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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident Summary Nr: 142285.015 - Employee Is Killed By Explosion

Accident Summary Nr: 142285.015 -- Report ID: 0950632 -- Event Date: 12/28/2021
Inspection NrDate OpenedSICNAICSEstablishment Name
1570353.01512/28/2021336611Adept Process Services, Inc.

Abstract: On December 21, 2021, APS hired a cleaning contractor to pump out residual fuel and to clean the fuel tank of a boat (8MSC1606). It had a 250-gallon capacity ( gasoline). The cleaning contractor cleaned the tank by accessing an approximate two inch hole in the tank. The contractor used acetone (a flammable substance) s oaked rags attached to a wire to clean the tank. Due to the metal baffles that s eparated the interior of the tank into nine compartments, the majority of the su rfaces on the interior of the tank were not cleaned. The tank was removed by AP S the same day and placed on wooden saw horses. APS conducted an initial pressu re test on the fuel tank and discovered that there was a pin-hole leak in the ve nt connection of the tank. Employee #1 was notified that his services were need ed to make the repair on the fuel tank on December 27, 2021. At 9:50 a.m. on D ecember 28, 2021, Employee #1 set up his welding operation and area and commence d to weld (TIG). Shortly upon beginning to weld, the tank exploded. The blast c aused the tank to forcefully strike Employee #1. The blast caused the 1/4-inch a luminum lid to separate from the rest of the tank and land on the roof of an adj acent business. Employee #1 sustained major head trauma as a result of the expl osion. Employee #1 was transported to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. There are several factors that contributed to the accident. APS permitted hot w ork to be done on the fuel tank without the tank being adequately purged and wit hout any testing for the flammability of gasoline vapors. APS did not designate an area free from fire hazards for the hot work and did not post an effective F ire Watch. The employer was issued a Willful-Serious-Accident related citatio n [CCR T8 8355(g)] for not having the tank tested and certified by a Marine Chem ist.

Keywords: acetone, blunt force trauma, explosion, flammable vapors, fuel tank, gasoline, head, hot work, struck by, welder, welding

Employee Details
Employee # Inspection Nr Age Sex Degree Nature of Injury Occupation
1 1570353.015 39 M Fatality Welders and cutters

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