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Industrial metals recovery worker killed in explosion.

New Jersey Department of Health
Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, FACE 02NJ003, 2003 Mar; :1-12
On January 25, 2002, a 20-year-old acid room worker died and another worker was critically injured after a chemical explosion destroyed part of an industrial metals recovery plant. The incident occurred at the plant during a process that used acid to remove the epoxy coating from electronic components in order to collect the remaining metal. Approximately 800 pounds of capacitors had been soaking overnight when the victim started to remove the material from the acid bath. Unknown to the workers, the organic materials in the capacitors apparently reacted with the acid to create picric acid, an explosive compound. The picric acid exploded with enough force to blow out a large section of the plant's flat truss roof and concrete walls. The explosion instantly killed the victim and severely injured a second worker who received extensive burns to his head and upper body. Five other plant employees were briefly hospitalized and several employees at neighboring workplaces were treated for chemical exposure. NJ FACE investigators concluded that, to prevent similar incidents, these safety guidelines should be followed: 1. Employers should consult with qualified personnel before making major changes to their chemical processes. 2. Employers should develop, institute, and enforce standard operating procedures for their chemical and other production processes. 3. Employers should conduct a job hazard analysis of all work activities with the participation of the workers. 4. Employers and employees should become familiar with available resources on safety standards and safe work practices.
Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-practices; Safety-measures; Traumatic-injuries; Region-2; Work-practices; Work-environment; Work-performance; Occupational-accidents; Occupational-exposure; Occupational-hazards; Chemical-burns; Chemical-factory-workers; Chemical-properties; Chemical-reactions; Chemical-synthesis; Safety-programs; Occupational-safety-programs; Laboratories; Laboratory-workers
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
FACE-02NJ003; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-207088
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
New Jersey Department of Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division