A horrific industrial plant accident is under investigation following the death of a 54-year-old employee. Daniel Hill had worked for Michigan Seamless Tube for less than two years when he somehow fell into a vat containing a 10 to 12 percent solution of sulfuric acid at the steel manufacturing plant.
The man was completely submerged in the 160-degree chemical solution, and though his coworkers sacrificed their own health and safety in their attempts to save him, he suffered burns over his entire body that led to his death approximately 11 hours later.
Witnesses are unclear as to how the industrial plant accident took place. What they know is that employees saw him already in the tank and trying desperately to climb out. Co-workers burned themselves as they attempted to pull him out of the dangerous liquid, which causes both chemical burns and secondary thermal burns due to the dehydration caused by the original burn. The liquid can corrode metal and stone, as well as paper and skin.
Industrial Plant Accident Caused Extreme Burns
Apparently, nobody saw the industrial plant accident happen: they don’t know how Hill fell into the vat, how even how long he was in the chemical before his coworkers saw him and rescued him. Those rescuers were also injured in the course of the accident, though their burns were treated onsite at the plant.
Hill was put under a safety shower prior to being transported to the University Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he died. The incident is being investigated by both the company and the Michigan Occupational Health and Safety Administration.
This is not the first fatal industrial plant accident to occur at the plant. In 2007 a man was killed when he was hit with a heavy piece of machinery, and the company has reported seven workplace accidents over the last 6 years.
Among the violations for which the company has been cited are several for failure to guard employees against pinch points, one for poor control of hazardous energy, and two for failure to conduct annual inspections of energy control procedures.
The company has also previously been fined for failure to provide training to employees on hazardous energy sources and for failure to log an injury within the required amount of time.