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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident Summary Nr: 201064144 - Employee Sustained Burn When Lighting Drip Torch

Accident Summary Nr: 201064144 -- Report ID: 0950632 -- Event Date: 03/16/2001
Inspection NrDate OpenedSICNAICSEstablishment Name
12028074807/23/200101810Obra Verde Growers

Abstract: On March 16, 2001, Employee #1, a laborer of the Obra Verde Farms and a grower of ornamental plants, was burned while lighting a drip torch. He was lighting the drip torch for another worker who was preparing to burn weeds and was holding the torch. When the butane cigarette lighter held by Employee #1 ignited the torch, an explosion occurred. The soldered joint holding the disc-shaped bottom to the steel can failed, releasing the disc and a spray of burning fuel to the Employee #1's right leg and right hand. Employee #1 was hospitalized. The other worker, holding the drip torch, was not burned. Employee #1 was wearing pants made of a synthetic polymer blend, which ignited easily. The drip torch was approximately 50 years old and made of rolled steel sheet, approximately 7 mm thick, with a soldered bottom. Inside the torch was a flame arrestor screen which was damaged. It was believed that it caused the accident by allowing the flame to travel from the wick into the vapor space in the fuel reservoir of the torch. The fuel used was a mixture of 50 percent of diesel oil and 50 percent of 2000-era California gasoline, which contained either ethanol or methyl-tertiary-butyl- ether (MTBE) as an additive.

Keywords: burn, vapor, flammable liquid, lighting fixture, torch, fuel oil, lighting, gasoline, hand, leg

Employee Details
Employee # Inspection Nr Age Sex Degree Nature of Injury Occupation
1 120280748 Hospitalized injury Burn/Scald(Heat) Farm workers

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