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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Inspection Detail

Inspection: 120309620 - Bodycote Thermal Processing

Inspection Information - Office: Ca Pico Rivera

Nr: 120309620Report ID: 0950642Open Date: 05/17/2001

Bodycote Thermal Processing
18600 Oxnard St
Tarzana, CA 91356
Union Status: NonUnion
SIC: 3398/Metal Heat Treating

Inspection Type:Accident
Scope:Partial Advanced Notice:N
Ownership:Private
Safety/Health:Health Close Conference:10/12/2001
Close Case:11/30/2009

Related Activity:TypeIDSafetyHealth
 Accident362537839    
 Accident362612129    
 Accident362612137    
 Accident362612145    

Violation Summary
Serious Willful Repeat Other Unclass Total
Initial Violations 6 1 9 16
Current Violations 5 11 16
Initial Penalty $76,750 $70,000 $0 $6,970 $0 $153,720
Current Penalty $60,750 $0 $0 $8,455 $0 $69,205
FTA Amount $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0

Violation Items
# ID Type Standard Issuance Abate Curr$ Init$ Fta$ Contest LastEvent
  1. 01001 Other 5157 F 11/06/2001 11/21/2001 $450 $450 $0 01/09/2002 F - Formal Settlement
  2. 01002 Other 5157 C02 11/06/2001 11/21/2001 $375 $505 $0 01/09/2002 F - Formal Settlement
  3. 01003 Other 5157 C04 11/06/2001 11/21/2001 $505 $505 $0 01/09/2002 F - Formal Settlement
  4. 01004 Other 5157 D13 11/06/2001 11/21/2001 $750 $900 $0 01/09/2002 F - Formal Settlement
  5. 01005 Other 5157 E 11/06/2001 11/21/2001 $375 $560 $0 01/09/2002 F - Formal Settlement
  6. 01006 Other 5157 G02 11/06/2001 11/21/2001 $1,125 $1,125 $0 01/09/2002 F - Formal Settlement
  7. 01007 Other 5157 J 11/06/2001 11/21/2001 $1,125 $1,125 $0 01/09/2002 F - Formal Settlement
  8. 01008 Other 3203 A 11/06/2001 11/21/2001 $1,125 $1,125 $0 01/09/2002 F - Formal Settlement
  9. 01009 Other 3314 F 11/06/2001 11/21/2001 $375 $675 $0 01/09/2002 F - Formal Settlement
  10. 02001 Serious 3480 C 11/06/2001 11/15/2001 $6,750 $9,000 $0 01/09/2002 F - Formal Settlement
  11. 03001 Serious 5157 D04 11/06/2001 11/15/2001 $6,750 $9,000 $0 01/09/2002 F - Formal Settlement
  12. 04001 Other 5157 D09 11/06/2001 11/15/2001 $1,125 $11,250 $0 01/09/2002 F - Formal Settlement
  13. 05001 Serious 5157 K 11/06/2001 11/15/2001 $6,750 $11,250 $0 01/09/2002 F - Formal Settlement
  14. 06001 Serious 5157 K03 11/06/2001 11/15/2001 $18,000 $25,000 $0 01/09/2002 F - Formal Settlement
  15. 07001 Other 5157 D05 11/06/2001 11/15/2001 $1,125 $11,250 $0 01/09/2002 F - Formal Settlement
  16. 08001 Serious 5157 D03 11/06/2001 11/15/2001 $22,500 $70,000 $0 01/09/2002 F - Formal Settlement

Accident Investigation Summary
Summary Nr: 201055498Event: 05/17/2001Two Employees Killed When Asphyxiated In Furnace
At 9:30 a.m. on May 17, 2001, an accident occurred at the employer's facility located in Tarzana, California. The employer is engaged in the heat treatment of metal parts, specializing in the aerospace industry. At the time of the accident, Employee #1, a maintenance worker, was working to repair a hydraulic leak on the inside of a Hayes Model VSQ Vacuum Furnace. This furnace opens to the side and has a quench oil tank, 6-feet in diameter by 9-feet deep, on the inside which is used to cool metal parts once they have been heat treated under vacuum. Once the parts have been placed in the quenching tank by the parts elevator, the furnace is backfilled with an inert gas, either argon or nitrogen, to replace the vacuum from the system. The oil from this tank was drained three days before the accident in order to service the hydraulic lines and the motor located at the bottom of the quench oil tank. While Employee #1 was working, he collapsed into the empty quench oil tank. Employee #2, the maintenance worker's supervisor, who was in the area called for help and climbed into the furnace to attempt to render aid to Employee #1. Employees in the area who heard the call for help came to the furnace and saw Employee #1 lying on the elevator yolk and Employee #2 slumped next to him. At the time of the accident, the electrical panel for the furnace was energized and the argon and nitrogen valves on the pipes for the inert gases to Furnace Number 9 were open. There is a solenoid valve in-line on each of these pipes which controls gas release for the treatment cycle. It is not clear why or which gas was delivered to the furnace. However, witnesses at the site stated that the selector switch on the operation panel was selected for argon. Employee #1 and Employee #2 were not wearing a harness or retrieval lines. The fire department retrieved the two employees, who were pronounced dead at the hospital. The coroner's report lists the cause of death for both employees as suffocation.
Keywords: furnace, asphyxiated, suffocated, nitrogen, argon
Inspection Degree Nature Occupation
1 120309620 Fatality Asphyxia Machinery maintenance occupations
2 120309620 Fatality Asphyxia Machinery maintenance occupations

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