A contract employee erecting scaffolding at the Mobil Oil refinery in Torrance was hospitalized for four hours Friday after suffering a minor facial burn from a small leak of water containing hydrofluoric acid.
Benjamin R. Chaves, 35, of Santa Ana was taken by paramedics to Little Company of Mary Hospital, where he was treated and released.
Torrance Fire Department Inspector Doug Bergen said Chaves was hit in the face by a drop of acid leaking from a flange. He said Chaves was wearing protective clothing but had his facial shield raised when the accident occurred.
Mobil's environmental manager, Greg Munakata, said Chaves was constructing the scaffolding so refinery workers could repair the leaking flange in the refinery's alkylation unit.