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Wow. What can you say to that.

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OSHA and the NEC have rules and regulations regarding working in a "Confined Space."

Something like that could NEVER happen in the company I work for.


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What OSHA rule do you suspect he violated?


Arthur P. Bloom
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Possibly 1910.146 (b)

"Attendant" means an individual stationed outside one or more permit spaces who monitors the authorized entrants and who performs all attendant's duties assigned in the employer's permit space program.


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OSHA 3138-01R

...and common sense.

I wonder if the worker bothered to use a 'sniffer'?

I like the thought: "Work safe, go home safe", but I have been working in the 'Construction' part of this field lately and not the 'Service' part, definately different worlds. amen


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I wonder if OSHA considers a CEV (Controlled Environment Vault) to be covered by the same rules as a conventional manhole.


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Originally Posted by Arthur P. Bloom
I wonder if OSHA considers a CEV (Controlled Environment Vault) to be covered by the same rules as a conventional manhole.

Arthur-

I believe they do (or at least did). I took a safety course about 15 years ago (allowing me to work in Manholes) called "Confined Spaces" and it included all sorts of locations. I'm pretty sure that vaults ofthat type were included (cable vaults in COs were not).

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They do not. A Telephone vault, as the one at issue here, is a self contained, environmentally controlled and ventilated work space. If he used proper gas detection equipment, and determined the vault to be safe, the requirement for a second person is not necessary. Here in western PA, there is never a second person dispatched to help a service tech if a vault is involved. If it's a manhole, yes, there is a crew of three dispatched for that, but not for a vault.

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The perpetrator has quite an impressive resume, including a job where he obviously would have been exposed to the issues of utility worker safety.

"Gribouski described Cook, 71, as a 47-year resident of Westborough and an upstanding citizen with no criminal convictions. Cook has two grown children and four grandchildren. He is a former Little League coach and served as president of the local United Way and vice president of the Chamber of Commerce. He retired in 1993 as a vice president of New England Electric, now called National Grid."

His lawyer tried to spin the story, by asserting that OSHA should step in and prevent workers from having to work in dangerous environments such as the vault. One supposes that he means "dangerous" in the sense that mentally-ill neighbors can walk up and trap workers because they are having a bad lawn day.

The perpetrator is well-enough educated and experienced to understand the concept of "right-of-way" one would think.

Now the company (and all companies that use these vaults) will need to spend a few dollars to retrofit the hatch hardware so that the hatch cover can be locked open and require a key to release it.

Moral of the story: Keep your cell phone charged, because the order-wire 2554 in the CEV might not have a dial tone. Always carry your test set with you, even if you think you won't need it. Always police the area for mentally-ill codgers before descending.


Arthur P. Bloom
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