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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 201064128 - Employee Overcome By Paint Fumes

Accident: 201064128 -- Report ID: 0950632 -- Event Date: 02/05/2001
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
12601198003/13/20017371Science Application Int'L Corporation
At approximately 8:00 a.m. on February 5, 2001, an employee was overcome by paint vapors in her office. The employee began to experience symptoms of chest tightening and difficulty in breathing due to a pre-existing hypersensitivity/irritant sinusitis condition, and was hospitalized for four days following the event. There were 31 doors in the six-floor office building that had been painted with an enamel coating containing petroleum naphtha solvents prior to the Monday morning incident. The painting had been conducted on Friday and Saturday after normal working hours, and the facility had been ventilated with outdoor air to facilitate vapor dispersal. Reliable sampling data conducted by the employer on the following weekend where a substantially similar painting job was done showed that the levels of Volatile Organic Compounds would most likely have been below detectable levels on the morning the employee was overcome. No other employees on the sixth floor experienced symptoms. The injured employee admitted that due to her hypersensitivity she is prone to lung spasms of this nature whenever she is exposed to odors from mild contaminants such as smoke or perfume. The employer took immediate steps to remove the employee from the workplace, and to accommodate her special needs following the accident.
Keywords: lung, vapor, ventilation, inhalation, naphtha, paint
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 126011980 Hospitalized injury Other Bookkeepers, accounting and auditing clerks

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