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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 14569487 - Exposed To Chlorine Dioxide Gas.

Accident: 14569487 -- Report ID: 1054115 -- Event Date: 09/14/1984
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
1509961709/20/19842037Amfac Foods Inc
ON SEPTEMBER 14, 1984, BETWEEN 3 AND 3:30 PM, EMPLOYEES #1 THROUGH #8 INHALED CHLORINE DIOXIDE GAS (CL O2) WHILE WORKING IN THE FRENCH FRY PRODUCTION AREA AT THE LAMB-WESTON PLANT IN HERMISTON, OREGON. THE CHLORINE DIOXIDE IS SUSPENDED IN WATER TO HELP KEEP BACTERIA LEVELS LOW IN THE POTOTOES AS THEY FLOW THROUGH THE SYSTEM. A SERIES OF MECHANICAL BREAKDOWNS CONTRIBUTED TO A LACK OF POTATOES FLOWING THROUGH THE CHLORINE DIOXIDE SYSTEM. SINCE THERE WAS NO PRODUCT TO TIE UP OR DISSOLVE THE CHLORINE DIOXIDE, THE CONCENTRATION IN THE SYSTEM BECAME TOO HIGH, THEREBY CAUSING THE CHLORINE DIOXIDE TO "GAS OFF" INTO THE AMBIENT AIR. MOST OF THE EMPLOYEES WERE WORKING IN AND AROUND THE CHLORINE DIOXIDE AREA, CLEANING UP THE POTATOES OR OTHERWISE TRYING TO GET PRODUCTION BACK TO NORMAL. CHLORINE DIOXIDE IS HEAVIER THAN AIR SO IT REMAINED AT FLOOR LEVEL AND CONTINUED TO ACCUMULATE. THE CHLORINE DIOXIDE SYSTEM WAS EVENTUALLY SHUT DOWN AROUND 3:15 PM, AFTER THE EMPLOYEES COMPLAINED OF COUGHING, SORE THROATS AND HEADACHES. THEY COMPLETED THEIR SHIFT AND WENT TO THE HOSPITAL THE NEXT DAY. ALL BUT ONE WERE TREATED AND RELEASED.
Keywords: respiratory, throat, headache, inhalation, chlorine dioxide, cough
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 15099617 Hospitalized injury Asphyxia Supervisors; handlers,equip-cleaners,laborers nec
2 15099617 Hospitalized injury Asphyxia Inspectors, testers and graders
3 15099617 Hospitalized injury Asphyxia Supervisors; handlers,equip-cleaners,laborers nec
4 15099617 Hospitalized injury Asphyxia Miscellaneous plant and system operators
5 15099617 Hospitalized injury Asphyxia Supervisors; handlers,equip-cleaners,laborers nec
6 15099617 Hospitalized injury Asphyxia Inspectors, testers and graders
7 15099617 Hospitalized injury Asphyxia Miscellaneous plant and system operators
8 15099617 Hospitalized injury Asphyxia Supervisors; handlers,equip-cleaners,laborers nec

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