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Worker dies while cleaning freon 113 degreasing tank in Virginia, November 21, 1986.

Authors
NIOSH
Source
NIOSH 1986 Dec; :1-6
NIOSHTIC No.
00174324
Abstract
A worker died while assisting three workers who were cleaning out a Freon-113 (76131) vapor degreaser at a chemical fuel plant. During this procedure solvent was drained off and the residue on the bottom of the degreaser was cleaned out. The company had written instructions for cleaning out the degreasing tank. All but about 1 gallon of the solvent had been drained off. After taking a break for lunch, the three men returned, picking up the fourth worker who was experienced in the cleaning operation. Using removable wooden stairs two men, including the experienced worker, climbed into the tank. Shortly thereafter both men had trouble breathing and exited the tank. The experienced worker collapsed to the floor and died shortly. The other worker experienced no ill effects. The men were using air purifying respirators designed for limited use with organic solvents. The cause of death had not been determined. Recommendations arising from this accident include the performance of a preliminary hazard analysis by the employer to determine hazardous areas within the company and design a more detailed task specific job hazard analysis, initiation of comprehensive policies and procedures for confined space entry, the development and implementation of a more comprehensive respirator program including either quantitative or qualitative fit testing and training in the use and limitations of this equipment.
Keywords
NIOSH-Author; FACE-87-17; Region-3; Confined-spaces; Vapors; Fluorocarbons; Maintenance-workers; Cleaning-compounds; Chemical-manufacturing-industry
CAS No.
76-13-1
Publication Date
19861211
Document Type
Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation; Field Studies
Fiscal Year
1987
NTIS Accession No.
PB88-154513
NTIS Price
A02
Identifying No.
FACE-87-17
NIOSH Division
DSR
SIC Code
NAICS-32
Source Name
Division of Safety Research, NIOSH, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Morgantown, West Virginia, Report No. FACE-87-17, 6 pages
State
VA; WV
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