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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 18675.015 - Employee Is Killed In Explosion When Refueling Lawn Mower

Accident: 18675.015 -- Report ID: 0418800 -- Event Date: 04/02/2012
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
459793.01506/07/2012Mdl Property Management, Inc.
On April 2, 2012, an employee was refueling his riding mower from a portable fuel container. The fuel ignited and exploded. The employee was transported to a local hospital where he later died of his burn injuries on June 6, 2012. The investigation revealed that the employee had not been trained on the safe refueling procedures for the equipment he was operating, per the manufacturer's Safety Warning(s) and operator's manual. Further, the employee's immediate supervisor indicated that he had previously witnessed the employee refueling the riding mower while the engine was still running and/or immediately after shutting the engine off. In addition, the immediate supervisor and the employers mechanic indicated that approximately one year ago, a similar fire incident occurred without injury, but with total fire destruction of the mower. As a result of the previous incident, the employer implemented a verbal type policy, wherein the equipment was to be refueled with the engines turned off. However, supervisors having witnessed violations of this safety policy and some were not enforcing the policy, nor were the employee/operators adequately supervised due to the size and numerous locations of the work sites. Further, the employer did not train, nor did this verbal policy require the employee to allow the engine to cool off before refueling, resulting at a minimum, in a hot engine refueling scenario and subsequent hazard to the employee.
Keywords: explosion, lawn mower, fire, gas
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 459793.015 28 M Fatality Burn/Scald(Heat) Laborers, except construction

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