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Author Topic: Has anyone died in a walk-in autoclave?  (Read 18347 times)

Offline DrN

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Has anyone died in a walk-in autoclave?
« on: 09/11/2004 11:21:08 »
I just heard a particularly grizzly story - a friend of a friends colleagues relative or something died when locked in a walk-in autoclave, somewhere in the USA.

My friend decided to phone me up late last night asking urgently if we had walk-in autoclaves. fortunately no. I hadn't even heard of them until then, but looking on the net shows that indeed they do exist! and there are are safety warnings along this kind of line. i.e. don't get locked in.

But then of course i was having nightmares about the horrible death that being locked in an autoclave would provide. took a while to get to sleep!

anyone else heard anything about this? is it true? certainly plausible I guess.
« Last Edit: 12/07/2015 10:02:46 by chris »


 

Offline gsmollin

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Re: autoclave death
« Reply #1 on: 09/11/2004 16:47:12 »
Surely the door would open from the inside, and there is a "kill" switch for the heat and steam. Nevertheless, there are always grisly stories. I have one, for a vacuum chamber.

A technician was looking through an observation port, into a 16 foot thermal vacuum chamber. The glass shattered, and his head was pushed into the chamber by the outside atmospheric pressure, up to the shoulders. Of course, his chest was crushed by atmospheric pressure. Before the crew could release air into the chamber, he was dead. The company covered all the observation ports after that.
 

Offline DrN

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Re: autoclave death
« Reply #2 on: 09/11/2004 20:41:02 »
not good. we had a freezer room at my last place of work that didn't have a push open thingy on the inside! it was very small, but the light switch was outside as well. so it would have been very cold and dark - and not enough room to star-jump to keep warm!  I was always very quick in there!
 

Offline gsmollin

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Re: autoclave death
« Reply #3 on: 10/11/2004 03:51:46 »
I think you guys need OSHA in the UK. I'll send over the nice government employee who comes to my place of employment.
 

Offline Raedon

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Re: autoclave death
« Reply #4 on: 11/11/2004 01:19:22 »
Anyone who is working around a WALK-IN Autoclave should actively be thinking, "I'm about to walk into something that could kill me if other don't have the same respect for this thing as me."

  I mean, whould you work on a cars belt system when your Beer drinking friend has the keys and he has cranked it 6 times earlier?  No.


It is good to be alive! It's impossible I'm here but here I am.. and I rock!
« Last Edit: 11/11/2004 01:20:09 by Raedon »
 

Offline cynphn

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Re: autoclave death
« Reply #5 on: 05/01/2005 15:11:16 »
quote:
Originally posted by fishytails

I just heard a particularly grizzly story - a friend of a friends colleagues relative or something died when locked in a walk-in autoclave, somewhere in the USA.

My friend decided to phone me up late last night asking urgently if we had walk-in autoclaves. fortunately no. I hadn't even heard of them until then, but looking on the net shows that indeed they do exist! and there are are safety warnings along this kind of line. i.e. don't get locked in.

But then of course i was having nightmares about the horrible death that being locked in an autoclave would provide. took a while to get to sleep!

anyone else heard anything about this? is it true? certainly plausible I guess.



Cynthia A Stavish
 

Offline cynphn

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Re: autoclave death
« Reply #6 on: 05/01/2005 15:24:44 »
Hi,

I am new to the group.  I am a critical care nurse working in Saint Paul, Minnesota.  I am not sure how this discussion got started however, in November of this past year (2004) at Regions Hospital in Saint Paul a woman in her 40s was killed when the door to a walk in autoclave at the hospital closed on her.  Apparently, they are designed to start operating the second the doors close.  The policy at the hospital is that no one is to enter the autoclave without the presence of a buddy.  Unfortunately, on that particular day she did not have one and she became entrapped in the autoclave.  She apparently was only in there for seconds before someone hit the door release which is the kill switch after they heard her screaming.  She unfortunately only lived through the night. I am sure if you did a google search you can find the article as it was in all the papers here.

Cynthia A Stavish
 

Offline gsmollin

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Re: autoclave death
« Reply #7 on: 05/01/2005 16:32:32 »
This is an amazing and disturbing post, although apparently true. Let's summarize:

1. You can walk into the chamber.
2. The door can close while you are in there.
3. When the door closes it automatically sterilizes you, apparently in seconds.

