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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 126160.015 - Employee Dies After Falling Into Industrial Paint Remover

Accident: 126160.015 -- Report ID: 0352460 -- Event Date: 05/12/2020
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
1475140.01505/13/2020Custom Performance Coating, Inc.
At 9:52 a.m. on May 12, 2020, an employee was working for a firm that performed powder coating, sandblasting, and miscellaneous jobs on parts and other customer -related items. He had been working for the firm for three days. Earlier in the morning, the shop manager had taken a 190-liter (50-gallon) rugged plastic tote containing B17 industrial paint remover to just outside the front of the buildin g. The tote contained 75 to 95 liters (20 to 25 gallons) of the paint remover. T he paint remover was used to remove dried paint from parts when errors were made during a powder coating operation. It was a corrosive liquid with a pH of 1 to 2, with ingredients such as methylene chloride, formic acid, phenol, and hydrofl uoric acid. The employee walked outside the front entrance to take his morning b reak. There were no witnesses or coworkers outside. Apparently the employee sat down on the tote's plastic lid. It gave way, and the employee was immersed in th e paint remover. He got back out of the tote, but a major portion of his body wa s covered with the chemicals. He immediately suffered chemical burns. He yelled, ran to the bathroom, and stripped his clothes off. The shop manager called the fire department and started hosing the employee off with a garden hose. Upon arr ival, the fire department loaded the employee into an ambulance and took him to the burn intensive care unit at Medstar Washington Hospital Center. The employee was treated for life-threatening injuries, but he died. The District of Columbi a's Office of the Chief Medical Examiner's autopsy report said that the employee had suffered third- and second-degree chemical burns over 34 percent of his bod y. During an investigation, the shop manager said that the employee was a labore r in training. His responsibilities included preparing metal parts for powder co ating, but he had not progressed to the point in training to work with the paint remover. The shop manager was primarily responsible for handling that liquid.
Keywords: chemical, chemical burn, coating operation, container, corrosive, dip tank, equipment failure, hydrofluoric acid, methylene chloride, storage tank
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 1475140.015 46 M Fatality Painting and paint spraying machine operators

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