Municipal workers dead after inhaling gas

2012-11-06 16:29

Johannesburg - Five people were killed on Tuesday after inhaling gas at a waste water purification plant in Kimberley, in the Northern Cape, paramedics said.

ER24 spokesperson Andre Visser said five workers went into a sewerage tank for maintenance and inhaled the gas, rendering them unconscious.

"The bodies have been recovered."

  • SlipKnoT - 2012-11-06 16:37

    im sorry for this tragedy,risk asessments should of been done before they entered and made safe for them.

      susanna.smit.7 - 2012-11-06 21:28

      I hope their families will be provided for by government and I am very sad for their loss.

      francois.smith.7 - 2012-11-07 07:04

      Who holds the GCC for the town? Was he or she arrested yet?

      raymond.romans.5 - 2012-11-07 09:16

      Entry to confined spaces is always a dangerous affair. I would have to say that procedures were probably not followed. R.I.P.

  • gxarha.vambane.3 - 2012-11-06 16:43

    Editor what was the "gas" and whose on the wrong side of the law

      earle.francis.9 - 2012-11-06 20:44

      Gxarha, it would have been the very deadly methane gas, generally caused by rotting vegetation in an enclosed space. The employees should have been aware of such danger because of the work they do. However, it will be difficult to apportion blame. It is a tragedy!

      diaan.robbertse - 2012-11-07 00:14

      The gas is methane , carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide . the place should have been ventelated and the workers should have been trained with gas detectors eg drager - like in the mines --AA and bad training caused their death

  • malcolm.molver - 2012-11-06 16:49

    Anybody heard of PPE and breathing apparatus? RIP and condolences to their families! This tragedy could easily have been avoided had the necessary risk assessments been done.

  • snot.gurgle.3 - 2012-11-06 17:01

    Poor training. Never go inside a tank, any tank, unless you know what you are doing. The management is responsible. Condolences to the surviving famalies.

  • gary.desousa.7 - 2012-11-06 17:13

    Very sad, our thoughts are with the families. Were the correct procedures followed I wonder.

  • punungwe - 2012-11-06 17:33

    The management at the plant should have been fired or resigned by now, for gross negligence as regards safety standards. Possibly someone someone should even be tried for murder. They do it in power transmission. In some countries if a line manager asks workers to work on a live high voltage line and someone is electrocuted, he is tried for murder.

      mike.mcc.71 - 2012-11-06 18:43

      Under the OSHA laws any person has the right to refuse to work in an unsafe manner. The only time the employer is likely to be found liable is if the workers had never received the correct training, did not have the correct equipment available or didn't have a proper procedure for this type of work. If all of these were in place and the workers disregarded them then the employer is not to blame, either way it's a tragic and unnecessary loss of lives.

      clive.kihn - 2012-11-06 20:09

      Mike is right, punungwe. While the managers might be to blame this time - and this is still to be established - anyone who has worked in mines and factories will tell you that you can train and retrain workers in safety procedures until you are blue in the face, but there are always some who take short cuts on the premise that "it won't happen to me". And then it eventually does.

  • sicelo.brukwe.9 - 2012-11-06 17:37

    My condolences goes to the families of our late colleagues. Going back to the safety side of it:\r\n*how often does their department hold staff meetings.\r\n*how often does their foremen or supervisors raise the importance of PPE on their co-workers.\r\n*is the any work skills plan amongst the staff.\r\n*we also need to visit the creteria they use when they employ staff.\r\nWell mr auditor here's your field so play for us.

  • Tshwarelo Guffy Soato - 2012-11-06 17:43

    malungisa. why would you blame Zuma for that? what if this was just a trap for those poor workers?how many ppl were killed intentionally during apartheid? ungabe'selima mfe2, OSEKE WA NYELA ZUMA KA everything that's wrong here, oya ka mora makgowa, ostlaela!!

  • sicelo.brukwe.9 - 2012-11-06 17:56

    Malungisa is just another farm boy who seeks attention because here we are talking about the employer and his late workers.

  • sicelo.brukwe.9 - 2012-11-06 18:17

    Malungisa is just another farm boy who is looking for attention from the members of the public!

  • mzuvukile.maswana - 2012-11-06 18:21

    These are very tragic indeed. Too many issues could be at play here from management negligence to employee negligence. Let there be investigation before we have our theories. In the mean time may the soul of this workers be at peace and may their families have necessary closure on such accident. Their Union affiliates need to be involved in the investigations of this accident.

  • mosima.mphela - 2012-11-06 18:57

    Mini Risk Assessment must have been done before the municipal employees go to work in that tank. They worked in a Confined Space and from what I know is before working in a Confined Space, Gas test must be done to find which gases r in there. Employer must have provided proper training to avoid these kind of situation. My condolensces to their families. Safety comes first and it has to be treated as such. Very sad to see people lossing their lives like that.

      andre.ungerer1 - 2012-11-06 19:47

      It seems everyone is experts in this field! Investigation then findings and THEN the point of fingers. Theories of what happened are just that - theories. It is easy to blame if you don't have the slightest clue what happened. Also - stupidity causes accidents.

  • Jaco Grobler - 2012-11-06 20:43

    Bad, very bad. Condolances to the families. This certainly could have been prevented. Gas analizing prior to entry, proper ventilation, one person inside and one watchman on top/at manhole. Proper Risk asessment and management. Likely to be methane, colourless, odourless and deadly, heavier than oxygen so always more dangerous at bottom of vessel/tank/reservior. If there is a methane leak it displaces oxygen from the bottom upwards. You don't even realize you are suffocating before it is too late. Had this happen anywhere in the pivate sector, operations would have been shut down by Government untill fully investigated and resolved, wonder what is going to happen here.

  • luytster - 2012-11-06 20:57

    Eish, The African way. Never heard of white mans way of entering a confined space.

  • francois.lombard.90 - 2012-11-07 07:43

    Its Kimberley Municipality. They cant even supply us a steady uninterrupted water supply, their is no way they would supply their workers with proper PPE including gas masks.

  • - 2012-11-07 07:47

    apparently there was a gas testing unit permanently installed and it was out of order.

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