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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident Summary Nr: 200645125 - Employee Dies In Explosion

Accident Summary Nr: 200645125 -- Report ID: 0627700 -- Event Date: 07/30/2011
Inspection NrDate OpenedSICNAICSEstablishment Name
31493381308/01/20111389213112Wilson Salt Water Disposal, Inc.

Abstract: At approximately 2:30 a.m. on July 30, 2011, Employee #1 was working the night shift at a saltwater disposal facility. Specifically, the facility specializes in the disposal of salt water that is contaminated with field oil waste. The water would usually be separated from the oil and petroleum based materials in a settling tank. The water would then pumped back into the ground through an injection well, while the oil based material is gravity drained into a series of collection tanks. The oil would then sold to oil recyclers. During Employee #1's shift, he was monitoring two oil collection tanks that were connected to a separation drum tank. The first of the two tanks was also connected to the second tank to allow for spillover as the amount of liquid rose. Under normal operation, the tanks would take several days to become full; however, facility operators would frequent the catwalk area that was accessed by way of a ladder to gauge the tanks levels. After receiving a water delivery from a full tanker-truck, Employee #1 accessed the catwalk to gauge the water level. Soon after reaching the tank area, an explosion occurred. The truck driver, who was leaving the facility, observed the explosion and following fireball in his rear view mirror. The driver immediately stopped his truck and contacted emergency services. Despite the fire spreading to both tanks, Employee #1 was able to escape the fire crazed area; however, his clothes were completely burned off and over ninety percent of his body was burned. Employee #1 collapsed on the front porch area of the facility office, where emergency personnel, a short time later, began treatment. Employee #1 was taken by helicopter to Ardmore Hospital, where he died. The accident investigation revealed that Employee #1 had a history of smoking near the storage tanks and had been warned by the employer to stop several times. Due to his history and the discovery of a lighter found under the catwalk, it was suspected that Employee #1 inadvertently caused the explosion and fire.

Keywords: burn, flammable liquid, fire, explosion, fuel oil, inattention

Employee Details
Employee # Inspection Nr Age Sex Degree Nature of Injury Occupation
1 314933813 Fatality Burn/Scald(Heat) Laborers, except construction

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