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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 100330.015 - Two Employees Suffer Second Degree Burns From Lpg Tank Explo

Accident: 100330.015 -- Report ID: 0950635 -- Event Date: 09/20/2017
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
1265240.01509/21/2017Usf Reddaway, Inc.
At 9:30 p.m. on September 20, 2017, Employee #1 and Employee #2 were working in the loading dock area. Employee #1 was operating a Toyota forklift, Model 8FGU25 and Serial number 14319, unloading hardware freight from a trailer parked in a south bay of the loading dock. Employee #2 was operating a Toyota forklift, Model DR6X37 and Serial number 14290, unloading a trailer on the north loading dock, across from Employee #1. Just after backing out of the trailer with a pallet of hardware, Employee #1 turned his forklift around to place a pallet on the loading dock. As the forklift swung around approximately 180 degrees, the LPG tank swung free from the locked position and swung to the right away from the mounting point. Employee #1 entered the trailer to pick up another pallet, and the tank came in contact with the interior wall of the trailer. This contact punctured the LPG tank, and a visible white cloud of propane gas leaked from the tank. Employee #1 heard the leak, dismounted the forklift, and exited the trailer. Employee #2 also heard the impact and walked toward Employee #1 to find out what happened. Employee #1 walked back into the trailer to see if he could turn off the forklift, since the forklift has a safety so that the forklift will not move if no one is sitting in the operator's seat, but the forklift didn't shut off. Approximately 12 seconds after Employee #1 walked into the trailer, the leaked propane gas ignited and caused an explosion. The ignition source was most probably the exhaust system or the electrical system of the forklift. Employee#2 was approximately 20 feet away from the rear of the tractor trailer when the explosion occurred. Both of the employees were transported to a nearby hospital. Employee #1 was then taken to a burn unit and admitted. Employee #2 was released, but was transported by his mother the next morning to a burn unit, where he was also admitted. Both of the employees sustained second degree burns to the face and arms from the blast, and both spent several days in the hospital.
Keywords: pallet, tank, arm, explosion, fire, powered industrial vehicle, face, burn, trailer, puncture, propane
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 1265240.015 26 M Hospitalized injury Burn/Scald(Heat) Freight, stock and material handlers, n.e.c.
2 1265240.015 39 M Hospitalized injury Burn/Scald(Heat) Freight, stock and material handlers, n.e.c.

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