Kern County Builders' Exchange News

Date ArticleType
10/6/2016 Safety
2 Workers Lose Consciousness in Confined Space: $73K fine issued by CAL/OSHA


 2 Workers Lose Consciousness in Confined Space: $73K fine issued by CAL/OSHA

August 30, 2016

After one worker collapsed inside a confined space, a second one rushed in and also lost consciousness. Now the company faces $73,105 in fines. 

Cal/OSHA has cited Kittyhawk Inc., based in Garden Grove, CA, with nine violations (6 serious, 3 general).

On March 13, 2016, a supervisor sent an untrained production assistant into a pressure vessel furnace to perform maintenance. The assistant didn’t have an oxygen sensor. The space was only four-feet wide and eight-feet tall and was filled with argon gas.

When the worker was overcome by the argon gas and collapsed, a second worker went in after him and also lost consciousness.

A third employee took a nearby fan and blew fresh air into the confined space.

The first worker spent four days in a hospital. The second worker was taken to a hospital, treated and released.

Cal/OSHA cited Kittyhawk for failure to:

  • identify permit-required confined spaces
  • train employees to safely perform their work in confined spaces
  • monitor atmospheric conditions in a confined space during maintenance, and
  • develop effective rescue and emergency procedures when employees are endangered in confined spaces.

Kittyhawk is a metal processing company.

Cal/OSHA defines a permit-required confined space as one that has limited entry and exit openings, isn’t designed for continuous worker occupancy, and has one or more of the following characteristics:

  • a hazardous or potentially hazardous atmosphere including too little or too much oxygen, and/or presence of toxic gases
  • a material that can engulf an employee, such as grain, sand or sugar
  • an internal layout (such as floors that slope downwards) that can trap or asphyxiate a worker, or
  • any other serious safety or health hazard, such as machinery with moving parts, sources of electrical shocks, burning or drowning hazards.

 If you would like help on any of the topics that we present, please feel free to contact us at:

(661) 587-8633 or stop by our retail location at 3510 Allen Rd #102, Bakersfield, CA 93314. 

Helping you stay safe on the job, today and tomorrow!