• Archive OSH Info
  • 2011
  • Accident Involving A Steam Autoclave

Accident Involving A Steam Autoclave

This safety alert is intended to:

  • increase awareness to the operator on the danger from scalding by hot steam when the autoclave’s safety interlock door suddenly opens; and
  • provides some safety guidance when making a choice to locate the autoclave.


On 1 September 2010, at about 10.00 am, there was an accident involving a dental officer who was attending to an autoclave machine at a public clinic somewhere in Negri Sembilan. The accident occurred during the sterilization process. The victim was scalded on the body and one of his hands from contact with the hot steam which had escaped from the door opening for the autoclave. The door opened when the autoclave suddenly fell onto the floor. The event occurred because the concrete table where the steam autoclave was placed is not suitable-lack of adequate space and clearance. This indirectly can cause the autoclave machine to be unstable during its operation and pose hazards to those who are working in close proximity to the machine.

Photo: Showing the autoclave which fell on the floor

The safety recommendations that need to be complied to prevent the incident from recurring:

  1. Conduct hazard identification, risk assessment and risk control involving the use of autoclave.
  2. Provide adequate and safe clearance for the autoclave where it is installed.
  3. Obtain suitable information and guidance from the supplier for the safe installation of the autoclave.
  4. Do not place any objects on top of the autoclave machine while it is in operation.
  5. Operator for the autoclave shall be trained and instructed on its safe and correct operation.

Print Email