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17-year-old worker at a plastic products manufacturing plant died as a result of an overexposure to tetrachloroethylene (also known as perchloroethylene).

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
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 94CO006, 1994 Aug; :1-3
On February 3, 1994, a 17-year-old laborer began work at 16:00. His assigned task was to clean the inside of metal molds used to form plastic containers. This task involved applying approximately four fluid ounces of tetrachloroethylene to a cloth rag which was then used to wipe the interior surface of the mold. The mold in which the body of the laborer was found formed a 40-gallon container and measured 19 1/2 inches in diameter and 32 inches deep. Evidence at the scene indicated that the employee had propped the mold in an upright position and leaned into the mold to clean the bottom. The deceased was discovered at 24:00 when a coworker arrived on the scene. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) investigator concluded that to prevent future similar occurrences, employers should: 1. Explore the feasibility of replacing tetrachloroethylene with a less toxic cleaning fluid. 2. Provide workers with proper tools that will enable them to reach areas to be cleaned without the need to have their head inside the vessel. 3. Develop, implement, and enforce a written safety policy and safe work procedures designed to help workers recognize, understand, and control hazards.
Region-8; Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Work-operations; Work-analysis; Work-areas; Work-performance; Work-practices; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-measures; Safety-monitoring; Protective-measures; Safety-programs; Solvent-vapors; Solvents; Cleaning-compounds; Chemical-cleaning; Chemical-properties; Plastics-industry
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-94CO006; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-808518
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
Page last reviewed: June 15, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division