One question not answered was how they were "trapped." Rising water, or not actually trapped at all, just overcome? Five feet of water is pretty deep if they got into a pipe section rather than the manhole itself.The cause has not been determined. I'm thinking low oxygen.
Definitely not a good idea to go down when nobody else is there.Or could be sewer gas, even though it was a storm drain, raw sewage has been known to get in there. I put remote controls on an underground lift station, the sewer department had only one field employee, and he had to test the pumps daily. He did not like going down into the vault even though it was ventilated. Put the controls at the top of the manhole so he could hear the pumps run without going down in.
That would be a clear violation of any confined space entry procedure that I've ever heard of. Same with those three workers. They are supposed to be harnessed and hooked to a tripod with someone topside to haul them out in case of trouble.Definitely not a good idea to go down when nobody else is there.
I believe OSHA considers most of what is normally viewed as a manhole meeting the definition of a confined space. Especially when viewed from the point of limited egress. Other hazzards can normally be present in such circumstances that would require special precautions. So hope this comment postscript was lol."It's not a confined space, it's just a manhole....
Ahh, Geez. Some poor woman is burying her husband and her son? I cannot imagine the grief.A follow up report indicated that the workers died due to low oxygen levels and then subsequent drowning. In years past, before all the confined space requirements, I found myself in manholes and feeling very uncomfortable. This accident was approximately 40 miles from my home town and I had worked with the company before and a small project. I find it difficult to believe they did not follow safety protocol, but probably will never know. A father, son and coworker all died due to conditions that might have been preventable.
I suspect we will find eventually that no safety protocols that were followed at all. They just went in because they done it a hundred times before and nobody had ever died before so obviously it was safe. This is the kind of thinking that gets people killed on a regular basis.Isn't part of the PPE for entry to enclosed manhole, or pit like this is having a harness with cable and winch along with a top side person that if an incident was to occur rather than another person entering the space just winch the unresponsive person out, or if entry is the only way a seperate air source or air pack for the rescuer. It's a shame that 3 had to die for not following safety protocol.