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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 200515864 - Employee Dies Of Natural Cause

Accident: 200515864 -- Report ID: 0552700 -- Event Date: 08/07/2013
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
31726698908/07/20135093Jack Lorshbough Dba Jacks Salvage
At approximately 7:58 a.m. on August 7, the Beltrami County Sheriff's department was notified that the employee was found in an outside metal scrap yard lying on the ground unresponsive with his clothes on fire. Coworker 1 had found the employee when he arrived at work lying on top of a propane/oxygen cutting torch, which was being used by the employee to dismantle an old Miller brand welder as a way to salvage the scrap metal from it. Coworker 1 used a water fire extinguisher that was located in the immediate area to extinguish the employee. The Sheriff's report indicated that after extinguishing the employee, hissing of oxygen from the torch could still be heard so Coworker 1 removed the torch head out from under the employee. Coworker 1 then ran to the residence where he notified Coworker 2, who called emergency medical services and then supervisor was notified of the incident. According to the Sheriff's report, some of the clothing covering the employee had been burned and charred off. The report stated that the employee had sustained severe burns to his chest and left side of his body. The employee did not respond to voice or touch and a Sheriff's deputy noted that he saw dark molting on the head of the employee, which he took as a possible sign of lividity. A Sheriff's department deputy at the scene of the accident determined that the employee was deceased. The coroner had determined that there would not be an autopsy performed. The supervisor stated that the employee normally came to work at first light around 6:30 a.m. and worked until 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., two to three days a week and normally worked less than 10 hours a week. On the morning of the accident it was believed that employee started work in the scrap yard just after 6:30 a.m. The actual time of the incident was undetermined as no other employees were working within the scrap yard at the time and the incident was unwitnessed and went unnoticed until Coworker 1 arrived just prior to 8:00 a.m. Based on the inspection, photos, interviews and available sheriff's reports, the employee was believed to have been dismantling a Miller welder at the time of the incident. The supervisor stated the employee was attempting to remove the copper coils contained within the frame of the welder. To do this, the employee used a hammer, pry bar and a Victor cutting torch Model Number ST900C that was fueled by a mix of propane and oxygen. The propane and oxygen tanks were secured to a material lifting cage located 14-ft from where the employee was found. The propane tank was equipped with a Victor Model Number SR460A regulator, Serial Number BR70054. The oxygen tank was equipped with a Victor Model VTS450D regulator, Serial Number 4087987. Appropriate lines ran from the regulators to the Victor Cutting Torch Model SC900C, Serial Number 34613, that was equipped with a 2-GPN tip. Four water extinguishers were observed in the area adjacent to where the employee had been cutting. Empty buckets and other containers were also observed adjacent to a large water dispenser located on the edge of the scrap area where the incident occurred. OSHI E3818 noted all equipment used by the employee at the time of the incident appeared to be intact with no visible deficiencies noted other than the now bent and charred torch head that was found under the employee. The inspection was changed to a No Inspection because the authorities stated that the employee died of natural causes which just happened to occur while the employee was at work and his death was not work related.
Keywords: burn, cardiovasc system, chest, fire, welder
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 317266989 Fatality Burn/Scald(Heat) Welders and cutters

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