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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 201167228 - Laborer In Excavation Is Overcome By Exhaust From Compactor

Accident: 201167228 -- Report ID: 0950641 -- Event Date: 08/31/2005
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
12615164609/16/20051771J W Sutter Inc
On August 31, 2005, Employee #1 was working as a laborer for a general engineering company. The company had been contracted to construct a parking lot behind a strip mall in Los Angeles, CA. The construction of the parking lot involved a vertical cut of a hillside and the placement of a retaining wall. The vertical cuts were achieved by a slot cut method designed by an engineer. Employee #1 was assigned to prepare one of the slot cuts for backfilling at the completion of the construction of the retaining wall. He was working with a gas-powered compactor in the excavation (the space behind the retaining wall, in front of the vertical cut). As he was using the compactor to compact the soil, the compactor malfunctioned and started to buck and smoke. Employee #1 was being overcome by the smoke. He turned off the compactor and called for assistance. Coworkers lowered a ladder to him and helped him out of the excavation. Emergency medical services were called, and Employee #1 was taken to Sherman Oaks Hospital. He was evaluated, treated for smoke inhalation, and released on the same day. He was not hospitalized.
Keywords: excavation, lung, dirt tamper, exhaust fumes, retaining wall, smoke inhalation
End Use Proj Type Proj Cost Stories NonBldgHt Fatality
Other heavy construction New project or new addition $250,000 to $500,000 1
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation Construction
1 126151646 Non Hospitalized injury Other Construction laborers FallDist:
Cause: Backfilling and compacting
FatCause: Asphyxiation/inhalation of toxic vapor

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