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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 948182 - Employees Hospitalized For Carbon Monoxide Exposure

Accident: 948182 -- Report ID: 0355123 -- Event Date: 09/30/1994
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
12369330109/30/19942331Tultex Corporation-Chilhowie Plant
At approximately 11:35 a.m. on September 30, 1994, approximately 172 employees working at the Tultex Corporation's Chilhowie plant were sent to three different local hospitals with apparent elevated carboxyhemoglobin (carbon monoxide) blood levels. At least fifteen employees were rendered partially or totally unconscious and had to be transported to the hospital on stretchers. The average carboxyhemoglobin level of the employees tested was approximately 21 percent; normal levels would be 1 percent for nonsmokers, and 18 percent for heavy smokers. The Hazmat response team, private consultants hired by the employer, and VOSH industrial hygienist all concluded that the carbon monoxide source was a propane-powered industrial fork-type truck. The carbon monoxide levels in the truck's exhaust area at the plant ranged from 65 ppm during warm idle to more than 1,000 ppm during cold start-up. The carbon monoxide was apparently distributed throughout the plant when the building's HVAC system was turned on at approximately 10:00 a.m. The fork truck operator had the highest carboxyhemoglobin level of the tested employees at one medical center.
Keywords: unconsciousness, ind trk operator, ventilation, industrial truck, air contamination, carboxyhemoglobin, carbon monoxide
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 123693301 Hospitalized injury Asphyxia Occupation not reported
2 123693301 Non Hospitalized injury Asphyxia Occupation not reported
3 123693301 Non Hospitalized injury Asphyxia Occupation not reported
4 123693301 Hospitalized injury Asphyxia Occupation not reported
5 123693301 Hospitalized injury Asphyxia Occupation not reported
6 123693301 Hospitalized injury Asphyxia Occupation not reported
7 123693301 Non Hospitalized injury Asphyxia Occupation not reported
8 123693301 Hospitalized injury Asphyxia Occupation not reported
9 123693301 Non Hospitalized injury Asphyxia Occupation not reported
10 123693301 Hospitalized injury Asphyxia Occupation not reported

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