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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 201144417 - Employee Is Killed By Possible Reaction To Chemicals

Accident: 201144417 -- Report ID: 0950631 -- Event Date: 08/04/2003
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
30535143908/05/20037215Beach Queen Laundry & Cleaners
At 10:00 p.m. on August 4, 2003, Employee #1, a janitor, was found dead in a restroom. A coworker, a laundromat attendant, had come to work at 8:00 a.m. and opened the restroom door and saw Employee #1 on the floor adjacent to a toilet. The coworker immediately called Emergency Medical Services. The police responded first, followed by the coroner who removed the body. The business is a self- service laundromat. No dry cleaning is done on the premises. Dry cleaning is sent out to another location. Employee #1 was apparently cleaning the toilet using Chlorox bleach containing 6.0 percent sodium hypochlorite. No evidence of any other cleaning agent was present in the small, one toilet bathroom area, with an operative wall fan. The Coroner's report attributed the death to positional asphyxia from probable inhalation of noxious fumes adjacent to the toilet. The DOSH medical unit evaluated the inspection findings, discussed the cleaning procedure with the employer, and reviewed both the autopsy findings with the Coroner's office and Employee #1's medical history. They concluded that there was no objective evidence to ascertain a chemical exposure and no autopsy evidence to indicate a severe chemical exposure occurred. No work related chemical exposure could be substantiated as the cause of death.
Keywords: janitor, asphyxiated, cleaning, chlorine, chemical vapor
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 305351439 Fatality Asphyxia Janitors and cleaners

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