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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 14253207 - Explosion Of Flammble Vapors In Manhole

Accident: 14253207 -- Report ID: 0453710 -- Event Date: 01/14/1986
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
1530702801/15/19869199City Of Durham Water & Sewer Maintenance Dept
TWO EMPLOYEES WERE PREPARING TO RESTORE SERVICE TO A 24 INCH WATER MAIN. THE WORK REQUIRED ENTRY INTO A MANHOLE. WATER WAS PUMPED FROM THE MANHOLE FOR APPROXIMATELY 10 MINUTES. EMPLOYEE #1 ENTERED THE MANHOLE TO OPEN A VALVE WHICH WOULD BLEED EXCESS AIR FROM THE WATER MAIN. WHILE WAITING FOR THE AIR TO BLEED OFF, EMPLOYEE #1 USED HIS CIGARETTE LIGHTER TO LIGHT A CIGARETTE. AN EXPLOSION RESULTED. THE EXPLOSION OCCURRED PRIMARILY BECAUSE THE EMPLOYEES DID NOT TEST THE MANHOLE (A CONFINED SPACE) ATMOSPHERE FOR FLAMMABLE VAPORS OR TOXIC CONCENTRATIONS OF AIRBORNE CONTAMINANTS.
Keywords: maintenance, confined space, flammable vapors, air monitoring, explosion, smoking, manhole
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 15307028 Hospitalized injury Burn/Scald(Heat) Supervisors; handlers,equip-cleaners,laborers nec

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