Why is my mind boggling at the stupidity of this arrangement? Let me discuss some simple remedies:

1. A seal-in switch, mounted on the outside of the chamber, must be pushed after the door is closed to start the autoclave. This safety feature is so cheap and so basic, that it is on every clothes dryer sold to the public.

2. A weight-operated switch could be installed on the floor of the autoclave so it will not start if a person is standing on the floor.

3. A warning horn could go off for 30 seconds before the autoclave starts, similar to a Cardox fire extinguisher.

4. Kill switches could be mounted on the inside of the autoclave.

Tell the surviviors of your deceased co-worker that it is time the autoclaves got safer to use. tell them to call a lawyer, and sue-em; sue-em good.
 

Offline neilep

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Re: autoclave death
« Reply #8 on: 05/01/2005 17:34:12 »
...ditto to everything above.....I have been trying to understand the logic behind the rationale that commences the procedure as soon as the door is closed........I just can't fathom the thinking behind it !!....how totally **** scaringly absurd !!

'Men are the same as women...just inside out !'
 

Offline DrN

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Re: autoclave death
« Reply #9 on: 08/01/2005 23:14:29 »
I was almost hoping this story wasn't true, although knowing my source, deep down I think I knew it had to be. I agree with the safety measures described above, the first and 4th should be standard and I'm shocked that they aren't.
it must be a pretty powerful autoclave. I've never personally come across a walk-in one, but all the ones I've used take a good while to get up to temperature. It would give someone more time to yell and be rescued, but perhaps not good if there was no-one to hear...
I'll have nightmares again now - and I just watched the first half hour of the Jerry Springer Opera too!!!!
 

Offline neilep

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Re: autoclave death
« Reply #10 on: 08/01/2005 23:29:42 »
quote:
Originally posted by fishytails

- and I just watched the first half hour of the Jerry Springer Opera too!!!!



Sorry to go off topic, but I really wanted to watch that !!..I'm not going to bother now as I hate watching things unless I watch them from the start....was it any good Lindsay ?

Neil

'Men are the same as women...just inside out !'
 

Offline benpao4321

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Re: autoclave death
« Reply #11 on: 10/07/2015 07:25:09 »
It is an amazing and disturbing post, although apparently true. ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D
« Last Edit: 10/07/2015 10:27:37 by alancalverd »
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: autoclave death
« Reply #12 on: 10/07/2015 10:25:44 »
Fortunately we have the benevolent European Union to safeguard our health. The draft Physical Hazards Directive would have banned the use of any oven that could accommodate a human being. Complaints were received from bakers, ceramic manufacturers, car painters, and even crematorium operators (who would have thought it?). They also tried to prevent interventional MRI despite 20 years of "no hazard reports".

Fact is that people are stupid, accidents happen, and statistically, you are safer at work than in the home or driving to work. Except in the deep sea fishing industry, but the EU has destroyed that by other means.   
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Re: Has anyone died in a walk-in autoclave?
« Reply #13 on: 12/07/2015 14:58:09 »
I think you guys need OSHA in the UK. I'll send over the nice government employee who comes to my place of employment.

(OK, I know it's an old post)
Freezers and cold rooms that are big enough to walk into should have a means to open them from the inside.
It has been a legal requirement for many years (at least since the 70s).
On average, here in the UK the number of visits by H+S inspectors for new companies is zero.

The number of inspectors is small so the number of possible visits in a year is small.
The number of workplaces is large and the typical lifetime of a new start-up company is short (typically well under 10 years).
So most companies fold before they get looked at.
This didn't stop our Prime Minister talking about the "health and safety monster" crippling British industry. This suggests that he's an idiot.

It's not practical to use a pressure switch in the floor to detect people, because the load being autoclaved might well be heavier than a person.

It is frightening (and quite possibly criminal) that someone designed any potentially dangerous thing that can switch itself on, without having a hell of a lot of safeguarding.

Pointing out that there was consultation on a draft bill before the enacted it is pointing out that the system worked.
The reason you are safer at work is because there are laws about  worker safety.

