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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 200841690 - Eight Employees Were Sickened By Paranitroaniline Exposure

Accident: 200841690 -- Report ID: 0524530 -- Event Date: 08/30/2008
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
30929190409/04/20085169G.S. Robins & Company D.B.A. Ro-Corp, Inc.
At approximately 11:00 a.m. on August 30, 2008, eight employees were working at a warehouse facility, where chemicals were stored for customers, mixing operations were conducted, and dry chemicals were repackaged. Five of the employees were employed by the facility. Two of the employees were not employed by the company or another contractor. The employment status of the eighth employee was not stated. The employees were transferring a dry paranitroaniline powder from 55-gallon drums to six-foot-tall supersacks that could hold 3,000 pounds of material. Three forklifts were used to transfer the paranitroaniline. One forklift, with a drum tilter attachment, was used to lift the drum. Another forklift was used to raise a supersack acting as a funnel. A third forklift held a second supersack that was placed below the raised supersack, to catch the paranitroaniline dumped into the raised supersack. Employees staged the drums and removed the lids. As the forklift lifted the drum, an employee pulled the chain on the drum tilter, allowing the material to fall into the funnel sack. All of the employees in the area shared the different job tasks for the transfer of the paranitroaniline. Nine drums were used to fill a supersack with 2,700 pounds of paranitroaniline. Because of height clearance requirements, the transfer operation was being conducted off of a loading dock, outside of the building. During transfer of the material, one of the drums on the drum tilter fell into the funnel sack, creating a large dust cloud of paranitroaniline. The employees were not properly protected from the skin and respiratory hazards of paranitroaniline. Within hours of performing the transfer, all employees were becoming ill, and they drove themselves to different hospitals in the St. Louis area. All eight employees were cyanotic and had symptoms of methemoglobinemia, a condition that reduced the blood's ability to transport oxygen. All eight employees were hospitalized.
Keywords: ppe, warehouse, drum, toxic atmosphere, industrial truck, air contamination, spill, poisoning, powder, chemical
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 309291904 Hospitalized injury Poisoning(Systemic) Supervisors; handlers,equip-cleaners,laborers nec
2 309291904 Hospitalized injury Poisoning(Systemic) Supervisors; handlers,equip-cleaners,laborers nec
3 309291904 Hospitalized injury Poisoning(Systemic) Supervisors; handlers,equip-cleaners,laborers nec
4 309291904 Hospitalized injury Poisoning(Systemic) Supervisors; handlers,equip-cleaners,laborers nec
5 309291904 Hospitalized injury Poisoning(Systemic) Supervisors; handlers,equip-cleaners,laborers nec
6 309291904 Hospitalized injury Poisoning(Systemic) Supervisors; handlers,equip-cleaners,laborers nec
7 309291904 Hospitalized injury Poisoning(Systemic) Supervisors; handlers,equip-cleaners,laborers nec
8 309291904 Hospitalized injury Poisoning(Systemic) Supervisors; handlers,equip-cleaners,laborers nec

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