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Worker dies after lifting access cover on acid reclaim storage tank in Virginia, December 14, 1986.
Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, FACE 87-26, 1987 Mar; :1-5
A shift supervisor employed at a synthetic fiber manufacturing facility died after lifting the access cover on a 6100 gallon acid reclaim storage tank. He and another worker were attempting to thaw out a frozen pipe which ran from the acid sump tank to the storage tank. The tank contained a mixture of water and acids from spinning operations in the manufacture of synthetic fibers, and hydrogen- sulfide (7783064) and carbon-disulfide (75150) gases. The victim opened the tank access cover and stuck his head inside the tank, and was pulled back by another worker. Some time later he was found lying on top of the tank with his head inside the opening. The cause of death was listed on the autopsy report as hydrogen-sulfide and carbon-disulfide poisoning. After the accident an atmospheric test of the acid storage tank revealed levels of hydrogen-sulfide greater than 1000 parts per million (ppm) and carbon-disulfide greater than 600ppm. The firm employed about 1200 individuals, and had a safety program. Workers had been told earlier that day not to go on top of the tank without safety harnesses and respirators, but had not taken these precautions. Recommendations arising from this accident include the initiation of comprehensive policies and procedures for confined space entry by the employer, ensuring that all employees are trained to recognize hazards in their jobs, implementation and enforcement of the safety program, and implementation of an improved housekeeping program.
NIOSH-Author; Region-3; FACE-87-26; Toxic-gases; Vapors; Confined-spaces; Personal-protective-equipment; Safety-practices; Synthetic-fibers-industry; Accident-analysis
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division