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Worker knocked out when chemical tank valve breaks at White Horse Road plant


A Collins & Aikman Corp. maintenance worker hurt when a 10,000-gallon chemical tank valve malfunctioned Monday morning was kept overnight for observation with undisclosed injuries at Greenville Hospital System.

Jerry Beason, 43, was performing routine maintenance on the leaky valve at the White Horse Road plant about 9:45 a.m. when he was forced backward, knocked unconscious and sprayed with an unknown quantity of the chemical Rubinate 7302, said Lucy Zielinski, director of communications for the company, based in Troy, Mich.

Beason, an eight-year employee, was sprayed over his upper body, she said, adding that emergency workers decontaminated him at the site, where he regained consciousness. He was listed in fair condition, a hospital spokeswoman said.

The chemical is an irritant to the skin, eyes and respiratory system. No other employees were injured, Zielinski said.

The company manufactures molded carpeting for the automotive industry. Rubinate 7302 is a liquid that, when combined with other substances, forms the foam backing for car carpet, she said.

A representative of the state Department of Health and Environmental Control investigated, but the chemical spill was contained. Since no chemicals were released into the environment, the incident was not in DHEC purview.

Zielinski said the company is investigating how the valve malfunctioned and how Beason was injured, adding that officials will take any necessary corrective action.

-- (, August 01, 2000

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