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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 170710511 - Employee Suffers Burns In Chemical Explosion

Accident: 170710511 -- Report ID: 0111500 -- Event Date: 09/14/1995
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
12328154509/14/19952899Bedoukian Research, Inc

Employee #1 was adding lithium aluminum hydride (LAH) by hand to a reactor vessel that contained tetrahydrofuran. With the addition of the first kilogram, a puff back was generated that inflated the plastic bag filled with LAH. The employee was startled, jumping backward. He spilled the LAH down the front of the reactor and onto the floor. Water that had accumulated on the floor beneath the reactor contacted the LAH. A violent reaction occurred, igniting the LAH. The fire followed the trail of the spilled LAH back to the reactor and ignited the remaining LAH. The fire then ignited the employee's clothing, which was made of 65 percent polyester. Employee #1 suffered burns, mainly 2nd-degree, to 30 percent of his body.

Keywords: burn, clothing, reactor, fire, explosion, chemical reaction, spill, chemical, water

Employee Details
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 123281545 Hospitalized injury Burn/Scald(Heat) Occupation not reported

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