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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 100933.015 - Two Employees Sustain Burns In Sulfuric Acid Exposure

Accident: 100933.015 -- Report ID: 0950647 -- Event Date: 06/27/2017
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
1247278.01507/18/2017Patriot Environmental Services, Inc.
At 12:00 p.m. on June 27, 2017, Employee #1, a technician, was assigned to assist in transferring 93% sulfuric acid that had leaked from its containment area to a designated poly tote. Employee #1 was wearing nitrile gloves (Liberty Glove; 78713), protective footwear (Onguard Industries; 171896), 3M full face respirator with acid gas cartridges (6003/07047), and protective coveralls (2W International; 8035-CL). Kappler ChemTape was used to seal the sleeves and legs of his coveralls, as well as gloves and boots. Tape was also placed on the top of his full face respirator and the coverall hood. The sides and bottom of the coverall hood, however, were not sealed. The containment area consisted of a four foot walls that surrounded the tank and pipe that had experienced the leak. A supervisor and a coworker were assisting in the transfer of the leaked acid. After setting up an acid pump and hoses to transfer the acid from the containment to the several large poly totes, the coworker stood at the edge of the containment wall and held the inlet hose to pump the acid out of the containment area, while the supervisor initiated the pump. After only about a quarter to the tank was full, the pump stopped working. The coworker continued to hold the outlet hose that was slightly inside the tote as the supervisor repeatedly started and stopped the pump several times to troubleshoot the issue. When this did not work, the supervisor, who was wearing nitrile gloves, protective boots and full face respirator, but no protective coveralls, reopened and closed the air valve on the pump. As the valve was opened about a quarter of an inch of a turn, the pump surged product to the outlet hose. The force of the surge caused the unsecured outlet hose to kick back and bounce out of the tote. Sulfuric acid sprayed uncontrollably over the job location, contacting Employee #1 and his supervisor. Acid leaked through the open sides of the protective hood that Employee #1 was wearing, which caused him to panic and remove his respirator mask. The coworker guided Employee #1 to a emergency shower. The supervisor was able to shut down the pump; however, was still sprayed with the acid. He then accessed a second shower station. Emergency services was contacted immediately and, upon arrival, transported Employee #1 and the supervisor to a nearby hospital. Both Employee #1 and the supervisor were admitted and received treatment for chemical burns sustained. Specifically, Employee #1 sustained second and third degree burns to his face. The supervisor suffered small acid splash burn marks to his left neck, shoulder, head, and arms.
Keywords: ppe, unsecured, chemical, chemical burn, neck, hose, head, glove, face, burn, arm, sulfuric acid, respirator, struck by, shoulder
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 1247278.015 43 M Hospitalized injury Burn(Chemical) Laborers, except construction

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