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Worker Drowns in a Few Inches of Water

The death was preventable had the employer taken a few standard precautions.

On December 5, 2017, two workers were rushed to the hospital after they were found unresponsive in a train rail car. The employees had been clearing out hazardous material.

One worker, 35-year-old Jose Miguel Cisneros, died and another worker was critically injured.

The two men worked for EnviroTech Services, a chemical manufacturing company that makes road and surface products for deicing, anti-icing, dust control, soil stabilization, and erosion control.

Initial reports suggested that the employee had been subjected to hazardous materials, but according to the autopsy report, he died as result of a lack of oxygen while cleaning the inside of the car. According to the Greeley Tribune, Cisneros was found face down and drowned in a few inches of water at the bottom of the rail car.

Last week, OSHA cited EnviroTech for multiple safety violations, including failure to provide respiratory protection, to properly ventilate a small space, as well as a a lack of an emergency rescue plan. As a result, the company now faces $64,857 in fines.

In a statement, Herb Gibson, OSHA's Denver Area Office Director, said, β€œThis fatality could have been prevented if the employer had complied with confined space requirements and provided protective equipment."

According to OSHA, the chemical manufacturing company held an informal conference with the area director in an attempt to enter into an informal settlement agreement.

According to company spokesman Brian Cross, the other worker is believed to have made a full recovery. Cross told the Greenley Tribune back in February that the accident was a "huge deal" and that OSHA and EnviroTech both stand to benefit by understanding what happened to make sure it doesn't happen again.

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