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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 14302582 - Employee Injured By Exploding Drum Cover

Accident: 14302582 -- Report ID: 0155010 -- Event Date: 07/17/1995
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
12442623007/17/19955014Noyes Tire Company
At approximately 7:15 a.m. on July 17, 1995, Employee #1 was attempting to remove the cover from a 55-gal drum that had contained a methanol-based windshield washer solvent. The drum had not been cleaned or vented. Employee #1, who was wearing eye protection, bent over beside the drum and, using an oxyacetylene cutting torch, began to apply heat to the side of the drum adjacent to the cover . The cover was blown from the drum and flames enveloped the area. Employee #1 suffered first-degree burns to the left side of his face and damage to his ear drum. He was hospitalized. Three coworkers put out the fire with portable fire extinguishers. The container was properly labeled, the MSDS was available (copy enclosed), and hazardous training was provided. The unwritten company policy for removing drum covers was to vent and clean the drum and remove the cover with an air chisel. Employee #1 had worked for this employer for three months. He had been instructed by his regular supervisor, who was restricted to counter duties because of injuries sustained in a skiing accident, to get two drums to take on a trouble call (to drain chloride from a tractor tire). The supervisor said that he had not given Employee #1 instructions to remove the cover. The acting shop supervisor, a mechanic to whom that job had been delegated while the regular supervisor was incapacitated, said that if he had known what Employee #1 was doing, he would have stopped him from using the torch. The modified torch set used by Employee #1 was not provided with back flow check valves. Lack of check valves on the torch set was cited (serious) in a comprehensive safety inspection.
Keywords: burn, flammable vapors, work rules, drum, fire, ear, explosion, inexperience, face, cutting and burning
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 124426230 Hospitalized injury Burn/Scald(Heat) Occupation not reported

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