Diver Inspecting City Water Tank Dies; Second Inspector Hospitalized

ambulance with emergency lights on

According to CBS Boston, a 47-year-old man was killed while on the job after his equipment fails during an inspection of a city water tank in Braintree, Massachusetts, on Thursday.

Recovery of Body took 16 Hours

David Scott, 47, was performing an inspection inside of a 150-foot municipal water tank when tragedy struck. At around 10:00 a.m. local time, Scott reported an air supply issue to his spotter on top of the tank. As the crew waited for rescue personnel to arrive, the spotter jumped into the tank in an effort to save Scott.

However, due to the frigid weather conditions and the cold water, the spotter became trapped in the 45-degree water as well. According to CBS Boston, rescue crews were able to pull the spotter from the tank, who was numb and cold with little strength. The man was transported to the hospital and treated for injuries including hypothermia.

CBS Boston reports that crews were unable to save Scott, who passed away inside the tank. Crews decided to drain the one-million gallon tank to recover his body, an effort that took around 16 hours.

Scott, the spotter, and another crew member on the ground were part of T.K. Potable Diving of Texas, subcontractors hired by Pittsburg Tank & Tower Co., who the Town of Braintree have on retainer. CBS Boston reports that the latter organization had only one previous “serious” safety violation in the past 10 years.

Investigators from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) were on the scene. City officials say there is no threat to the municipal water supply as a result of the accident.

On the Job Accident Statistics

The following information is provided by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA):

  • 4,821 workers died on the job in 2014.
  • On average, more than 92 workers are killed every week, or 13 deaths per day.
  • Fatal work injuries involving contractors accounted for 17 percent of all fatal work injuries in 2014.
  • Worker deaths in America are down on average, from about 39 worker deaths per day in 1970 to 13 a day in 2014.

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