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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 170749618 - Chemist Dies In Chemical Explosion

Accident: 170749618 -- Report ID: 0352420 -- Event Date: 07/02/1993
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
11955953207/07/19933764Thiokol Corporation
Employee #1, a chemist, was working with a mixture of an aminonitrofurazan (ANF) that included the chemicals methylene chloride, hydrogen peroxide, trifluoroacetic anhydride, and diaminofurazan. The chemicals were being mixed in a 2-liter flask. When the mixing was complete, apparently Employee #1 was removing the flask from the mechanical stirrer when an explosion occurred. The explosion ruptured the flask, which expelled glass shards; one penetrated into Employee #1's neck, cutting the carotid artery. The employee suffered many other cuts and died. He was working alone; there were no witnesses. Employee #1 was wearing safety glasses, a lab coat, gloves, and safety shoes. He was also wearing a glass shield to protect himself from any potential explosions. He apparently removed the glass shield, however, to prevent obstruction of his vision while he removed the flask from the mechanical stirrer. Employee #1 had graduated from the University of Delaware after majoring in chemistry. He received training with Thiokol Corporation on safety procedures with his job and followed specific "safe operating procedures" for the mixture of ANF.
Keywords: broken glass, ppe, hydrogen peroxide, methylene chloride, explosion, laceration, chemical reaction, artery, flying object
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 119559532 Fatality Cut/Laceration Chemists, except biochemists

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