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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 170180376 - Employee Exposed To Ethylene Oxide From Gas Sterilizer

Accident: 170180376 -- Report ID: 0950642 -- Event Date: 05/07/1991
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
11215328305/09/19916324Los Angeles County Usc Medical Center
Employee #1 was supervising the aeration of a load of surgical equipment following treatment in a Biomal ethylene oxide (EtO) gas sterilizer, #0199. He was directed by upper management to remove the load from Vernitron gas aerator #4, model #A3660, Biomal equipment #0198, after it had been through the aeration cycle for only 1 hour. The normal time for the aeration cycle is 8 hours. Employee #1 was exposed to a ethylene oxide, a carcinogen, and experienced headaches, and burning of her right arm, the right side of the face, and her eyes. Employee #1, a supervisor. did not normally remove equipment from the aerator. It was removed early because a doctor wanted to examine a piece of surgical equipment in the load and because it was believed that the surgical equipment was needed for an operation.
Keywords: eye, ethylene oxide, headache, work rules, inhalation, chemical vapor, toxic fumes, face, overexposure, chemical
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 112153283 Non Hospitalized injury Other Nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants

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