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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 201761681 - Employee Is Killed When Struck By Flying Object

Accident: 201761681 -- Report ID: 0626600 -- Event Date: 09/03/2002
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
30450982109/03/20024953Gtm Waste Processing, Inc.

On August 30, 2002, the Plant Manager began preparations for repairing a 4- in. split and crack and a 2-in. split and crack in the wall of Storage Tank D-3, approximately 5 ft 5 in. above the base of the tank. The splits and cracks were located on the southwest side of the tank. The tank was drained prior to the beginning of the repair process. However, a sludge of approximately 2.5 ft to 3 ft was left in the bottom of the tank. The Plant Manager was going to buff the area to prepare it for the welding operation, which had to be conducted to repair the tank. At the end of the day, the Plant Manager turned off the ventilation of the tank. On Monday, September 2, 2002, the Plant Manager buffed the splits and cracks and marked the patches. On Tuesday, September 3, 2002, the Plant Manager turned on the ventilation system, which was located at the top of the tank. The Plant Manager left the facility and returned at approximately 7:45 a.m. He moved the welding machine to Tank D-3. At approximately 8:00 a.m., the Plant Manager told Employee #1, a Plant Supervisor, that he was ready to start repairing the tank. Employee #1 went up on top of the tank and using a 1-in. water hose, sprayed water on the wall of the tank, where the Plant Manager was welding. The Plant Manager, while welding, hit a soft spot and broke through the wall of the tank. He continued welding the patch in place. After completing the patch, the Plant Manager started to weld the hole that was made by breaking through the wall. Since the water was coming through the hole, the Plant Manager told Employee #1 to move the water. The Plant Manager continued to weld the hole and saw a puff of yellow smoke. While the Plant Manager ran away from the tank, he yelled at Employee #1 to run. At that moment, the Plant Manager saw the top of the tank came up and a plume of yellow smoke came out as the top deck went up. Employee #1 was found dead, approximately 215 ft from the tank, laying on the road of the business, which was located next to GTM Waste Processing, Inc.

Keywords: repair, wall, ventilation, welding, hose, abrasion, smoke, flying object, tank, contusion

Employee Details
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 304509821 Fatality Bruise/Contus/Abras Supervisors, production occupations

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