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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 170356893 - Five Employees Suffer Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Accident: 170356893 -- Report ID: 0950633 -- Event Date: 08/24/1994
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
11989392308/25/19940723Kitagawa & Sons Inc
At 9:36 p.m. on August 24, 1994, eight employees including Employees #1 through #5 were doing employer-assigned tasks in an enclosed packing warehouse for approximately two hours. They were unloading agricultural transplants from an over-the-road tractor/trailer rig by hand to an internal combustion propane-fueled industrial lift truck that was not supplied with an air purifying device in a space not provided with engineering controls (ventilation). A toxic atmosphere was created, resulting in carboxyhemoglobin levels of 25 percent or more in one employee and 14 percent in another employee. Employee #1 was driving the forklift and succumbed to the toxic atmosphere. Employee #2 assumed the driving responsibilities but, like Employee #1, succumbed to the toxic atmosphere. A coworker called emergency response/paramedics, who called county Haz Mat, which resulted in area-wide cordon, patient triage, and transport to area hospitals. Employees #1 and #2 required three days of hospitalization for carbon monoxide poisoning. Employees #3, #4, and #5 were treated and released. All five employees experienced and were treated for classic carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms, including whole body numbness, partial abeyance of volition and consciousness, confusion, nausea, dizziness, and headache.
Keywords: ventilation, warehouse, agriculture, work rules, toxic atmosphere, industrial truck, exhaust fumes, carboxyhemoglobin, poisoning, carbon monoxide
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 119893923 Non Hospitalized injury Asphyxia Farm workers
2 119893923 Non Hospitalized injury Asphyxia Farm workers
3 119893923 Hospitalized injury Asphyxia Farm workers
4 119893923 Non Hospitalized injury Asphyxia Farm workers
5 119893923 Hospitalized injury Asphyxia Farm workers

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