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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 694216 - Employee Died While Cleaning Tank Containing Freon 113

Accident: 694216 -- Report ID: 0355114 -- Event Date: 11/21/1986
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
333661711/24/19863764Atlantic Research Corporation
THREE MEN FROM THE AFTERNOON CREW WERE ASSIGNED TO CLEAN A VAPOR/ULTRASONIC DEGREASING TANK. THE THREE WERE UNFAMILIAR WITH THE CLEANING PROCEDURES, SO THEY OBTAINED A COPY OF THE CLEANING PROCEDURES, THEN PROCEEDED TO PUMP THE SOLVENT INTO FIFTY-FIVE GALLON DRUMS. THE CHEMICAL NAME FOR THE SOLVENT USED IN THE DEGREASER IS 1,1,2 TRICHLORO-1,2,2 TRIFLUOROETHANE, (COMMONLY REFERRED TO AS FREON 113). THE TANK WAS DRAINED UNTIL ONLY APPROXIMATELY ONE GALLON OF THE SOLVENT REMAINED. THEY THEN DECIDED TO BREAK FOR LUNCH. ON THEIR WAY BACK FROM LUNCH THEY MET EMPLOYEE #1, WHO WAS FAMILIAR WITH SOLVENT RECOVERY AND CLEANING OF THE DEGREASER. HE VOLUNTEERED TO GO BACK TO THE DEGREASER AND HELP. THE EMPLOYEES HAD OBTAINED RAGS TO CLEAN THE BOTTOM OF THE DEGREASER. SHORTLY AFTER ENTERING THE TANK, THE MEN EXPERIENCED BREATHING PROBLEMS AND CLIMBED OUT. EMPLOYEE #1 COLLAPSED AND FELL TO THE FLOOR. THE AUTOPSY LISTED THE CAUSE OF DEATH AS FREON (1,1,2 TRICHLORO-1,2,2, TRIFLUORO ETHANE) POISONING.
Keywords: degreaser tank, unconsciousness, confined space, work rules, cleaning, inhalation, freon, poisoning, toxic fumes, untrained
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 3336617 Fatality Poisoning(Systemic) Occupation not reported

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