Serious Accident Alert
On June 28, 2017, a miner was overcome by vapors following a hazardous waste spill from a tanker trailer. The hazardous material spilled from the top of the tanker around a damaged agitator seal. The miner stopped the spill at the tanker bay control station and attempted to clean up the spill by washing it into a sump. He noticed a very strong chemical odor and his vision became blurry. The miner attempted to leave the area and ran a short distance before losing consciousness.
• Process equipment should be regularly inspected for proper operation. Damaged equipment should be removed from service. Displays, controls, and emergency stops should be readily accessible and installed away from potential hazard zones.
• Fixed gas detectors with alarms should be installed in areas where hazardous gases or vapors can accumulate. Miners handling hazardous chemicals should be equipped with personal gas detectors. Calibrate and maintain gas detection equipment per manufacturer recommendations.
• Avoid working in areas where hazardous concentrations of gases and vapors can accumulate. Minimize or eliminate hazards through engineering and administrative controls. Ventilation systems should be properly designed, installed, and maintained to remove hazardous contaminants from the work area.
• Evaluate the hazards associated with work processes and develop procedures and training to protect miners from those hazards. Provide warning signs that display the nature of the hazard(s) and the required personal protective equipment.
• Train miners on emergency response procedures.