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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 202004503 - Two Employees Are Killed From Oxygen Deficiency

Accident: 202004503 -- Report ID: 0317000 -- Event Date: 07/09/2004
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
30701994307/09/20041623Rittenbaugh, Inc.
On July 09, 2004, Employee #1 and #2 died from asphyxiation when they entered a nine foot deep manhole. The manhole was part of a newly constructed sewer line, which still needed to be "air tested" before it could be put into active services. OSHA readings taken approximately three hours after the men were extracted were as low as 12.7. Readings taken in the manhole three days later indicated oxygen levels as low as 4. Employees entered the manhole without the benefit of any confined space procedure. Employee #1 and #2 died from asphyxiation.
Keywords: oxygen, sewer, 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 9 X
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation Construction
1 307019943 Fatality Asphyxia Construction trades, n.e.c. FallDist:
FallHt:
Cause: Trenching, installing pipe
FatCause: Asphyxiation/inhalation of toxic vapor
2 307019943 Fatality Asphyxia Construction trades, n.e.c. FallDist:
FallHt:
Cause: Trenching, installing pipe
FatCause: Asphyxiation/inhalation of toxic vapor

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