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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 772921 - Employee Asphyxiated By Argon Gas

Accident: 772921 -- Report ID: 0627700 -- Event Date: 05/16/1992
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
10752882005/18/19923724Chromalloy Division-Oklahoma
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
10886273105/18/19923724Chromalloy Division-Oklahoma
ON THE MORNING OF MAY 16, 1992, EMPLOYEE #1 AND ANOTHER WORKER HAD BEGUN SETTING UP THE BELL FURNACE FOR A DIFFUSED ALUMINIDE COATING OF AIRCRAFT ENGINE TURBINE BLADES. THE SETUP INCLUDED HOOKING UP ARGON LINES, LOADING THE FURNACE, AND ATTACHING LOW VOLTAGE THERMOCOUPLES. AT 1:20 PM, THE SETUP WAS THOUGHT TO BE COMPLETE AND THE RUN WAS INITIATED. EMPLOYEE #1 LEFT THE PLANT TO GO HOME, SHOWER, AND CHANGE CLOTHING. AT 2:10 PM, EMPLOYEE #1 RETURNED TO WORK AND NOTICED THAT THE FURNACE WAS NOT POWERING UP WITH OVEN HEAT. HE FAILED TO NOTICE, HOWEVER, THAT THE HEAT ENABLE SWITCH ON THE CONTROL PANEL WAS OFF. EMPLOYEE #1 WENT TO THE FURNACE TO CHECK THE ELECTRICAL THERMOCOUPLES LOCATED JUST BELOW THE FLOOR ON THE PIT WALL AND ON THE SIDE OF THE FURNACE. EMPLOYEE #1 WAS ASPHYXIATED BY ARGON GAS AND FELL 7 FEET INTO THE FURNACE PIT, DISCONNECTING THERMOCOUPLE LINES #2 AND #5. AT 2:20 PM, THE SECURITY GUARD NOTICED EMPLOYEE #1 LYING IN THE BOTTOM OF THE PIT, AND SUMMONED HELP. THE AREA SUPERVISOR AND OTHER EMPLOYEES USED SCBA AND AN ESCAPE RESPIRATOR TO REMOVE EMPLOYEE #1 FROM THE PIT. CPR WAS STARTED UNTIL THE FIRE DEPARTMENT ARRIVED AT 2:31 PM. AT 2:45 PM, THE AMBULANCE LEFT WITH EMPLOYEE #1. ANOTHER EMPLOYEE CHECKED THE OXYGEN ALARM, NOTICING THE FUSE IN THE BOTTOM OF THE ALARM BOX. THE EMPLOYEE RE-INSTALLED THE FUSE, THE ALARM SOUNDED AND THE GAUGE READ 6 PERCENT OXYGEN. LATER IN THE DAY, EMPLOYEE #1 EXPIRED AT MIDWEST CITY HOSPITAL.
Keywords: furnace, oxygen deficiency, respiratory, asphyxiated, confined space, work rules, pit, set up, argon, inattention
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 107528820 Occupation Not Listed
2 108862731 Fatality Asphyxia Occupation not reported

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