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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 14426894 - Employee Inhaled Perchloroethylene Used In Dry Cleaning

Accident: 14426894 -- Report ID: 0830500 -- Event Date: 12/03/1985
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
10002216912/03/19857216Centaur Cleaners
EMPLOYEE #1 WAS ALONE WORKING IN A DRY CLEANING ESTABLISHMENT. HE WAS INVOLVED IN THE BOIL-DOWN PROCESS, WHICH RECYCLES THE PERCHLOROETHYLENE SO THAT IT CAN BE REUSED. IT IS THEORIZED THAT, DUE TO A MALFUNCTION IN THE MANIFOLD UNIT OR CONDENSER UNIT, THE PROCESS "TOOK OFF" BEFORE EMPLOYEE #1 COULD REACT. THE PRESSURE BUILT UP AND CAUSED HOT PERCHLORETHYLENE TO BE FORCED OUT OF THE UNIT THROUGH THE RELIEF VALVE AND AROUND THE SEALS. THE HOT PERCHLOROETHYLENE COMPLETELY COVERED EMPLOYEE #1, WHO WAS NOT WEARING ANY PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT. EMPLOYEE #1 RAN TOWARD THE BATHROOM BUT WAS OVERCOME BEFORE HE COULD GET THERE. HE WAS DISCOVERED BY ANOTHER EMPLOYEE, NEWLY ARRIVED AT WORK, IN ABOUT 1 INCH OF LIQUID. EMPLOYEE #1 SUFFERED LUNG DAMAGE, THIRD DEGREE BURNS ON HIS BODY AND WAS BRAIN DEAD. HE DIED IN INTENSIVE CARE AFTER LIFE SUPPORT SYSTEMS WERE DISCONNECTED.
Keywords: burn, respiratory, lung, ppe, inhalation, dry cleaning, perchloroethylene, high pressure, toxic fumes
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 100022169 Fatality Poisoning(Systemic) Occupation not reported

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