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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 100352616 - Employee Dies Of Burns Sustained In Brush Fire

Accident: 100352616 -- Report ID: 0453710 -- Event Date: 05/05/2000
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
30333241505/17/20001542Myrick Construction, Inc.
On May 5, 2000, Employee #1 and a coworker were burning off a brush pile accumulated from the clearing of a plot of land prior to the construction of a building. The brush was placed in a 12 ft high by 30 ft long pile aligned north-northeast by south-southwest in a clearing in the woods with an access road coming in from the south. Several attempts to ignite the pile had failed, and the employees had gone to lunch. When they returned, they hired a fuel oil truck from Liberty Oil Company to pump diesel fuel on the brush pile. Employee #1 stood above the pile in the bucket of a Caterpillar 963B track loader, spraying fuel on the brush pile, portions of which were smoldering from previous attempts to light it. He placed his finger over the nozzle when spraying to reach a further range, and was probably getting hit by back spray at the same time and getting soaked with fuel. In time, the correct fuel-to-air mixture was reached, with the smoldering portion serving as the ignition source, resulting in an explosion and fire that ignited Employee #1's clothing. There was no fire suppression equipment on site, and the track loader did not have a fire extinguisher. Employee #1 leaped from the bucket and rolled on the ground to extinguish himself, but to no avail. His coworkers tried to help, but Employee #1 had to run to a ditch filled with muddy water to put it out. He was evacuated to the hospital with burns over 72 percent of his body; he died on May 13, 2000.
Keywords: burn, flammable liquid, flammable vapors, fire extinguisher, work rules, fire, construction, explosion, fuel oil
End Use Proj Type Proj Cost Stories NonBldgHt Fatality
Other heavy construction Other $500,000 to $1,000,000 12 X
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation Construction
1 303332415 Fatality Burn/Scald(Heat) Occupation not reported FallDist:
Cause: Site clearing and grubbing
FatCause: Fire/explosion

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