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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 14505531 - Employee Killed In Explosion Of Asphalt Tank Fumes

Accident: 14505531 -- Report ID: 0728500 -- Event Date: 11/01/1988
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
10089673711/03/19881611Hutchens Construction Company
AT THE END OF A WORK DAY, AN ASPHALT TANKER WITH A 6,500 GALLON CAPACITY WAS ALMOST EMPTY. THE DISTRIBUTOR TRUCK OPERATOR AND HIS LABORER, EMPLOYEE #1, HAD DISCUSSED HOW MUCH ASPHALT REMAINED IN THE TANKER. IF MORE THAN APPROXIMATELY 50 GALLONS REMAINED, THE TANKER WOULD NEED TO BE DRIVEN TO THE ASPHALT PLANT FOR UNLOADING. POSSIBLY TO SAVE TIME, EMPLOYEE #1 WANTED TO BE SURE THE LEVEL WAS LOW ENOUGH THAT THERE WAS NO NEED TO UNLOAD. HE ASKED HIS COWORKER FOR A LIGHTER TO CHECK INSIDE THE TANKER; HIS OWN LIGHTER WAS ABOUT EMPTY. THE COWORKER SAID, "DON'T DO THAT, IT COULD BLOW UP. I'LL GO GET A FLASHLIGHT." A MOMENT LATER, AN EXPLOSION OCCURRED. EMPLOYEE #1 HAD CLIMBED ATOP THE TANKER WITH HIS OWN LIGHTER. THE EXPLOSION SENT HIM 50 FEET IN THE AIR. HE WAS PRONOUNCED DEAD WHEN THE CORONER ARRIVED.
Keywords: tank truck, flammable vapors, work rules, construction, explosion, hot asphalt
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 100896737 Fatality Concussion Occupation not reported

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