From: "Secretary, ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety" <secretary**At_Symbol_Here**DCHAS.ORG>
Subject: [DCHAS-L] OSHA QuickTakes report on Chlorine exposure
Date: December 17, 2012 5:23:00 PM EST
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: <7CA3C166-DF38-4BB8-9B41-CED66D532BA8**At_Symbol_Here**>

CDC Report: Chlorine gas release associated with employee language barrier

A report from the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health released Dec. 7 determined that a 2011 chlorine release at a Tyson Foods poultry processing plant in Arkansas was associated with chemical labeling that a Spanish-speaking worker did not understand. The report states:

On June 27, 2011, a worker at a poultry processing plant in Arkansas began to pour sodium hypochlorite into a 55-gallon drum that contained residual acidic antimicrobial solution. When the sodium hypochlorite reacted with the solution, greenish-yellow chlorine gas was released into the small room where the drum was located and then spread into the plant, where approximately 600 workers were present. These workers promptly were evacuated… The worker who inadvertently mixed the two solutions indicated that the drum was labeled in English but he could only read Spanish. This incident underscores the danger posed by chlorine gas and the importance of employers providing adequate training and communication of health and safety precautions to employees.

Following the gas release, OSHA cited the company for violating its Hazard Communication Standard. OSHA's revised standard aligns with the Globally Harmonized System for the Labeling and Classification of Chemicals and makes workplaces safer by providing easily understandable information on appropriate handling and safe use of hazardous chemicals. For more information, read the full text of the report at

Ralph Stuart
Division of Chemical Health and Safety
American Chemical Society

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