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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 170591689 - Employee Injured By Release Of Chlorine In Face

Accident: 170591689 -- Report ID: 0950633 -- Event Date: 04/28/1995
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
At 8:45 a.m. on February 24, 1995, Employee #1 was attempting to open the regulator valve of a 1-ton cylinder of chlorine during routine maintenance. As he did so, the valve on a second 1-ton cylinder either malfunctioned or was accidentally opened due to human error, causing liquid and gaseous chlorine to spray in Employee #1's face. He threw himself backward to avoid the spewing gas, but then held his breath and reentered the area twice before succeeding in shutting off the valve. He attempted to radio the Fire Department but was unsuccessful because it was on a different frequency. Employee #1 began to suffer tightness in his chest and he waved to a coworker, who summoned the Fire Department. Employee #1 was administered oxygen and transported to Walter Reed Army Hospital, from which he was immediately transferred to Victor Valley Hospital, Victorville, CA. He was diagnosed with an acute bronchial spasm triggered by his existing asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and severe hypoxia.
Keywords: maintenance, work rules, inhalation, chlorine, respiratory tract, valve, chemical vapor, toxic fumes, accidental discharge, mech malfunction
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 119895225 Hospitalized injury Asphyxia Water and sewage treatment plant operators

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