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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 14529929 - Ten Employees Injured After Inhaling Toxic Gas

Accident: 14529929 -- Report ID: 0111700 -- Event Date: 12/15/1987
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
10152615012/15/19873541Thermal Dynamics Corp.
At approximately 7:05 a.m. on December 14, 1987, a worker in the paint department began adding Oakite Crystal 147, a granular detergent, to a tank containing approximately 1,600 gallons of water to make a wash that was used to remove dirt and oil from sheet metal before painting. This wash was mixed once every 4 to 6 weeks using water that was typically between 80 and 90 degrees F. Once mixed, the solution was heated to 140 degrees F, and then pumped through a ventilated washing tunnel into spray nozzles. On the day of the accident, the water in the tank had been heated to 140 degrees F before mixing. Employees #1 through #10 were working on the opposite side of this building, approximately 1000 ft from the paint department. No other chemicals were being used there, but at about 7:15 a.m., they began experiencing respiratory irritation, burning eyes and throat, nausea, difficulty breathing, and weakness. Workers in the paint department were not affected. Apparently, the elevated temperature during mixing resulted in the release of a gas, which may have been chlorine. The detergent and other material did not contain any chlorinated chemicals. However, the city water supply is chlorinated, and the elevated temperature during mixing may have caused a transient reaction that released the gas, which employees described as having an odor like bleach.
Keywords: eye, respiratory, throat, inhalation, nausea, chlorine, chemical reaction, chemical vapor, poisoning, toxic fumes
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 101526150 Non Hospitalized injury Poisoning(Systemic) Occupation not reported
2 101526150 Non Hospitalized injury Poisoning(Systemic) Occupation not reported
3 101526150 Non Hospitalized injury Poisoning(Systemic) Occupation not reported
4 101526150 Non Hospitalized injury Poisoning(Systemic) Occupation not reported
5 101526150 Non Hospitalized injury Poisoning(Systemic) Occupation not reported
6 101526150 Non Hospitalized injury Poisoning(Systemic) Occupation not reported
7 101526150 Non Hospitalized injury Poisoning(Systemic) Occupation not reported
8 101526150 Non Hospitalized injury Poisoning(Systemic) Occupation not reported
9 101526150 Non Hospitalized injury Poisoning(Systemic) Occupation not reported
10 101526150 Non Hospitalized injury Poisoning(Systemic) Occupation not reported

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