If you want to look at a really stupidly drafted bill try the one about psychoactive substances written by the current government.
It's here, but If you plan to talk about it, I suggest a new thread.
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/lbill/2015-2016/0002/lbill_2015-20160002_en_1.htm
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: Has anyone died in a walk-in autoclave?
« Reply #14 on: 12/07/2015 18:26:42 »

On average, here in the UK the number of visits by H+S inspectors for new companies is zero.

Which is just as well since in my considerable and recent experience, the expertise they bring to the site is zero and their impact is wholly negative (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning–Kruger_effect) 

Quote
This didn't stop our Prime Minister talking about the "health and safety monster" crippling British industry. This suggests that he's an idiot.

There is more compelling evidence of his idiocy (e.g. foreign policy, home affairs, defence, economics, taxation...) but in this respect he may actually be close to the truth. For reasons best known to themselves, the Health and Safety Executive garners unemployables from the bottom of the gene pool, clothes them in a little brief authority, and lets them generate absurd policies with which they prosecute sane, sensible employers on entirely bogus grounds. At least that is the case in my field of work.

And if you object, they will investigate the case themselves, and charge you a "compliance fee" for their time.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Re: Has anyone died in a walk-in autoclave?
« Reply #15 on: 14/07/2015 19:26:59 »
If you are going to say that about a whole bunch of people you really ought to back it up with some sort of facts.
Just for the record, the policy of charging the people they inspect is
(1) only applicable in the case of employers who actually break the law- so you might want to let us all know what illegal activity your friends were engaged in.
(2) a policy dreamed up by Mr Cameron and  his friends.
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: Has anyone died in a walk-in autoclave?
« Reply #16 on: 15/07/2015 09:54:13 »
For the record, I had a great deal of respect for the previous generation of HSE inspectors in my field, who understood the law, the science, and the operational requirements of medical and industrial employers. They were prepared to ask questions and justify their conclusions with calculations. In contrast, an unqualified twerp who introduces himself as "The Enforcer" invites contempt for the entire organisation, and when his underlings cannot back up their accusations with facts or figures, but mislead magistrates' courts with spurious arguments and shroud-waving, it is difficult to take HSE seriously at all.

Unfortunately

(1) You don't have to break the law to fall foul of an HSE inspector's irrational obsessions, but you may be liable to unlimited compliance costs if you disagree with them

(2) enough said.       
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Re: Has anyone died in a walk-in autoclave?
« Reply #17 on: 15/07/2015 19:13:23 »
I see; your real complaint is with a pratt and a duff magistrate.
Wouldn't it have been better to say that at the outset?


BTW,
http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/hse48.pdf
 tells you
"If you disagree with the invoice, for example because you think that you were not in
material breach of the law or the amount of time the fee is charged for is not
correct, you can query the invoice within 21 days of the invoice date. If you
disagree with HSE’s reply to your query, you can raise a dispute. You will need to
put down in writing why you disagree and send it to the address above within 21
days of the date of HSE’s response to your query. "

Did you query the charges?
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: Has anyone died in a walk-in autoclave?
« Reply #18 on: 15/07/2015 23:40:19 »
Not just one prat but apparently an entire inspectorate, plus an overenthusiastic legal department with dubious standards of evidence, and no effective managerial oversight.

Not just one magistrate but a growing body of dangerous precedent. Not only my clients but a personal attack in which several of Her Majesty's inspectors conspired to present false and libellous charges to a professional disciplinary body (which found in my favour). And no hint of disciplinary action against them.

Not just one incident, but several years of contemptible bullying and intimidation (not of me - I'm an old pachyderm) aimed at and witnessed by many disgusted professionals. 

And some completely unscientific garbage published as potentially enforceable guidance on HSE's official website.

I will disagree in principle with any invoice for an inept "service" that is nothing more than a petulant rant by an ignoramus.  Whether I or an HSE inspector think I am in breach of the law is irrelevant in a just society: the decision must be made by an independent judiciary. HSE has now arrogated the position of adjudicating on its own opinions and invoicing the accused for the privilege of being accused. As a result, my clients' insurers are advising them to plead guilty to any charges, even in the absence of statute or evidence, to save time and money.

I hope that you can avoid personal contamination by the spreading stench of a rogue inspectorate that is bringing the entire Executive into disrepute.

