• John Larrimer

How Can Workers Avoid Fatal Workplace Accidents Involving Confined Spaces?

A northwestern Ohio man was involved in a fatal workplace accident while servicing a septic tank. Investigators claimed the man died after crawling into the septic tank to work on it. At some point during the incident, another plumber unsuccessfully tried to extract the man. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has initiated an investigation into the fatal work accident.

Accidents involving confined spaces are not uncommon, and OSHA has regulations in place that can help protect workers. OSHA refers to enclosed spaces as “permit-required confined spaces”. Permit-required confined spaces can sometimes have hazardous atmospheres, unguarded machines, and materials that can engulf an entrant.

How Does OSHA Protect Workers From Fatal Workplace Accidents In Confined Spaces?

To avoid fatal workplace accidents, OSHA requires workers to meet several conditions before entering confined spaces:

  1. Workers are required to have proper training and permits to enter confined spaces.

  2. Employers should use air ventilation systems, lighting gear and communications equipment to reduce the risk of fatal workplace accidents.

  3. OSHA requires employers to have at least one other trained employee stationed outside of confined workspaces being used by workers.

  4. Conditions must also be acceptable before workers can enter confined spaces.

  5. Employers are required by OSHA to use air ventilation to clear hazardous atmospheres before workers can enter confined spaces. Septic tanks are a good example of hazardous atmospheres. In addition to exposure to hazardous fumes and materials, workers can also face dangers due to excessive heat.

Families of workers who have lost loved ones to fatal workplace accidents involving confined spaces may be able receive workers’ compensation benefits in the state of Ohio.

Learn more about the importance of safety regulations by exploring our website.

Larrimer & Larrimer, LLCColumbus Workers’ Comp Attorneys


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