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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 170177323 - Employees Exposed To Ethylene Oxide

Accident: 170177323 -- Report ID: 0950643 -- Event Date: 12/21/1990
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
11222714512/28/19906324La County Health Services -High Desert Hosp.
DURING THE INSTALLATION AND TESTING OF A NEW ETHYLENE OXIDE STERILIZER, SAFETY DEVICES MALFUNCTIONED AND ETHYLENE OXIDE WAS RELEASED INTO THE WORK AREA, SETTING OFF THE ETHYLENE OXIDE MONITOR. THE EMPLOYEES WERE EVACUATED FROM THE AREA. EMPLOYEE #1 RE-ENTERED THE AREA, IGNORING THE ALARM, TO TEST FOR LEAKS. EMPLOYEE #2 RESPONDED FOLLOWING EPA PROCEDURE EXCEPT HE DID NOT WEAR A RESPIRATOR AS HE HAD NOT BEEN TRAINED. WHILE EMPLOYEES #1 AND #2 WERE TESTING FOR LEAKS WITH THE STERILIZER PRESSURIZED, THE CHARGE VALVES REMAINED OPEN. STERILIZER PRESSURE EXCEEDED THE OVERPRESSURE RELIEF VALVE SETTING. AS A RESULT, ETHYLENE OXIDE WAS RELEASED INTO THE FACE OF EMPLOYEE #2.
Keywords: ppe, ethylene oxide, work rules, inhalation, untrained, accidental discharge, respirator
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 112227145 Non Hospitalized injury Cancer Health technologists and technicians, n.e.c.
2 112227145 Non Hospitalized injury Cancer Mechanical engineering technicians

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