Meanwhile, let's talk about autoclaves.
« Last Edit: 16/07/2015 10:47:26 by alancalverd »
 

Offline AndroidNeox

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Re: Has anyone died in a walk-in autoclave?
« Reply #19 on: 17/07/2015 01:53:50 »
http://fox59.com/2015/04/28/bumble-bee-foods-worker-killed-after-being-cooked-in-oven-with-12000-pounds-of-tuna/

"Bumble Bee Foods and two of its employees face felony criminal charges related to the 2012 death of an employee in a pressure cooker at a Los Angeles-area plant."
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Re: Has anyone died in a walk-in autoclave?
« Reply #20 on: 18/07/2015 12:00:33 »
Not just one prat but apparently an entire inspectorate, plus an overenthusiastic legal department with dubious standards of evidence, and no effective managerial oversight.

Not just one magistrate but a growing body of dangerous precedent. Not only my clients but a personal attack in which several of Her Majesty's inspectors conspired to present false and libellous charges to a professional disciplinary body (which found in my favour). And no hint of disciplinary action against them.

Not just one incident, but several years of contemptible bullying and intimidation (not of me - I'm an old pachyderm) aimed at and witnessed by many disgusted professionals. 

And some completely unscientific garbage published as potentially enforceable guidance on HSE's official website.

I will disagree in principle with any invoice for an inept "service" that is nothing more than a petulant rant by an ignoramus.  Whether I or an HSE inspector think I am in breach of the law is irrelevant in a just society: the decision must be made by an independent judiciary. HSE has now arrogated the position of adjudicating on its own opinions and invoicing the accused for the privilege of being accused. As a result, my clients' insurers are advising them to plead guilty to any charges, even in the absence of statute or evidence, to save time and money.

I hope that you can avoid personal contamination by the spreading stench of a rogue inspectorate that is bringing the entire Executive into disrepute.

Meanwhile, let's talk about autoclaves.

re.
Did you query the charges?
I take it you didn't.
The actions you describe are not just incompetent or unprofessional- but probably criminal.
Why didn't you take  it to court?
 

Offline David Cooper

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Re: Has anyone died in a walk-in autoclave?
« Reply #21 on: 18/07/2015 17:43:06 »
Too expensive for that - if you come up against an authority, the authority has a huge advantage no matter how wrong it is and it will probably win on the basis that it is the authority. That is why they are so useless, because they know they will get away with anything and everything. And the people they employ to work for them are the most stupid people they can find: a self-selected bunch of people who can't actually do anything useful, so they desperately drive themselves towards positions of power where competence is not a requirement. It's the same in education, the health system, law - you name it, the exact same problem is there.
 

Offline PmbPhy

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Re: autoclave death
« Reply #22 on: 22/07/2015 09:55:55 »
Quote from: gsmollin
Why is my mind boggling at the stupidity of this arrangement?
I've worked with engineers in my day and they're not the most intelligent people in the world. They make all sorts of stupid decisions when designing equipment. One perfect example is my cell phone. When I call someone and I have to type a number on the keypad, which is a touch sensitive screen, half the time the screen goes black and I can't see the keypad. It's extremely frustrating. I imagine that the engineers thought that they were doing us a favor by saving me energy when I wasn't looking at the keypad but that only means that they didn't try using the phone extensively before putting it on the market. And of course the instructions to electronics are horrible nowadays. The engineers are too lazy or the company too cheap to hire someone to write a good manual. These stories go on and on and on. It was very frustrating.
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: Has anyone died in a walk-in autoclave?
« Reply #23 on: 25/07/2015 23:12:39 »
More a marketing problem than an engineering one, I think. Does anyone actually want or even like touch screens?

One of the leading avionics companies, having replaced the traditional reliable mess of independent black analog dials with a fairly reliable multicolor touch screen (so reliable that you have to have a backup and an independent battery!) a few years ago, now offers an upgrade: a panel of knobs! Great advertising copy too - "now good in turbulence".  Yep, the touch screen was superbly engineered to meet some pretty design brief, and pretty much useless in real life.
 

Offline AndroidNeox

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Re: Has anyone died in a walk-in autoclave?
« Reply #24 on: 30/07/2015 08:04:37 »
PmbPhy, I think you're under the misapprehension that engineers get to determine features and that design quality can sway executives. It's all marketing.
 

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Re: Has anyone died in a walk-in autoclave?
« Reply #24 on: 30/07/2015 08:04:37 »

 

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