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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Inspection Detail

Inspection: 113516066 - Polymer Latex Inc.

Inspection Information - Office: Springfield

Nr: 113516066Report ID: 0112600Open Date: 06/30/1998

Polymer Latex Inc.
119 Authority Drive
Fitchburg, MA 01420
Union Status: NonUnion
SIC: 2821/Plastics Materials, Synthetic Resins, and Nonvulcanizable Elastomers
Mailing: 83 Authority Drive, Fitchburg, MA 01420

Inspection Type:Accident
Scope:Partial Advanced Notice:N
Safety/Health:Health Close Conference:09/17/1998
Close Case:03/10/1999

Related Activity:TypeIDSafetyHealth

Violation Summary
Serious Willful Repeat Other Unclass Total
Initial Violations 3 1 4
Current Violations 3 1 4
Initial Penalty $4,125 $0 $0 $0 $0 $4,125
Current Penalty $4,125 $0 $0 $0 $0 $4,125
FTA Amount $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0

Violation Items
# ID Type Standard Issuance Abate Curr$ Init$ Fta$ Contest LastEvent
  1. 01001 Serious 19100119 E05 10/01/1998 01/02/1999 $1,125 $1,125 $0 -
  2. 01002 Serious 19100119 E07 10/01/1998 03/02/1999 $1,125 $1,125 $0 P - Petition to Mod Abatement
  3. 01003 Serious 19100119 L02 II 10/01/1998 11/18/1998 $1,875 $1,875 $0 -
  4. 02001 Other 19100134 B11 10/01/1998 10/06/1998 $0 $0 $0 -

Accident Investigation Summary
Summary Nr: 200690170Event: 06/29/1998Six Employees Suffer From Exposure To Nitric Oxide
On June 29, 1998, Employee #1, at Polymer Latex, Inc., in Fitchburg, MA, was performing a drumming operation, in which a waste solution of itaconic acid, sodium nitrite, and methanol in water was transferred from a pre-emulsion tank into polyethylene-lined fiber drums to be shipped out as hazardous waste. Employee #1 was unaware that the itaconic acid had reacted with the sodium nitrite in solution to form nitrous acid. Nitrous acid further reacted to form nitric acid in solution and nitric oxide, which was released to the atmosphere in the reactor room when he drummed off the waste solution. Employees #1 through #6 and two coworkers suffered from exposure to NOX (the common name given to a combination of nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide) and were transported to the hospital. Employees #1 through #6 were treated for excessive methemoglobin in the blood, an adverse effect of exposure to NOX, and were released later that morning. Employee #1 was not expecting any toxic gas to develop, so no local exhaust ventilation was utilized, nor was the drumming performed in an enclosed system.
Keywords: vapor, ventilation, ppe, work rules, inhalation, air contamination, chemical reaction, nitric acid, chemical
Inspection Degree Nature Occupation
1 113516066 Hospitalized injury Other Occupation not reported
2 113516066 Hospitalized injury Other Occupation not reported
3 113516066 Hospitalized injury Other Occupation not reported
4 113516066 Hospitalized injury Other Occupation not reported
5 113516066 Hospitalized injury Other Occupation not reported
6 113516066 Hospitalized injury Other Occupation not reported

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