Massachusetts plater dies following hydrofluoric acid spill exposure during transfer process.
Massachusetts 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 92MA019, 1993 Apr; :1-4
A 37 year-old male Massachusetts plater (victim) died of complications following exposure to hydrofluoric acid. The victim was employed by a manufacturer of production control instruments for the oil and chemical industry. The victim and a co-worker were manually transferring the acid from a fifty-five gallon drum to a three gallon pail when the incident occurred. The workers were wearing only safety goggles and elbow-length rubber gloves for protection. During the transfer process, the three gallon pail was knocked from a makeshift table to the floor. Consequently, the acid splashed the victim's torso/arms region. Following emergency on-site showering and medical treatment, the victim was transported first to a community hospital and then to a regional medical center where he died several hours later. The Massachusetts FACE Investigator concluded that to prevent similar occurrences in the future, employers should: 1. Provide training for employees in hazard recognition and avoidance, and safe work practices including task-specific procedures. 2. Implement policies and procedures to ensure safe transfer of hazardous materials in a manner that eliminates or minimizes potential exposure. 3. Ensure that containers to and from which hazardous liquids are conveyed be as fully enclosed as possible to prevent or minimize unintentional escape if dropped or tipped over. 4. Investigate use of alternative less corrosive or non-corrosive materials. 5. Ensure that all appropriate personal protective equipment is provided and used during hazardous material handling operations.
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