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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 552430 - 1 Employee Killed, 2 Injured In Oxygen Deficient Tank Car

Accident: 552430 -- Report ID: 0627400 -- Event Date: 06/23/1995
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
11032559406/26/19954789Rescar, Incorporated
Employee #2 was assigned to inspect the interior of a new railroad tank car that had just arrived at the facility the night before. Employee #2 and his attendant followed the company's confined space program by getting a permit and oxygen/LEL meter. They put the meter on a broom stick and waved it around inside the tank, listening for an audible alarm. They then brought the meter out into the outside air and took the oxygen reading, which was 20.8 percent. Employee #2 then entered the tank car with no respiratory protection. He was unconscious within a minute. The attendant called over Employee #1, who also went in and passed out. Employee #3 tried to enter, but became dizzy and had to be helped out. The local fire department arrived with SCBAs and rescued Employees #1 and #2. Employee #1 died and Employees #2 and #3 were hospitalized. The company later learned that the car contained a nitrogen blanket to inert the atmosphere.
Keywords: oxygen deficiency, unconsciousness, confined space, railroad tank car, work rules, nitrogen, scba, dizziness
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 110325594 Non Hospitalized injury Asphyxia Heavy equipment mechanics
2 110325594 Fatality Asphyxia Heavy equipment mechanics
3 110325594 Non Hospitalized injury Asphyxia Heavy equipment mechanics

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