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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 170563209 - Employee Dies After Consuming Methanol Alcohol

Accident: 170563209 -- Report ID: 0854910 -- Event Date: 03/21/1994
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
12462750604/07/19948322Centro Civico Mexicano
On March 14, 1994, the maintenance man at the Centro Civico Mexicano, a nonprofit civic community center, was having problems cleaning graffiti off the center's walls. The president of the 14-member board of directors of the Centro Civico, who is also a professor of biology at the University of Utah, told him he had some wood alcohol in his laboratory and that he would bring it to him to help remove the graffiti. In his laboratory, the president/professor filled an empty one-half gallon Kamchatka vodka bottle with methanol alcohol from a 5 gal can, leaving the vodka label on the container and not relabeling the contents of the bottle. He then transported the bottle to the Centro Civico and gave it to a 17-year-old youth at the center with instructions to give it to the maintenance man. He told the 17-year-old that it was dangerous and not for consumption. When the president/professor returned, he met with the maintenance man and verified that he had received the bottle. He told the maintenance man that it was methanol and dangerous and should not be consumed. The president/professor does not recall whether he told the maintenance man to put the methanol into another container or to mark it. Through unexplained circumstances, the vodka bottle of methanol wound up behind the couch in the center's office where a friend of Employee #1, who was a part-time paid gym supervisor, found it and gave it to Employee #1, who stashed it in the office. On March 19, 1994, Employee #1 took the bottle to a party at a private residence, where he consumed some of it and mixed the rest with five bottles of Sunny Delight (orange juice) and consumed some of that. A number of people at the party also consumed the mixture. Employee #1 took more of the mixture to another party on March 20, where he and two others drank most of it. On March 21, Employee #1 became extremely ill, lost consciousness, and went into convulsions. He was taken to Holy Cross Hospital at 6:30 p.m. by his parents, and died several days later.
Keywords: methyl alcohol, alcohol, work rules, poisoning, communication, chemical, warning sign
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 124627506 Fatality Poisoning(Systemic) Attendants, amusement and recreation facilities

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