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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 201070638 - Employee Dies In Freezer Of Asphyxiation

Accident: 201070638 -- Report ID: 0950632 -- Event Date: 04/05/2007
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
31081097304/06/20075812Gelato Vero Caffe
At approximately 11:30 a.m. on April 5, 2007, Employee #1, the owner of a coffee house and ice cream shop, arrived to work with his son. He entered the freezer to examine the new door, which had been replaced the day before because the original freezer door was old and had been leaking. The freezer, where the bulk of the ice cream was stored, was located in a garage type building located behind the main business. The items in the freezer were kept cold during the repair with blocks of dry ice in plastic bags scattered inside the freezer. After a half hour, the son began to look for Employee #1. The son discovered his body inside the freezer and was unable to revive him. Readings inside the freezer were found to be at toxic levels of carbon dioxide and deficient levels of oxygen, possibly due to the dry ice off-gassing. The new door was also found to create a vacuum seal on the door opening, making the door nearly impossible to open for 90 seconds after it had been closed. The cause of death was determined to be carbon dioxide exposure and asphyxiation.
Keywords: asphyxiated, vapor, carbon dioxide, freezer compartment, door
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 310810973 Fatality Asphyxia Supervisors, food preparation & service occupation

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