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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 201080256 - Truck Driver Burned When Residual Butane Gas Ignites

Accident: 201080256 -- Report ID: 0950625 -- Event Date: 12/26/1996
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
12577745802/18/19974213O.J. Transport Inc.
At approximately 3:45 a.m. on December 26, Employee #1, a contract truck driver who was working alone, was outside the gate of the Sealed Air Corporation. He had just opened the back door of a trailer filled with foam rolls and pads to inspect the load and to look for the shipping papers, when he saw a number of sparks. There followed an explosion, and Employee #1 was thrown under the vehicle. He sustained second- and third-degree burns to his face, hands, arms, chest, and abdomen. The causal factors could not be clearly documented. The trailer was not placarded, but it did have a small, 4 in. by 8 in. warning tag on the trailer attached to the shipping papers (per the manufacturer), warning of the potential for residual flammable gases from the manufacturing of the foam rolls and pads. Subsequent investigation revealed that butane gas was used to manufacture the foam. The foam bundles were aged to off-gas any residue butane, usually for a period of seven days. The process involved allowing the rolls to sit for three to five days in the open to off-gas, reversing the rolls so that the inside was on the outside, and then allowing them to sit for approximately three more days. Four of the rolls on this trailer were loaded immediately after being reverse rolled and were not given the normal opportunity for off-gassing.
Keywords: burn, abdomen, butane, ventilation, flammable vapors, work rules, fire, explosion, face, truck driver
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 125777458 Hospitalized injury Burn/Scald(Heat) Truck drivers, heavy

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