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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 170009716 - Employee Killed When Applying Wall Coating

Accident: 170009716 -- Report ID: 1055320 -- Event Date: 07/31/2001
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
30443484808/02/20011542S & V Construction Llc
On July 31, 2001, Employee #1 applied a wall coating, which contained approximately 35 weight hydrocarbons onto the walls of a 500 square ft studio apartment with an 8-square-ft ceiling. Employee #1 was applying the wall coating for approximately 20 minutes using an airless spray gun and an electric piston pump. During that time, Employee #1 may have applied as mush as 8 gallons of the wall coating and generated significant concentrations of vaporized and aerosolized hydrocarbons in the studio. Prior to spraying, Employee #1 had closed and covered the windows and shut the self-locking door of the studio. The studio was not ventilated during the spraying. Another employee found Employee #1 lying unconscious, face up on the floor of the studio's walk-in closet, approximately 40 minutes after spraying had commenced. The apartment complex maintenance manager assisted another employee with carrying Employee #1 out of the studio. The maintenance manager stated that the studio air had a strong odor and a heavy visible mist of overspray. The maintenance manager performed a cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) emergency medical procedure on Employee #1 before he was transferred to the hospital. Employee #1 died the next day. Representatives of the county medical examiner's office concluded that Employee #1's death was accidental and was caused by inhalation of vaporized and aerosolized hydrocarbons while spray painting in an enclosed environment. Employee #1 was not wearing his respirator at the time he was discovered unconscious, although the lack of overspray on his face and the significant amount of overspray on the hair of his head suggested that he had been wearing the respirator while spraying. The employer required Employee #1 both to provide and to wear the full-face negative pressure respirator with a canister that was sitting near him in the studio. The respirator and its canister were not NIOSH-approved. The employer did not have a Respiratory Protection Program, and was unable to provide the required documentation, showing that Employee #1 had completed a respiratory medical questionnaire, had been fit tested for his respirator, and had been trained in the use of his respirator. At the time of this incident, Employee #1 had worked for the employer for approximately two weeks during which he had spray coated other apartments. Employee #1 spoke very limited English, but spoke the same language as his employer.
Keywords: asphyxiated, wall, ventilation, ceiling, work rules, construction, spray painting, coating operation, untrained, respirator
End Use Proj Type Proj Cost Stories NonBldgHt Fatality
Multi-family dwelling Maintenance or repair Under $50,000 2 X
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation Construction
1 304434848 Fatality Asphyxia Occupation not reported FallDist:
FallHt:
Cause: Interior painting and decorating
FatCause: Asphyxiation/inhalation of toxic vapor

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