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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 201145224 - Employee Injured In Flash Fire

Accident: 201145224 -- Report ID: 0950631 -- Event Date: 04/30/2003
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
30535058905/20/20038021Craig K Ota & Brian B Toorani Dds
At approximately 2:20 p.m. on April 4, 2003, Employee #1, a dental assistant, was assisting the employer, a general dentist, with a bite registration for a patient seated in the dental chair. The dentist was using a hand-held alcohol-burning torch to heat a paraffin mold. The torch ran out of fuel and Employee #1 began re-fueling the torch with methanol. A flash fire erupted while Employee #1 was pouring the fuel into the torch, throwing the torch and fuel container into the hallway. A second patient used a fire extinguisher to put out the fire on the first patient and the dental chair. Employee #1 was treated for skin irritation of three fingers on her left hand, palpitation of the heart, and oral irritation at Orange Coast Memorial Hospital in Fountain Valley. The dental patient had burns to the neck, head, and face, and was transported by paramedics to Orange Coast Memorial Hospital in Fountain Valley. The torch was a Teledyne Waterpik hand-held torch manufactured by Hanau Engineering Company. Per the manufacturer's instructions, only denatured ethyl alcohol was to be used in the torch and methanol specifically was not to be used. Also, per the manufacturer's instructions the wick was to be cold before re-fueling the torch.
Keywords: burn, methyl alcohol, alcohol, finger, fire extinguisher, fire, torch, ethanol
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 305350589 Non Hospitalized injury Burn/Scald(Heat) Dental assistants

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