energy Industrial safety case study


  • case study – confined space

    The Incident

    Two employees arrived at the concrete pit at a demolition site where they’d been working to salvage the bottom part of a cardboard baler embedded in the pit. When the employees uncovered the pit, they both felt a burning sensation in their eyes.Employee #1 climbed down into the pit to determine what might be causing their eyes to burn. He immediately climbed back out of the pit because it was hot. He decided to put a water hose into the pit to help cool it down.The employees climbed down into the pit with the water hose. Both employees experienced chest tightness, difficulty breathing, and burning eyes. They decided to exit the pit because of the intolerable conditions.Employee #2 climbed out first. As Employee #1 was climbing the ladder to get out, he was overcome by the fumes and fell back into the pit. He landed on his back, unconscious.Employee #2 climbed down into the pit in an attempt to rescue employee #1, but was unable to lift him. Employee #2 exited the pit in order to get help. Unfortunately, by the time help arrived, Employee #1 had died of asphyxiation.The accident investigation determined that employee #1 had attempted to extinguish a small cutting torch fire the day before by covering it with sand and dirt. Apparently, the fire was not extinguished and smoldered overnight, which resulted in a build up of carbon monoxide inside the pit.Answer the following questions:

    • What are the potential hazards of confined spaces?
    • What was the specific hazard in this case that cause a fatality?
    • Were these workers properly trained and equipped to enter a confined space?
    • What type of air monitoring should be done before entering a confined space?
    • Was this a permit-required confined space? If so, were the workers familiar with the safety requirements of the permit?
    • Was confined space rescue equipment readily accessible?

    Please provide well thought out answers to the questions. Document regulations to substantiate your research.

  • case study 2 – fall prevention

    Laborer Killed in Fall Through Roof

    A 40-year-old laborer/helper died when he fell through an opening in a warehouse roof. He fell approximately 27 feet to the floor below.

    The employer was demolishing the roof of the warehouse portion of a commercial building. Work was done at night because the coal tar on the roof would release hazardous gases if disturbed in the heat of the day. The site had adequate halogen lighting. None of the workers on the job were using fall protection.

    After the roofing material was removed, 4×8 foot sheets of plywood were exposed. Any damaged sheets needed to be replaced. The helper’s job was to follow the workers who were replacing the plywood and to pick up the damaged sheets of plywood they had removed. He disposed of them in a chute.

    On this evening, one worker had removed a sheet of damaged plywood but had run out of nails to attach the replacement plywood. He walked away to get more nails. The opening where the damaged plywood had been was left unguarded. The crew was not informed that it was temporarily unguarded. The opening was covered by silver-colored insulation inside the roof.

    The helper came along, picked up the sheet of damaged plywood, and headed for the chute. He stepped into the opening, ripped through the insulation, and fell.

    Answer the following questions:

    • What are the potential hazards of working at heights?
    • What was the specific hazard in this case that caused the fatality?
    • Were these workers adequately trained and equipped to work at heights?
    • What type of safety measures should have been put in place before work commenced?

    Please provide well thought out answers to the questions. Document regulations to substantiate your research.

  • case study 3 – lockout / tagout

    The Case

    Employee #1, an experienced worker, is cleaning a dough mixer with the lid open. An interlock on the mixer deactivates the mixer blades, so they are not operating. But the air-lock blades, through which scrap dough is returned to the mixer, are still operational and not deactivated by the interlock.Employee #1 is called away to do another job. He leaves the mixer with the lid up.Employee #2, who is new, enters the machinery area to learn more and to move up to a better job. He approaches the dough mixer and sees that the mixing blades are shut off. He approaches the mixer unaware that the air-lock scrap dough return blades are still on.While standing in front of the mixer, Employee #2 puts his hand into the air-lock to clear or clean it. His fingers strike against the moving air-lock blades. He suffers a partial amputation of the middle, ring, and little fingers on his right hand.Answer the following questions:

    • Do you think injured Employee #2 was properly trained to clean the mixer?
    • Should Employee #2 have reached into the mixer?
    • What kind of training should new or transferred employees receive?
    • Do you think Employee #1, who walked away from the mixer, is partly to blame for this accident?

    Please provide well thought out answers to the questions. Document regulations to substantiate your research.

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