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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 14479729 - Employees Injured In Tank Explosion

Accident: 14479729 -- Report ID: 0352440 -- Event Date: 06/14/1994
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
11959643506/14/19942893Ink, Incorporated
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
11951522906/01/19921623Construx Mechanical Co., Inc.
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
11959643506/14/19942893Ink, Incorporated
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
11951522906/01/19921623Construx Mechanical Co., Inc.
The employees of two subcontractors were 19 ft above floor level, soldering a condensate line to the vent of two 36,000 lb combustible liquid storage tanks that were in use. One employee was using an acetylene turbo torch. Ink varnish that had just been transferred into the tank was approximately 45 degrees Fahrenheit above its 215 Fahrenheit flash point. Twenty minutes later, during the soldering process, flammable vapors produced by the elevated temperature of the stored combustible liquid (which was mixed elsewhere in the plant) were ignited, causing a flashback in the tank and an explosion. Employee #1, who had not been provided with fall protection, was thrown from the top of the tank to floor. Employee #2 was on a mechanical lift that was next to the tank. Several employees of the link company were affected by the blast and were hospitalized. No precautions had been taken or attempts made to eliminate ignition sources. The tanks were not emptied or inerted. Employees of both subcontractors were unaware of the hazards of combustible liquids and vapors at elevated temperatures.
Keywords: flammable vapors, work rules, storage tank, explosion, combustible liquid, untrained, acetylene torch, soldering torch, construction, high temperature
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 119596435 Hospitalized injury Asphyxia Mixing and blending machine operators
2 119596435 Hospitalized injury Concussion Production inspectors, checkers and examiners
3 119596435 Hospitalized injury Concussion Mixing and blending machine operators
4 119596435 Hospitalized injury Concussion Occupation not reported
5 119596435 Hospitalized injury Asphyxia Production inspectors, checkers and examiners
6 119596435 Hospitalized injury Asphyxia Production inspectors, checkers and examiners
7 119515229 Hospitalized injury Concussion Helpers, construction trades
8 119596435 Hospitalized injury Asphyxia Mixing and blending machine operators
9 119596435 Hospitalized injury Asphyxia Occupation not reported
10 119515229 Hospitalized injury Dislocation Welders and cutters

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