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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 707349 - Employee Overcome By Fumes While Cleaning Inside Tank Truck

Accident: 707349 -- Report ID: 0352420 -- Event Date: 09/13/1986
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
1881257809/19/198675384 D Inc.
EMPLOYEE #1 WAS WORKING OVERTIME ON A SATURDAY, CLEANING THE INSIDE OF TANKER TRUCKS. HE HAD CLEANED ABOUT 15 TANKERS PREVIOUSLY, USING A PROCEDURE WHICH HAD BEEN ORALLY COMMUNICATED TO HIM. THE TRUCKS HAD PREVIOUSLY CONTAINED LIQUID POLYESTER OR A FORM OF SILICONE. NO MATERIAL SAFETY DATA SHEET HAD BEEN PROVIDED FOR THE MATERIALS. HE WAS NOT EQUIPPED WITH ANY TEST EQUIPMENT TO CHECK THE OXYGEN LEVELS BEFORE ENTERING THE TANK, NOR HE PROVIDED WITH AN EMPLOYEE MONITOR OR SAFETY LINE TO WHICH HE COULD ATTACH HIMSELF. HE HAD BEEN TAUGHT TO PLACE A STEAMER WAND INTO THE TANK, THEN ADD "ZEP" EMULSIFIER AND LET THE MIXTURE BUBBLE. THE TANKER WOULD THUS BE CLEANED BY STEAMING. THE EMPLOYEE WOULD LET THE STEAMER RUN FOR ABOUT TWO HOURS, THEN RETURN AND DRY OFF THE INSIDE BY ENTERING THE TANK AND WIPING IT DOWN. HOWEVER, ON THIS PARTICULAR DAY, THE EMPLOYEE WAS IN A HURRY BECAUSE HE HAD THREE TRUCKS TO CLEAN. THE DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS AND THE HEAD FOREMAN WERE NOT AT THE PLANT. TWO OTHER EMPLOYEES WERE LEFT IN CHARGE. HE DECIDED TO GO INSIDE THE TANKER WITH THE STEAMER WAND AND STEAM THE WALLS DOWN BY HAND TO HASTEN THE JOB. AFTER WORKING FOR ABOUT 10 MINUTES HE BEGAN TO BE OVERCOME BY THE FUMES. BECAUSE EVERYTHING WAS WET, HE WAS SLIPPING AND SLIDING. THE LADDER SLIPPED OUT OF THE HATCH HOLE. AFTER GETTING THE LADDER BACK IN THE HOLE, HE CLIMBED UP PARTIALLY, THEN CALLED FOR HELP. THE TWO OTHER EMPLOYEES PULLED HIM OUT. HE WAS TAKEN TO THE HOSPITAL, BUT RELEASED THE NEXT DAY. THE EMPLOYER WILL BE CITED FOR SAFETY VIOLATIONS.
Keywords: respiratory, tank truck, confined space, work rules, cleaning, inhalation, toxic fumes, polyester resin
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 18812578 Hospitalized injury Asphyxia Horticultural specialty farmers

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