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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 201149119 - Worker Cleaning Fuel Tank Is Burned When Vapors Ignite

Accident: 201149119 -- Report ID: 0950631 -- Event Date: 04/19/2007
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
30929803205/15/20073728Smiths Aerospace
On April 19, 2007, Employee #1 was working as a full-time payroll employee with no other contracts for a firm that manufactured aircraft parts, including landing gear and fuel tanks. At the time of the accident, he was cleaning the interior of a 120-gallon fuel tank that was 9 feet long and 68 inches in circumference. The fuel tank was located on a wheeled cradle in the firm's paint department. The tank being cleaned was the twelfth in a production order of twenty tanks. A coworker, who was a trainee, was observing Employee #1 as he cleaned the tank. Before he began cleaning the tank, Employee #1 had turned on and placed in the middle section of the tank a Lumapro Model Number 6X971B portable fluorescent lamp. He then inserted his right arm into an opening approx 5 inches wide by 7 inches high near the top of the back tank section to clean the back section of the tank, using a cloth rag dampened with acetone. After thirty minutes, the flammable acetone vapors ignited, burning Employee #1. He sustained superficial second degree burns to his face and neck, and circumferential mid second degree burns to his right upper extremity (forearm). Employee #1 was transported by a crew from the Santa Ana Fire Department to a hospital. He was hospitalized.
Keywords: burn, aircraft, flammable vapors, forearm, lighting fixture, tank cleaning, acetone, neck, face, tank
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 309298032 Hospitalized injury Burn/Scald(Heat) Painters, construction and maintenance

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