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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 783910 - Employees Evacuated When Chemicals Spontaneously React

Accident: 783910 -- Report ID: 0452110 -- Event Date: 07/22/1991
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
11235715707/25/19913625Eaton Corp., Cutler Hammer Products
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
11594815007/29/19917381Guardsmark, Inc
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
11235715707/25/19913625Eaton Corp., Cutler Hammer Products
On July 19, 1991, a 20 gallon drum of chromic acid bright dip reacted and formed a yellowish green cloud. The material was overpacked (lab packed) and all three drums were placed into the Inland Building outside the main building. The drums contained 6 lb, 4 lb, and 20 lb of product. The 4 lb drum reacted first. The overpacked drum was brought back into the main building and placed alongside the unreacted drums in an EPA permitted storage area. On Monday, July 22, 1991, another drum containing 6 lb of chromic acid bright dip reacted, causing 67 employees on the first shift to be evacuated. Four employees tried to remove the drum. Two were wearing SCBAs, an Eaton employee and a Guardsmark guard. The product was removed. Investigation showed that employee action in both situations should have been to evacuate the building. Analysis of reacted and unreacted chemical percentages did not correlate with the Material Safety Data Sheets. Chemicals released by reaction were determined to be chlorine, hydrofluoric acid, ammonia, and sulfates, which accounts for the employees reportedly smelling chlorine, ammonia, and battery acid. Employees #25, #26, and #27 were hospitalized.
Keywords: ammonia, hydrofluoric acid, drum, chlorine, chemical reaction
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 112357157 Non Hospitalized injury Other Miscellaneous machine operators, n.e.c.
2 112357157 Non Hospitalized injury Other Miscellaneous machine operators, n.e.c.
3 112357157 Non Hospitalized injury Other Miscellaneous machine operators, n.e.c.
4 112357157 Non Hospitalized injury Other Freight, stock and material handlers, n.e.c.
5 112357157 Non Hospitalized injury Other Misc. metal,plastic,stone&glass-working mach. op's
6 115948150 Non Hospitalized injury Other Guards and police, excluding public service
7 112357157 Non Hospitalized injury Other Miscellaneous machine operators, n.e.c.
8 112357157 Non Hospitalized injury Other Supervisors; handlers,equip-cleaners,laborers nec
9 112357157 Non Hospitalized injury Other Miscellaneous machine operators, n.e.c.
10 112357157 Hospitalized injury Other Miscellaneous machine operators, n.e.c.
11 112357157 Non Hospitalized injury Other Machinery maintenance occupations
12 112357157 Non Hospitalized injury Other Miscellaneous machine operators, n.e.c.
13 112357157 Hospitalized injury Other Miscellaneous machine operators, n.e.c.
14 112357157 Non Hospitalized injury Other Miscellaneous machine operators, n.e.c.
15 112357157 Non Hospitalized injury Other Misc. metal,plastic,stone&glass-working mach. op's
16 112357157 Non Hospitalized injury Other Miscellaneous machine operators, n.e.c.
17 112357157 Non Hospitalized injury Other Miscellaneous machine operators, n.e.c.
18 112357157 Non Hospitalized injury Other Welders and cutters
19 112357157 Non Hospitalized injury Other Misc. metal,plastic,stone&glass-working mach. op's
20 112357157 Non Hospitalized injury Other Miscellaneous machine operators, n.e.c.
21 112357157 Non Hospitalized injury Other Machinery maintenance occupations
22 112357157 Non Hospitalized injury Other Miscellaneous machine operators, n.e.c.
23 112357157 Non Hospitalized injury Other Miscellaneous machine operators, n.e.c.
24 112357157 Non Hospitalized injury Other Janitors and cleaners
25 112357157 Hospitalized injury Other Miscellaneous machine operators, n.e.c.
26 112357157 Non Hospitalized injury Other Miscellaneous machine operators, n.e.c.
27 112357157 Non Hospitalized injury Other Miscellaneous machine operators, n.e.c.

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