDist:
FallHt:
Cause: Installing underground plumbing conduit
FatCause: Asphyxiation/inhalation of toxic vapor
2 119947521 Fatality Asphyxia Supervisors; electricians & power transm. install. FallDist:
FallHt:
Cause: Installing underground plumbing conduit
FatCause: Asphyxiation/inhalation of toxic vapor

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