Workers Sprayed with Acid at Tesaro Refinery
According to a Reuters report, two refinery workers were sprayed with sulfuric acid on March 10 at a Tesaro refinery in Martinez, California. This is the second incident of this nature to occur at the refinery in the past month.
A Contra County hazardous materials specialist, Lacey Friedman, told Reuters that one of the workers had been treated and released. The second worker remains hospitalized.
Tina Barbee, a spokeswoman for Tesaro, stated that the workers were wearing full protective equipment at the time of the incident and were decontaminated before being transported to a local medical facility.
About the Refinery Incidents
- On February 12, two workers were treated at a local hospital after a sulfuric acid release.
- The workers were testing material produced by an alkylation unit when the incident occurred.
- Workers told the U.S. Chemical Safety Board that being sprayed with the acid is a common occurrence and they lacked face shields and protective clothing.
- The recent incident and the one in February are reported to have occurred in the same alkylation unit but in different process areas.
- The two incidents are believed to be unrelated, according to a Tesaro spokeswoman.
- Tesaro has stated that after the first incident, the company reviewed safety procedures with employees.
Workplace Injury Statistics
- According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were 2.8 million nonfatal occupational injuries nationwide in 2012.
- The California Department of Industrial Relations’ Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) lists three fatal accidents in the chemical manufacturing industry in 2011 as a result of exposure to harmful substances or environments.
- According to the CFOI there were a total of 390 fatal occupational injuries in the state of California in 2011.