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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 202463949 - Employee Experinces Heat Stroke While Cleaning Manholes

Accident: 202463949 -- Report ID: 0950643 -- Event Date: 07/22/2006
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
31019340408/03/20061623Kern Pacific Construction, Inc.
On Saturday, July 22, 2006, Employee #1 was working for Kern Pacific Construction, Inc., a firm engaged in water, sewer, pipeline, and communications and power line construction, in Bakersfield, CA. Employee #1 had been employed for only five months. He was a member of a crew of nine employees sent out to dig a trench and clean out manholes that were about four feet deep. The crew was split up; one of the employees was considered a foreman and another a subforeman. Three or four of the employees were related to the firm's owners. On the day of the incident, the victim was cleaning out manholes by hand. According to a coworker, he smelled of beer. The temperature at the time of the incident was 103 degrees Fahrenheit, with a relative humidity of 26 percent. Employee #1 experienced an illness related to heat stress. He was taken to Kern Medical Center, where he was diagnosed with heat stroke. He was hospitalized, and he was released from the hospital on July 24, 2006. The person in charge of the crew was related to the owner and was not trained on the symptoms of heat exhaustion. Although the employer provided evidence of training along with documentation, every employee interviewed indicated to the contrary. The only break employees were allowed was a lunch break. Employees brought their own water and were not trained in heat stress illness prior to the incident.
Keywords: heat, alcohol, cleaning, construction, trench, heat stroke, pipeline, heat exhaustion, manhole
End Use Proj Type Proj Cost Stories NonBldgHt Fatality
Pipeline New project or new addition $1,000,000 to $5,000,000
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation Construction
1 310193404 Hospitalized injury Heat Exhaustion Construction laborers FallDist:
Cause: Excavation
FatCause: Heat/hypothermia

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