Friday, August 18, 2006

Tragic and Wierd

OSHA's Hazard Communication (Right To Know) Standard requires all chemicals used in the workplace to be clearly labeled. This is one reason:
Rifle man dies after accidental worksite poisoning

By Chad Abraham
August 17, 2006

A metalworker died Aug. 6, two days after accidentally ingesting a highly toxic liquid he thought was an energy drink at an Old Snowmass work site.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the job-site safety practices of Pitkin Iron, the Glenwood Springs company where Frank Gabossi III worked.

Gabossi, a longtime resident of Rifle, was 53. On Friday, Aug. 4, he and a colleague went to a home on Snowmass Creek Road to work on a metal staircase, said Ron Ryan, investigator at the Pitkin County Sheriff's Office.

Around noon, Gabossi walked back to their truck and picked up a Gatorade bottle containing Antique Black. The bottle still had the drink label on it, and it was not marked as containing the agent, used to age metal. The substance, which is bright blue, contains selenous acid, which is highly corrosive and for which there is no antidote, Ryan said.

Gabossi apparently swallowed half a mouthful before spitting out the other half. He immediately knew what had happened and told his co-worker, who drove him to Valley View Hospital. He was airlifted to St. Mary's Hospital in Grand Junction, where he died.

Gabossi's death is considered an accident, and no criminal charges are planned, Ryan said.

The men put the liquid into the smaller bottle for convenience; it is usually stored in five-gallon drums on the grounds of the Glenwood company.
And on a slightly lighter note:
Worker trapped in vat of chocolate

KENOSHA, Wis., Aug. 18 (UPI) -- Darmin Garcia, an employee at a Wisconsin factory that makes premium chocolate, got too much of a good thing when he slipped into a vat of the stuff.

Garcia spent more than two hours chest deep in a vat of dark chocolate at the DeBellis factory in Kenosha, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported.

"It was in my hair, in my ears, my mouth, everywhere," Garcia said. "I felt like I weighed 900 pounds. I couldn't move."

In addition to being weighted down, Garcia was also hot -- since the temperature in the vat was 110 degrees, several degrees hotter than a Jacuzzi.

Garcia's fellow workers tried to pull him out but his clothes were stuck on a roller and liquid chocolate has a consistency something like quicksand. After the workers added cocoa butter to the vat to thin the mixture, firefighters scooped enough out so Garcia could be freed.