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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 170166110 - Employee Burned In Accidental Release Of Steam Condensate

Accident: 170166110 -- Report ID: 0950631 -- Event Date: 10/28/1990
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
11197438211/06/19902819Unocal Chemicals Division
At 1:00 a.m. on October 28, 1990, Employee #1 was checking the 400 lb steam vent pressure gauge below the steam vent pipe. The vent pipe opened, blowing out hot water that rained down on Employee #1. He suffered first- and second-degree burns over his entire back. He was transported by paramedics to St. Jude's Hospital in Fullerton, CA, where he was treated and released. The cause of the accident was the formation of steam condensate after shutdown of the boilers. The water was in the non-boiler piping in the down-leg section of the pipe that runs from the pipe rack to the control valve and back up to the vent pipe muffler. When the boiler was started, the condensate was heated and pushed by the steam in the line through the overhead/vertical pressure vent that acted as a muffler. To prevent a recurrence, the control box was relocated to a safe distance from the muffler area and the drain line was reconnected.
Keywords: burn, steam, back, accidental discharge, pressure release, high temperature, hot water
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 111974382 Non Hospitalized injury Burn/Scald(Heat) Miscellaneous plant and system operators

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