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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 170702682 - Firefighters Inhale Toxic Levels Of Methyl Chloroform

Accident: 170702682 -- Report ID: 0950614 -- Event Date: 12/24/1992
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
11181615312/24/19929224City Of Oakland Fire Dept.
On December 24, 1992, Employees #1 through #5, fire fighters, were attempting to rescue two unconscious workers of a waterproofing company who were at the bottom of a 5 ft by 5 ft by 16 ft concrete planter box in the garage of a federal building under construction in Oakland, CA. The planter box was a confined space filled with toxic, combustible, and explosive methyl chloroform gas (1,1,1-trichloroethane). DOSH measurements indicated at least an 8 percent LEL (explosive range 6.5-10.5 percent; IDLH 0.1 percent). The firefighters worked in pairs without adequate rescue equipment, such as lifelines, harnesses, hoists, air monitoring devices, or appropriate ventilation. The firefighters found a rope, tied it around the victims, and pulled them up and out of the confined space. During the rescue, the face pieces of the rescuers' respirators were knocked off and the face seals were broken. Employees #1 through #5 were all treated for inhalation injuries. Two of the five firefighters lost 2 weeks of work. Five accident-related serious violations were observed: T8CCR 5157(a)(1), 5157(b), 5159(a)(5)(B), 5192(q)(6), and 5192(q)(8)(A).
Keywords: firefighter, trichloroethane, confined space, flammable vapors, idlh, work rules, toxic atmosphere, inhalation, methyl chloroform, scba
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 111816153 Non Hospitalized injury Other Occupation not reported
2 111816153 Non Hospitalized injury Other Occupation not reported
3 111816153 Non Hospitalized injury Other Occupation not reported
4 111816153 Non Hospitalized injury Other Occupation not reported
5 111816153 Non Hospitalized injury Other Occupation not reported

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