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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 200823607 - Five Employees Are Overcome By Chemical Fumes

Accident: 200823607 -- Report ID: 0521400 -- Event Date: 03/02/2007
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
30977088103/02/20073471Chicago Blasting & Deburring
On March 2, 2007, Employee #1 was lifted on a non-compliant forklift platform above a separator compartment measuring 7-ft by 5-ft by 2-ft, placing a 6 foot step ladder into the separator and descending the ladder to buck sludge residue from bottom. Employee #2 was then lifted on the forklift platform and stationed at the top of the separator compartment to retrieve buckets of sludge from Employee #1. Employee #1 became disoriented and Employee #2 descended the ladder to assist him, but Employee #2 was also overcome by the fumes. Employee #1 was suddenly able to climb the ladder and exit the confined space under his own power, leaving Employee #2. Employee #3, the owner, then entered the compartment to assist and try to retrieve Employee #2, when he also became overcome by the fumes. Employee #4 entered the confined space to assist Employee #2 and #3, and he too was overcome by the fumes. At this point three employees were within the confined space, unable to exit. Employee #5, who was part of the Fire/rescue personnel, made attempts to retrieve the three without respiratory protection or a self contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) and became disoriented. The personal air monitoring alarm system sounded. An SCBA was donned by employee #5 and Employees #2, #3, and #4 were retrieved. As individuals were retrieved, they were stripped of all clothing and hosed with water. All five people required emergency medical services, Employee #2 required multiple days of hospitalization, and Employee #4 was kept overnight for observation. The water/sludge separator was found to contain significant amounts of Tetrachloroethane, Perchloroethylene and Aliphatic Naphtha.
Keywords: asphyxiated, ppe, inhalation, naphtha, perchloroethylene, chemical vapor, overexposure, tank, sludge
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 309770881 Hospitalized injury Asphyxia Laborers, except construction
2 309770881 Hospitalized injury Asphyxia Managers and administrators, n.e.c
3 309770881 Hospitalized injury Asphyxia Laborers, except construction
4 309770881 Hospitalized injury Asphyxia Laborers, except construction
5 309770881 Hospitalized injury Asphyxia Firefighting occupations

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