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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 14448096 - Employees Exposed To Chlorine Gas From Mixed Chemicals

Accident: 14448096 -- Report ID: 0552700 -- Event Date: 03/11/1987
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
10454123003/16/19878062St. Mary'S Hospital
ON MARCH 11, 1987, THE LAUNDRY MANAGER FOR THIS LARGE HOSPITAL DECIDED TO DISPOSE OF APPROXIMATELY 40 GALLONS OF LIQUID LAUNDRY CHEMICALS BY DUMPING THEM DOWN THE LAUNDRY DRAIN. HE DID NOT READ THE CONTAINER LABELS. HE DISPOSED OF THE CHEMICALS BY DUMPING 10 GALLONS, WAITING 5 MINUTES, THEN DUMPING ANOTHER 10 GALLONS. THE LIQUID LAUNDRY CHEMICALS WHICH HE WAS DUMPING CONSISTED OF A LIQUID LAUNDRY WATER CONDITIONER, LIQUID SODIUM HYPOCHLORITE, AND AQUEOUS LAUNDRY SOUR (HYDROFLUOSILICIC ACID). CHLORINE GAS WAS GENERATED FROM THIS MIXTURE. THE EMPLOYEES WERE EVACUATED FROM THE FIRST FLOOR OF THE LAUNDRY. WHEN THEY RETURNED, 20 MINUTES LATER, THE ODOR WAS STILL SO STRONG THAT THEY AGAIN EVACUATED THE LAUNDRY FIRST FLOOR, THIS TIME FOR ABOUT ONE HOUR. THE FIRE DEPARTMENT ARRIVED AND TESTED FOR CHLORINE, THEN VENTILATED THE AREA AND FLUSHED DOWN THE DRAINS. THE BUILDING WAS DECLARED SAFE. 16 PEOPLE WERE TREATED IN EMERGENCY. ONE (EMPLOYEE #1) WAS ADMITTED TO THE HOSPITAL. EMPLOYEE RIGHT TO KNOW TRAINING HAD BEEN CONDUCTED THE PREVIOUS JANUARY. THE LIQUID LAUNDRY CHEMICALS WERE BEING DISPOSED OF BECAUSE THEY WERE CAUSING CONTACT DERMATITUS PROBLEMS ON THE LAUNDRY LINENS. POWDERED LAUNDRY CHEMICALS ARE NOW USED IN PLACE OF THE LIQUIDS. THE EMPLOYER HAS NOW WRITTEN A PROCEDURE TO BE FOLLOWED FOR ANY FUTURE CHEMICAL DISPOSAL AT THE LAUNDRY.
Keywords: respiratory, ventilation, work rules, inhalation, chlorine, chemical reaction, inattention
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 104541230 Non Hospitalized injury Asphyxia Occupation not reported
2 104541230 Non Hospitalized injury Asphyxia Occupation not reported
3 104541230 Non Hospitalized injury Asphyxia Occupation not reported
4 104541230 Non Hospitalized injury Asphyxia Occupation not reported
5 104541230 Non Hospitalized injury Asphyxia Occupation not reported
6 104541230 Hospitalized injury Asphyxia Launderers and ironers
7 104541230 Non Hospitalized injury Asphyxia Managers and administrators, n.e.c
8 104541230 Non Hospitalized injury Asphyxia Launderers and ironers
9 104541230 Non Hospitalized injury Asphyxia Launderers and ironers
10 104541230 Non Hospitalized injury Asphyxia Launderers and ironers
11 104541230 Non Hospitalized injury Asphyxia Launderers and ironers
12 104541230 Non Hospitalized injury Asphyxia Launderers and ironers
13 104541230 Non Hospitalized injury Asphyxia Launderers and ironers
14 104541230 Non Hospitalized injury Cut/Laceration Launderers and ironers
15 104541230 Non Hospitalized injury Asphyxia Launderers and ironers
16 104541230 Non Hospitalized injury Asphyxia Launderers and ironers

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