Worker Death At Fukushima Daiichi Completely Preventable

worker_death_diagramTEPCO released an interim report into the recent construction worker’s death at the plant. The report showed that the worker had been working in a small cave like area while jackhammering concrete overhead. This was under the overhang of the building foundation. This scenario would have been considered inappropriate under the worker safety rules in most developed countries.

The hole dug for access to this area of the foundation was held back with plywood and steel conduit poles. A steel excavation wall set is the norm most places. It appeared there also was no soil bracing under the building where the worker was conducting the work.

Former Fukushima Daiichi workers Happy & Sunny both expressed frustration with the long time it took between the incident and getting the worker to the emergency room of the nearest hospital in Iwaki. There is still only ground based ambulance service to the plant. This can take 40 minutes to an hour to bring someone from the plant to the hospital. The workers urged the need for a helicopter ambulance to connect the plant to the hospital. Considering the dangerous nature of the work at the plant and multiple worker deaths including one with heat stroke and another with a heart attack, time is a factor. It took almost an hour between the incident and an ambulance arriving.

TEPCO’s time accounting for the most recent incident at the plant:

[3 / 28]
7:45 made before meeting
10:00 started
12:55 lunch and rest then work resumes
14:20 disaster ( since the rescue of victims and emergency room (ER) to the conveyance-survey conducted )
14:31 Fukushima Daiichi headquarters contact
14:45 Futaba Police Department to contact
14:57 Fukushima first into degraded areas management facility emergency room (ER) entry
15:02 ambulance requested
15:15 ambulance Fukushima first into degraded areas management facility arrival
15:26 departure for Iwaki municipal hospital in ambulance
17:22 deaths confirmed by the Iwaki municipal hospital doctors

 

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