Accident Report Detail
Accident Summary Nr: 201030376 - Employee Injured When Blown Off Tank In Explosion
|Matrix Service Inc
Abstract: On October 24, 1996, Employee #1, of Matrix Services Inc., was working as a supervisor in the marine terminal of Ultramar Refinery. He had been subcontracted by Ultramar to do modification work in tank 40001, which was adjacent to tank 21001. A catwalk connected the roofs of the two tanks to allow movement from one roof to the other. Approximately three weeks before, the catwalk had been removed to facilitate work on 40001 and its roof. On the day of the accident, a five-men crew, including Employee #1, was installing the catwalk to its original position between the two tanks. The catwalk was lifted by a crane; one end of it was positioned and in contact with the roof of 40001, and the other end was being positioned on the top of 21001. Employee #1 was the only worker on the top of 21001; the other crew members were on the ground level or in the other tank. Tank 40001 was completely empty and dry because the insides had been worked on for the last few weeks. Fresh flammable liquid had been added to 21001 the day before. According to Ultramar, it was a kerosene distillate; however, examination of a sample collected by DOSH revealed it to be diesel distillate. Employee #1 had done several spot/tack welds by electric arc between the catwalk and the roof when, about two minutes later, a explosion occurred inside tank 21001. The force threw him about 15 ft above the 40 ft high tank. He struck several objects as he fell, sustaining multiple fractures to his upper and lower extremities. Causal factors for this accident include Employee #1 not being instructed to recognize hazards when there were known job site hazards ( i.e., flammable liquids), and the failure to survey site conditions to determine hazards to employees. In addition, a written hot work permit had not been issued prior to using a source of ignition connected to product-related petroleum transportation/handling.
|Nature of Injury
|Management related occupations, n.e.c.