NIOSH 2007 Jun; :1-5
Early in the summer of 2005 a 67-year-old, self-employed handyman died upside down, head first in a water service manhole. His shoulders and head pressed against the sand at the bottom of the manhole pit. He had been called to fix a water leak in an adjacent rental house. The on/off valve for the public water supply to this house was in this pit or vault, 1.7 m (5.5 ft) below the manhole cover. Tools to operate the valve were stored reachable from above ground level inside the manhole vault. He worked alone, his death was not witnessed, and his body was not immediately discovered. First responders found no abnormal oxygen levels, combustibles, or toxic air contaminants in the manhole vault at the time of the rescue. The victim was extricated and transported. It was determined that his death resulted from positional asphyxia. RECOMMENDATIONS: 1. Identify property and workplace hazards such as confined spaces. 2. Eliminate or reduce confined space hazards and associated risks. 3. Develop and implement a comprehensive and effective confined spaces program. 4. Establish and enforce a contractor safety program.
Region-7; Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Work-operations; Work-analysis; Work-areas; Work-performance; Work-practices; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-measures; Safety-monitoring; Protective-measures; Confined-spaces; Toxic-gases; Plumbers; Plumbing; Safety-programs
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Iowa Department of Public Health