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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 201795457 - Empoyee Injuries Arms And Back From Chemical Burns

Accident: 201795457 -- Report ID: 0950644 -- Event Date: 02/26/2002
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
12608699003/04/20023341Heraeus Metal Processing Inc
On February 26, 2002, Employee #1 was working for a company that processes or reclaims precious metals like platinum, palladium, and iridium from spent catalyst. The employee worked as a chemical operator for the company about one year and two months. At the time of accident, Employee #1 was working in the chemical dissolution room where platinum chloride solution rinse is processed for recovery of platinum. The employee was working on a 200-gallon glass-lined vessel, labeled CP2, containing platinum chloride solution rinse. The procedure requires that the solution evaporate to a certain volume and cool down to between 70 to 80 degrees Celsius before adding nitric acid to oxidize the metal. At the time of the accident and during the process of adding the nitric acid to the solution, a vigorous chemical reaction occurred causing the material to boil over or overflow from the vessel. At that time, the temperature of the solution in the vessel was 90 degrees Celsius. The hot material contacted Employee #1's right arm, and as he turned around to get off the platform, the material contacted his left arm and lower back. The employee immediately jumped into the shower located in the room. Employee #1 was taken to La Palma Hospital and then to Western Medical-Grossman Burn Center in Santa Ana, where he was treated for second- and third-degree burns. The investigation revealed that employees were not protected from harmful contact with chemicals that boil over during the mixing process by shielding or other means.
Keywords: ppe, work rules, machine operator, back, chemical reaction, chemical burn, nitric acid, arm, process safety
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 126086990 Hospitalized injury Burn(Chemical) Separating, filtering & clarifying mach. operators

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