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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 200631612 - Three Employees Burned In Flash Fire Removing Bearing

Accident: 200631612 -- Report ID: 0316400 -- Event Date: 07/19/2007
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
30947627307/20/20073312Swva, Inc.
At 10:50 a.m. on July 19, 2007, three millwrights and their supervisor were removing a bearing from a gear box that had seized up. Employee #1 was using a cutting torch that used oxygen and natural gas to heat up the bearing cage in front of the bearing so it could be expanded enough to allow the bearing to be pulled out. Employee #2 was acting as a fire watch, and Employee #3 and their supervisor were standing off to the side watching. A short break was taken after the bearing cage was initially heated. Prior to heating the bearing cage, the employees applied absorbent towels to the oil that had spilled out of the gear box and onto the floor. The supervisor confirmed that there was still oil inside the gear box when the torch's flame was applied to the bearing cage. The gear oil has a flash point of 410 degrees Fahrenheit. When Employee #1 turned his torch on again and began heating the bearing cage, a large plume of fire shot out from the gear box and struck three of the employees. All three were transported to a nearby hospital. Employee #1 and #2 were treated and released and Employee #3 was kept overnight for observation.
Keywords: heat, lubricating fluid, torch, bearing, flashback, gear
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 309476273 Hospitalized injury Burn/Scald(Heat) Millwrights
2 309476273 Non Hospitalized injury Burn/Scald(Heat) Millwrights
3 309476273 Non Hospitalized injury Burn/Scald(Heat) Millwrights

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