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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 825877 - Employee Inhaled Oxides Of Nitrogen

Accident: 825877 -- Report ID: 0352450 -- Event Date: 08/15/1986
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
285492508/15/19862099Mccormick-Stange Flavor Division

THE RIBBON BLENDER OPERATORS MIXED, FOR FIRST TIME, A DOUBLE BATCH OF HAM CURING PRODUCT. THE BATCH CONSISTED OF ABOUT 3400 POUNDS OF SALT, SUGAR, SODIUM NITRITE, SODIUM NITRATE, PROPYLENE GLYCOL AND CARAMEL COLORING. THE RIBBON BLENDER'S TOTAL CAPACITY WAS ABOUT 5000 POUNDS. 15 MINUTES INTO THE BLENDING PROCESS, EMISSIONS BEGAN TO EMANATE FROM THE BLENDER. THE BLENDER OPERATORS EXPERIENCES EYE IRRITATION AND HEADACHES. EMPLOYEE #1 WAS CALLED TO THE DRY BLENDING AREA TO INVESTIGATE. IN LESS THAN A MINUTE, HE LEFT THE ROOM, ENTERED THE PRODUCTION OFFICE AND TELEPHONED THE SECRETARY TO ORDER THE BUILDING EVACUATED. EMPLOYEE #1'S SYMPTOMS WERE TIREDNESS AND LIGHT HEADEDNESS, AND, ACCORDING TO THE SECRETARY, HE WAS BREATHING DEEPLY BETWEEN EACH WORD. SHORTLY AFTER REPLACING THE PHONE, HE LAPSED INTO UNCONSCIOUSNESS. HE WAS GIVEN OXYGEN BY TWO OTHER EMPLOYEES, THEN CARRIED OUTSIDE. HE WAS TRANSPORTED TO THE HOSPITAL AND RELEASED THE SAME DAY. 31 OTHER EMPLOYEES WERE ALSO SENT TO THE HOSPITAL WITH SYMPTOMS OF LIGHTHEADEDNESS. HEADACHE, EYE IRRITATION, DIZZINESS, CHEST TIGHTNESS, WEAKNESS, SHORTNESS OF BREATH AND RED EYES. TWO EMPLOYEES LATER ENTERED THE AREA TO GET A SAMPLE OF THE PRODUCT. ONE USED A SCBA FROM THE FIRE DEPARTMENT AND THE OTHER USED A HALF-FACE OV/ACID GAS RESPIRATOR. THE GAS EMTTING PRODUCT WAS BAGGED AND DRUMMED. AN ANALYSIS OF THE GAS IN THE HEADSPACE OF THE DRUMMED PRODUCT SHOWED OXIDES OF NITROGEN TO BE PRESENT. IT IS NOT KNOWN WHY THIS REACTION OCCURRED, BUT IT APPEARS THAT THE DOUBLING OF THE NORMAL BATCH SIZE WAS A SIGNIFICANT FACTOR.

Keywords: eye, respiratory, unconsciousness, headache, inhalation, chemical reaction, dizziness, nitrous oxide, toxic fumes

Employee Details
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 2854925 Hospitalized injury Other Supervisors, production occupations

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