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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 201056603 - Employee Burned While Lighting A Hot Asphalt Kettle

Accident: 201056603 -- Report ID: 0950642 -- Event Date: 06/17/2002
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
30077948506/19/20021761Westway Construction Co
At approximately 10:17 a.m. on June 17, 2002, Employee #1, a foreman for a hot asphalt crew, was working for Westway Construction, Inc., a company that provides roofing and sheetmetal services in the construction industry. Employee #1's crew was assigned to provide hot asphalt roofing service at a new building under construction at 1150 W. Cypress Avenue in Los Angeles, California. Employee #1 was preparing to light an asphalt kettle so that it would be ready for operation by his crew. The employee lit the Cleansby Pump Kettle before changing into his work clothes, he was wearing shorts when he turned on the LPG tank, turned on the torch, lit the torch with a starter, and then lit the burner inside the kettle. This process takes about one and half minutes. As Employee #1 was putting the torch back into its holder, he saw white vapor coming out at him from the gas distribution manifold located at about knee height. He then felt the cold gas on his leg from the leak and then felt an explosion all around him. Employee #1 sustained second and third-degree burns to his legs and second-degree burns to his face and was taken to the burn unit at LA County USC Medical Center, where he was hospitalized for thirteen days. The employee was later transferred to the Sherman Oaks Burn Center, where he was treated before being sent home to continue therapy for several months. Factors that contributed to this accident were that the equipment had not been routinely maintained and the employee had not been trained to perform leak tests before using the equipment.
Keywords: burn, work rules, construction, explosion, hot asphalt, lp gas, roofer, face, untrained, leg
End Use Proj Type Proj Cost Stories NonBldgHt Fatality
Commercial building New project or new addition $1,000,000 to $5,000,000 2 24
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation Construction
1 300779485 Hospitalized injury Burn/Scald(Heat) Roofers FallDist:
Cause: Roofing
FatCause: Fire/explosion

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