Northvolt workers exposed to hazardous vapor

Two people have been exposed to electrolyte vapor during routine work at the Northvolt factory in Skellefteå. Communications manager (kommunikationschef) Matti Kataja says they are investigating the incident.

Engelska2024-07-08 09:50

Two people at Northvolt have been exposed to electrolyte vapor. The incident occurred in the quality lab where the company conducts its tests, and the exposure happened during a quality check. The incident took place Sunday around lunchtime.

Kataja responded to Norran's questions in an email.

"The individuals were performing routine work which was handling waste after a quality check. During this process, one person was exposed to some type of vapor for a few seconds. The other person was not exposed but was nearby in protective equipment," he writes in the email.

What is the danger of exposure to electrolyte vapor?

"We are still confirming the type of vapor the individuals were exposed to, but generally speaking, short-term exposure to electrolyte vapor can lead to coughing and irritation in the nose, throat, and airways."

One of the individuals reportedly felt nauseous from the exposure, while the other experienced symptoms in the form of respiratory discomfort.

"It is two adults who have sustained minor injuries. Both are currently at the emergency room," says Jonas Marklund, the medical officer in charge of the ambulance.

First on the scene was Northvolt's internal rescue service, which decontaminated the individuals before the ambulance arrived.

How were the individuals decontaminated?

"Since it was vapor, the protocol is to move out of the room and into fresh air. This was done. If it had been contact exposure to liquid electrolyte, there are clear guidelines for decontamination with calcium gel or hexafluoride, but that was not necessary in this case."

How are you following up on this?

"We are maintaining close communication with the individuals through their immediate supervisors, both during and after the hospital checkup, to ensure their well-being," writes Kataja in an email to Norran's reporter.

Kataja reports that after the hospital checkup, it was confirmed that both individuals were fine and had been discharged from the hospital.

"We have already started an internal investigation to determine how this could have happened and will, of course, report the incident to the Swedish Work Environment Authority (Arbetsmiljöverket)," writes Kataja, Communications Manager (kommunikationschef) at Northvolt, in the email sent out in connection with the accident.

According to the Västerbotten police, it is too early to say whether the incident will warrant a police investigation, reports TT.