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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 201792520 - Employee Suffers Asphyxia Due To Fume Inhalation

Accident: 201792520 -- Report ID: 0950644 -- Event Date: 08/04/1999
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
12607888008/04/19991711E & R Construction
At about 10:30 a.m. on August 4, 1999, Employee #1 went into a sewer main to drill a 10-in.-diameter hole to install a new 8-in.-diameter sewer line for housing tracts being constructed. The sewer manhole which had an opening 2 ft in diameter, was 4 ft wide and approximately 8 ft deep. Inside the manhole Employee #1 noticed a sewage odor and water running about 5 in. deep. After drilling for a while with a chipping gun connected to a compressor up on the street, Employee #1 had difficulty moving his legs and arms, had difficulty breathing, chest tightness and could hardly see anything but black spots before his eyes. Employee #1 climbed up the ladder about two steps but could not go up any further because he was feeling weak. Employee #1 called for help. Coworkers heard the calls for help and saw Employee #1 in trouble. The coworkers pulled Employee #1 out of the manhole and put him on oxygen. Emergency services were summoned, and Employee #1 was taken to the hospital. Employee #1 was treated for carbon monoxide intoxication (Employee #1's carboxy-hemoglobin level was 23) and was released from the hospital the following day.
Keywords: sewer, asphyxiated, confined space, ladder, construction, inhalation, manhole, carbon monoxide
End Use Proj Type Proj Cost Stories NonBldgHt Fatality
Sewer/water treatment plant New project or new addition Under $50,000
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation Construction
1 126078880 Hospitalized injury Asphyxia Construction laborers FallDist:
Cause: Trenching, installing pipe
FatCause: Asphyxiation/inhalation of toxic vapor

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