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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 14214506 - Phosphorous Burned Employee In Face And Lungs, Killing Him

Accident: 14214506 -- Report ID: 0454722 -- Event Date: 01/23/1985
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
1514461101/24/19852819Occidental Chemicals Co
EMPLOYEE #1 WAS CHECKING ON A PHOSPHOROUS FLUSH/PUMP LINE WHEN A HALF INCH SIGHT GLASS BROKE, ALLOWING ABOUT A LITER OF ELEMENTAL PHOSPHOROUS TO SPEW INTO HIS FACE. HE WAS WEARING A HALF-FACE CESSCO RESPIRATOR, APPROVED FOR ACID GASES. HIS RESPIRATOR, SAFETY HELMET AND SAFETY GLASSES WERE BURNED COMPLETELY BY THE INTENSE FIRE WHICH RESULTED. HE INHALED ENOUGH OF THE ELEMENTAL PHOSPHORUS TO BURN HIS LUNGS AND CAUSE HIS DEATH. HE ALSO SUFFERED SECOND AND THIRD DEGREE BURNS ON HIS CHEST AND GROIN, BUT THESE WERE NOT IMMEDIATELY FATAL. HE BY-PASSED TWO NEARBY SAFETY SHOWERS TO GET TO WATER KEPT IN A SUMP ON A LOWER LEVEL. HE DIED WHEN HE GOT TO THE SUMP. EMPLOYEE #1 WAS ALONE ON THE 11PM-7AM SHIFT, EXCEPT FOR A TRAINEE IN A NEARBY CONTROL ROOM WHO DID NOT WITNESS THE ACCIDENT. COLD TEMPERATURES (10-15 DEGREES F) MAY HAVE CAUSED THE SIGHT GLASS TO BECOME BRITTLE AND BREAK.
Keywords: burn, chest, lung, ppe, fire, inhalation, phosphorous, rupture, face
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 15144611 Fatality Poisoning(Systemic) Separating, filtering & clarifying mach. operators

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