The Village of Tarrytown, New York has been cited by state OSHA over a confined space rescue incident that took the lives of two employees, including one firefighter. The incident is eerily reminiscent of another recent incident from Indiana where the Liberty Township Fire Department was cited by the Indiana Department of Labor in September for an incident last May.
On September 6, 2010, Tarrytown public works foreman Anthony Ruggiero was attempting to clear a clogged sewer line near a fire station when he entered the sewer and collapsed. Firefighter John Kelly was nearby and without donning SCBA or waiting for air monitoring equipment entered the sewer to rescue Ruggiero. He immediately collapsed.
When air monitoring equipment arrived at the scene, it indicated that the oxygen level in the sewer was between 11-14%. By the time the two men were retrieved, both had died.
The citation was issued by the New York State Department of Labor, Public Employee Safety and Health Division. It addressed both the public works department and the fire department, focusing on the lack of a confined space training program (29 CFR 1910.146(c)(4))and the lack of a written respiratory protection program (29 CFR 1910.134(c)(1)). Three citations, one willful and two serious, were issued, and must be corrected by February 22, 2011.
Here is a copy of the actual OSHA citation. Download TarrytownNYConfinedSpaceRescue.