A repairman was rescued after passing out in a 14-foot deep septic pump chamber last Thursday, September 29, in West Bridgewater. The work-related accident happened just outside of a West Bridgewater car repair shop, where the repairman was fixing a broken valve. Although the sequence of events was at first confusing, officials confirmed that Williamson Electric Motor Service employee, Gus Futyma, 51, was repairing the broken valve in the septic pump chamber when he lost consciousness and became trapped. His co-worker, who is also his brother-in-law, said that he had been in the well for approximately ten minutes before complaining that he was having difficulty breathing. He then noticed that Futyma had fainted and immediately called for help.
Futyma was extracted from the hole by emergency medical personnel and was taken to a Brockton hospital, where he spent the night in intensive care. Although he was wearing a full harness that was tethered to a winch, the rescue crew had difficulty hoisting him up and had to cut a pipe to get Futyma out of the hole. West Bridgewater Fire Chief Leonard Hunt said, “Tried to pull him up…but he was a pretty heavy guy…He was unconscious at that point.” Police performed CPR on Futyma until an ambulance arrived.
Bob Tilden, Futyma´s boss and owner of the company, said that his employees continuously train for this type of an emergency. He said, “We never wanted it to happen but we train for it.” The question of why Futyma lost consciousness remains a mystery. Tilden said, “You’re in a confined space. You have no idea what’s down there.” Although Futyma was complaining that he was having difficulty breathing before he passed out and the lack of oxygen is one reason for loss of consciousness, the case continues to be investigated by authorities.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is also investigating the accident to determine exactly how the accident had occurred and whether or not workplace safety standards were violated. OSHA inspections must be completed within 180 days, involve an onsite inspection, interviews of persons involved, review of records, and any necessary testing.
If you or your loved one has been injured in the workplace, it is advised that you contact an experienced Massachusetts workers’ compensation lawyer.
Repairman OK After Fainting 14 Feet Underground, TheBostonChannel.com, September 30, 2011
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