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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 571497 - Employees Asphyxiated Due To Oxygen Deficiency In Shaft

Accident: 571497 -- Report ID: 0524200 -- Event Date: 04/22/1985
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
220123404/23/19851623Kenny Construction Company
Two employees entered a 16-foot-diameter drop shaft under construction on the Deep Tunnel Project. They were asphyxiated from a lack of oxygen, which had been displaced by carbon dioxide overnight. The vertical shaft, only 20 feet deep at the time, had been covered at the end of the previous workday, creating a confined space. Carbon dioxide from an undetermined source accumulated in the hole, displacing the oxygen. The two employees entered the shaft in a cage and immediately developed breathing difficulties. One of two (Employee #1) fell out of the cage as it was being pulled from the shaft. Four other employees went down in the cage to rescue him and were overcome as well. All six employees were sent to the hospital. Employee #1 died approximately 1 hour later. No tests of the air quality in the shaft were performed before entry.
Keywords: oxygen deficiency, respiratory, tunnel, asphyxiated, ventilation, confined space, construction, carbon dioxide
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 2201234 Hospitalized injury Asphyxia Occupation not reported
2 2201234 Hospitalized injury Asphyxia Occupation not reported
3 2201234 Fatality Asphyxia Occupation not reported
4 2201234 Hospitalized injury Asphyxia Occupation not reported
5 2201234 Hospitalized injury Asphyxia Occupation not reported
6 2201234 Hospitalized injury Asphyxia Occupation not reported

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