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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 200050821 - Spilled Tar On Roof Ignites Into Major Fire

Accident: 200050821 -- Report ID: 0728900 -- Event Date: 10/07/1999
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
30005664510/08/19991522Killian Construction Company
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
30005669410/14/19991761Boone Brothers Roofing, Inc.
Coworkers were applying tar on the roof of a hotel under construction in downtown Lincoln, NE. An employee of Boone Brothers Roofing Company left the tar kettle unattended for approximately 15 to 20 minutes to help carry tar to coworkers on the other side of the roof. Unbeknownst to the workers, the tar was heating above the its flashpoint. A second employee went to the kettle to get more tar for his bucket. As he opened the spigot, the tar ignited and caused a flash fire. The worker panicked and ran back from the kettle, then returned to try to close the spigot. He did not close it completely and tar continued to spill out onto the roof. The winds that day were gusting up to 27 mph. This, combined with the continuous flow of burning hot tar and the flammable nature of the materials on the roof, quickly fanned the fire into a large blaze. Workers on the roof used handheld extinguishers to put out the fire, but it had gotten too large for them to fight and they evacuated. No injuries were reported.
Keywords: work rules, roofer, hot tar, high wind, roof, fire, construction, hot asphalt, spill, high temperature
End Use Proj Type Proj Cost Stories NonBldgHt Fatality
Commercial building New project or new addition $5,000,000 to $20,000,000 13
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature
1 300056645
2 300056694

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