February Safety Moment: Asphyxiation Hazards in Confined Spaces
This CSB Case Study (No. 2006-02-I-DE; November 2006) describes the Valero Delaware City refinery asphyxiation death of two contractor employees who were preparing to reassemble a pipe on a pressure vessel while it was being purged with nitrogen. The first worker, in an attempt to retrieve a roll of tape from inside the vessel, was overcome by nitrogen, collapsed in the vessel, and died. His co-worker, the crew foreman, was asphyxiated while attempting to rescue him. The CSB issues this Case Study to reemphasize nitrogen hazard awareness and safe work practices when working in or adjacent to confined spaces.