Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Fatal Flaw

Contributed by Eric Tofte, Director of Training, Evergreen Safety Council

I know that there is a good deal of confined spaces out there and some companies train and equip, and some do not. Not having trained people can be a fatal flaw.

Recently, the US Chemical Safety Board issued a final report and video of a confined space fatality where 5 were killed and 3 others injured. This happen on October 2, 2007 when a fire erupted 1,000 feet underground in a tunnel at Xcel Energy Company's hydroelectric power plant in Georgetown, Colorado, located approximately 45 miles west of Denver.

The fatally injured workers were trapped deep underground during an operation to coat the inside of the tunnel with epoxy using highly flammable solvents. The tunnel is several thousand feet long and connects two reservoirs with electricity-generating turbines.

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