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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 14520738 - Five Employees Burned When Alcohol Vapors Explode

Accident: 14520738 -- Report ID: 0524530 -- Event Date: 05/02/1987
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
10257795405/04/19872087Beck Flavors
Raw vanilla extract containing 35 percent alcohol boiled out of a steam kettle as it was being heated during the purification process. As the material boiled over, vapors from the alcohol filled the work area. A spark or flame from a gas heater ignited the vapors, resulting in a fireball explosion. Employees #1 through #5 suffered first-, second-, and third-degree burns to their lower arms and faces. The work area contained approximately 90 gallons of ethyl alcohol and was not constructed for the location and storage of hazardous materials. The purification process did not require the extract to boil.
Keywords: burn, alcohol, flammable liquid, flammable vapors, work rules, fire, explosion, arm, face, high temperature
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 102577954 Hospitalized injury Burn/Scald(Heat) Occupation not reported
2 102577954 Hospitalized injury Burn/Scald(Heat) Occupation not reported
3 102577954 Hospitalized injury Burn/Scald(Heat) Occupation not reported
4 102577954 Hospitalized injury Burn/Scald(Heat) Occupation not reported
5 102577954 Hospitalized injury Burn/Scald(Heat) Occupation not reported

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