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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 14398168 - Employees Overexposed To Vapors

Accident: 14398168 -- Report ID: 0626600 -- Event Date: 01/07/1990
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
10661486001/10/19907363Houston Industrial Labor
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
11031181801/09/19907699Chemical Plant Services, Inc.
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
1131182609/26/19787381South Brunswick Security Co In
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
11031181801/09/19907699Chemical Plant Services, Inc.
The supervisor for the night crew at Houston Industrial Services wanted more workers to help speed up a tank cleaning job. The company had depleted the local supplier's stock of appropriate respirators. Additional respirators were ordered from the Houston location. Because it was the weekend and after hours, the order was made through an on-call person. After confirmation with the on-site supervisor, the order was shipped to the work site. Upon arrival, the respirators were issued to the employees and they entered the tank to commence the cleanup. After approximately two hours, around 2:30 a.m., Employees #1 through #13 began to get sick. One employee suffered a seizure. EMTs were called but all employees refused treatment. The work site was closed down and all employees were sent home. Between 5:30 a.m. and 9:00 a.m., employees arrived at Dansforth Hospital in Texas City, TX, for treatment. Thirteen employees were treated: eleven were admitted, and two were released. It was determined by the CPSI supervisor that the respirators issued to the night crew were high efficiency filters instead of organic vapor cartridges. According to CPSI, the tank contained wash water that had been used to clean a barge containing #6 oil. Analysis of the sludge found it contained benzene, toluene, styrene, and xylene as major components.
Keywords: benzene, xylene, cleaning, toxic atmosphere, toxic fumes, tank, work rules, overexposure, respirator, confined space
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 106614860 Occupation Not Listed
2 110311818 Non Hospitalized injury Poisoning(Systemic) Occupation not reported
3 110311818 Hospitalized injury Poisoning(Systemic) Occupation not reported
4 110311818 Hospitalized injury Poisoning(Systemic) Occupation not reported
5 11311826 Occupation Not Listed
6 110311818 Hospitalized injury Poisoning(Systemic) Occupation not reported
7 110311818 Hospitalized injury Poisoning(Systemic) Occupation not reported
8 110311818 Hospitalized injury Poisoning(Systemic) Occupation not reported
9 110311818 Hospitalized injury Poisoning(Systemic) Occupation not reported
10 110311818 Hospitalized injury Poisoning(Systemic) Occupation not reported
11 110311818 Non Hospitalized injury Poisoning(Systemic) Occupation not reported
12 110311818 Hospitalized injury Poisoning(Systemic) Occupation not reported
13 110311818 Hospitalized injury Poisoning(Systemic) Occupation not reported
14 110311818 Hospitalized injury Poisoning(Systemic) Occupation not reported
15 110311818 Hospitalized injury Poisoning(Systemic) Occupation not reported

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