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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 201143484 - Mechanic Installing Engine Is Burned When Fuel Ignites

Accident: 201143484 -- Report ID: 0950631 -- Event Date: 04/03/2003
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
30535014204/15/20034959Night Sweeps
On April 3, 2003, Employee #1 was working as a mechanic for a parking lot sweeping company. The company's sweeper, a 1994 GMC 0.5-ton truck with a sweeper system mounted on it, had experienced a major engine failure and had been towed to a yard for repair. Employee #1 had pulled the old engine out and was preparing to install the new engine. He disconnected the battery cables, but he did not remove them. The ignition switch was left in the on position, either by the driver when the truck stopped running or by the mechanic himself. As the engine was being lowered into place, it contacted the battery cables, which activated the electric fuel pump. It pumped fuel for a few seconds, and when the engine contacted the battery cables a second time, the spark ignited the fuel vapors. At the time, Employee #1 was underneath the truck to attach the mounting brackets. He sustained third degree burns over 30 percent of his body and was hospitalized for 15 days prior to dying.
Keywords: battery, burn, fuel line, automotive repair, flammable vapors, electric cable, fire, mechanic, lockout, gasoline
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 305350142 Fatality Burn/Scald(Heat) Bus, truck and stationary engine mechanics

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