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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 674333 - 2 Employees Exposed To Chlorine Gas From Leaking Revaporizer

Accident: 674333 -- Report ID: 0418500 -- Event Date: 10/15/1987
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
10542551610/15/19872611Bowater, Inc., Carolina Division
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
10542552410/15/19877699Ppm Inc.
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
10542557310/15/19871711Beta Construction, Inc.
A CHLORINE REVAPORIZER FAILED, CAUSING THE RELEASE INTO THE ATMOSPHERE OF AN UNDETERMINED AMOUNT OF CHLORINE GAS. EMPLOYEES #1 AND #2 ENTERED AN ELEVATOR IN AN ADJACENT BUILDING AT ABOUT THE SAME TIME AS THE CHLORINE RELEASE. THE EMPLOYEES NOTICED SMOKE AT THE THIRD FLOOR LEVEL ON THEIR WAY UP TO THE FOURTH FLOOR. THE ELEVATOR WAS EQUIPPED WITH A GLASS WINDOW AND A MANUAL DOOR. ONCE THEY HAD REACHED THE FOURTH FLOOR THE EMPLOYEES REALIZED THE "SMOKE" WAS ACTUALLY CHLORINE GAS. THEY CLOSED THE ELEVATOR'S MANUAL DOOR AND STARTED BACK DOWN. THEY DONNED CHEMICAL CANNISTER RESPIRATORS, STORED IN THE ELEVATOR CAR, WHEN THEY NOTICED THE CHLORINE GAS LEAKING INTO THE ELEVATOR CAR. ACIS GAS CANNISTERS WERE INSTALLED IN THE RESPIRATORS. WHEN BREATHING BECAME DIFFICULT THE EMPLOYEES PANICKED. THEN THE DOOR JAMMED ON THEM. THEY HAD TO USE AN AXE TO FORCE OPEN THE DOOR. BOTH EMPLOYEES WERE ADMITTED TO THE HOSPITAL AFTER FIRST AID TREATMENT AT THE SITE, SHOWING SYMPTOMS OF CHEMICAL PNEUMONIA. OTHER EMPLOYEES AT THE SITE WERE ABLE TO ESCAPE TO A SAFE DISTANCE WITHIN A REASONABLE AMOUNT OF TIME. THE CAUSE OF THIS ACCIDENT WAS THOUGHT TO BE AN INTERACTION OF THE CHLORINE WITH THE METAL OF THE REVAPORIZER. TWENTY-SEVEN CONTRACT EMPLOYEES, EMPLOYED BY TWO SUBCONTRACTORS, WERE ALSO ON-SITE. NONE OF THE 27 REQUIRED HOSPITALIZATION.
Keywords: respiratory, inhalation, chlorine, toxic fumes, respirator, rupture, chemical
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 105425516 Hospitalized injury Other Mixing and blending machine operators
2 105425516 Hospitalized injury Other Mixing and blending machine operators
3 105425524 Occupation Not Listed
4 105425573 Occupation Not Listed

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