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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 200052017 - Employee Injured By Chemical Burn From Potassium Hydroxide

Accident: 200052017 -- Report ID: 0728900 -- Event Date: 12/29/2002
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
30373489101/02/20031796Comau Pico
On December 29, 2002, Employee #1, a maintenance worker, jumped into a tank containing 18,000 gallons of potassium hydroxide. The tank was part of a 13-tank dip tank system used in the manufacture of heavy farm machinery. An unguarded, elevated catwalk ran between two of the 18,000-gallon tanks. The tanks were serviced by an overhead crane hoist that moved parts in and out of the tanks. As the crane or hoist traversed the catwalk in its lowered position, there were only a few inches of clearance between the crane mechanism and the catwalk. Employee #1 had to make an adjustment to a spray nozzle on one of the tanks. He made an internal calculation that he had enough time to run out on the catwalk and make the repair before the crane or hoist traversed the catwalk again. He misjudged the time he had. While making the repair, he turned around and noted that the crane was upon him. Employee #1 had only a split second to determine what to do. Employee #1 stated that he felt his only recourse was to jump into the tank in order to avoid being struck and pinned by the crane or hoist. Employee #1 was hospitalized with chemical burns.
Keywords: caustic, catwalk, chemical burn, dip tank, tank, crane
End Use Proj Type Proj Cost Stories NonBldgHt Fatality
Manufacturing plant New project or new addition $1,000,000 to $5,000,000 1
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation Construction
1 303734891 Hospitalized injury Burn(Chemical) Machinery maintenance occupations FallDist:
FallHt:
Cause: Installing equipment (HVAC and other)
FatCause: Other

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