Confined spaces – serial killer

Confined spaces have been likened to a serial killer. Year after year, people die when entering confined spaces to carry out work. In some cases, multiple fatalities occur when would-be rescuers enter the space and become victims themselves.

Consider these cases in New Zealand:

  • A man was killed when he was engulfed in a silo containing sand.
  • Two men were hospitalized after inhaling hydrogen sulphide. One man was cleaning inside a tank that previously stored a substance for cultivating mushrooms. When he lost consciousness, the second man climbed in to rescue him before also losing consciousness.
  • Three men died from lack of oxygen inside a sewer.
  • A man drowned in slurry after being suffocated by fermentation fumes in a tank used to mash pig feed.
  • A winemaker inspecting a vat was suffocated by fumes from fermenting wine.
  • A man steam cleaning the inside of a fuel tank died from lack of oxygen.

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