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Accident Report Detail

Accident: 201495637 - Two Employees Are Overcome By Fumes; One Dies

Accident: 201495637 -- Report ID: 0950625 -- Event Date: 10/12/2011
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
31507264510/12/20110761A & B Harvesting
At approximately 1:30 p.m. on October 12, 2011, Employee #1 and #2, farm workers, and a coworker were cleaning the storm drain system in preparation for the winter rains. Due to the amount of debris at the bottom of the 10-ft drain shaft, the water had backed up. They were told to use a 3-inch pressure hose from the water truck to force the debris down the system to a drainage pond. Employee #1 sat on the edge of the 24-inch concrete pipe shaft and tried to break up the clog. It was hard to handle the hose, so the coworkers picked up half of an extension ladder that was leaning against a fence and put it inside the shaft, so that he could brace his feet against the rungs. Employee #2 saw Employee #1 standing on the ladder in the hole, at about shoulder level, with his head above grade. He said that he didn't feel well and was getting sleepy. He then descended the ladder, to the bottom of the hole. It is unclear if he stepped down the ladder or if he was losing consciousness and slid down. Employee #2, who was standing outside of the hole, saw what had happened and attempted to go into the hole to rescue Employee #1. The coworker tried to prevent Employee #2 from going into the hole but could not. Employee #2 was also overcome and collapsed to the bottom of the shaft. Emergency medical services were called. When emergency response teams arrived, they did a direct reading of the shaft and the instrument topped out at 200 ppm of hydrogen sulfide. Employee #1 and #2 were transported to Kern Medical Center, where Employee #1 was pronounced dead, and Employee #2 was put on life support. Possible duplicate of below--201495637/201495645.
Keywords: lung, asphyxiated, agriculture, drain pipe, hydrogen sulfide, inhalation, clogged, chemical vapor, toxic fumes, overexposure
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 315072645 Fatality Asphyxia Farm workers

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