Case No.47

Acute organic solvent poisoning while washing the inside of a drum with toluene

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[Discription of Incident]

This accident occurred during work to wash a drum that contained an adhesive in a cellophane tape manufacturing factory.

The victim who was on the night shift was working with a group leader to monitor the machine that applies a coat of adhesive and to conduct sampling inspections, etc.

While they were taking turns working in thirty-minute shifts, the victim did not return to work after a break. When the group leader searched for the victim, he found the unconscious victim who had fallen head-first into an empty drum that previously contained adhesive.

Although the victim was immediately taken to the hospital for emergency treatment, he never regained consciousness.

Incidentally, this drum had been washed by a group leader on the day shift, and this matter was transferred to the night shift workers at the time of the shift-change meeting.

[Causes supposed]

1.     Ventilation was not conducted for a site where toluene was used.

2.     The victim bent forward to wash the inside of the drum that still contained toluene vapor.

3.     The victim did not use a gas mask during the washing work.

[Type of business] Miiscellaneous chemical products (industries)
[Caused by] Harmful substances
[Type of accident] Contact with harmful substances, etc.
[Number of victims] One fatality