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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 200210755 - One Killed, One Injured After Inhaling Hydrogen Sulfide

Accident: 200210755 -- Report ID: 0626000 -- Event Date: 11/29/2000
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
30368222311/29/20001799Berry Contracting Lp Dba Bay Ltd
Employees #1 and #2 , who worked for a nested maintenance contractor, were finishing the turnaround of the sulfur recovery complex at a refinery. They were removing a 14 in. isolation blind from the overhead inlet of a horizontal receiver vessel. The vessel was part of an amine treating unit that had been emptied, steamed out, and drained a few days before. After several attempts, the overhead piping had been replaced and the blinds had been removed and reinstalled. Employees #1 and #2 were working from a scaffold when they were exposed to strong hydrogen sulfide emissions from the vessel. Employee #1 staggered away, but within minutes had lapsed into unconsciousness and died. Employee #2 managed to escape and reach grade level. He was hospitalized for observation and released with no lasting effects. The vessel had accumulated sour gas from a connected overhead gas line, tied into nearby sulfur trains that were operating at relatively low pressure. The source was a single leaking 12 in. gate valve that had been closed and locked out. Employees #1 and #2 were working without respiratory protection or gas detection equipment. The valve inspection program, lockout/tagout program, and respiratory protections were found lacking. At the time of the accident, the foreman was also overseeing other crews at the site.
Keywords: leak, maintenance, ppe, pressure vessel, hydrogen sulfide, work rules, construction, inhalation, chemical vapor, poisoning
End Use Proj Type Proj Cost Stories NonBldgHt Fatality
Refinery Maintenance or repair $500,000 to $1,000,000 X
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation Construction
1 303682223 Hospitalized injury Poisoning(Systemic) Boilermakers FallDist:
Cause: Erecting structural steel
FatCause: Asphyxiation/inhalation of toxic vapor
2 303682223 Fatality Poisoning(Systemic) Boilermakers FallDist:
Cause: Erecting structural steel
FatCause: Asphyxiation/inhalation of toxic vapor

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