~  Just think of it as a "growth opportunity"  ~
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
The city of El Segundo has been doing some sewer work of late. On my way to work today, i happen to pass just such a job. What it entails, is a white city van pulled over next to a manhole. They then proceed to fence off the manhole, for safety, of course. One guy stands on the street, while another works below. Now because it's a sewer, all sorts of noxious fumes get trapped down there. To alleviate this problem, they use a flexible yellow tube (about the diameter of a soccer ball) with a fan mechanism on the end. The fan blows fresh air from above into the sewer below. A good idea.
Now here's the kicker. The fan is electric, and needs an AC outlet. The city is nice enough to provide one on the side of the van for just this purpose. So far, so good. In order for this outlet to function, the van needs to be running. The outlet is located at about waist level, at the rear of the van, right above the exhaust pipe. And, of course, the power cord for the fan is... wait for it.... about 4 feet long.
So walking by the van today, there was probably about one foot from the active exhaust pipe to ventilation fan intake.
Tomorrows headline? "City worker dies from Carbon Monoxide poisoning."

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