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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 201167616 - One Employee Dies, Two Are Injured In Paint Factory Fire

Accident: 201167616 -- Report ID: 0950641 -- Event Date: 01/09/2006
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
12615097801/09/20062851Advanced Packaging And Products/Pjh Brands
On January 9, 2006, Employees #1, #2, and #3 were working for Advanced Packaging and Products/PJH Brands, Inc., a manufacturer of paints, varnishes, lacquers, enamels, and other finishes. Employee #1 was the plant manager. He and his coworkers were repairing a broken valve on the propellant manifold located on a building's exterior when the accident occurred. The plant manager had just successfully completed a propellant changeover from propane to A70, which is a mixture of propane and isobutene (or isobutane), for the next batch of spray paint packaging. Both he and the production manager, Employee #2, went back inside the building to turn on the processing machine, when they were alerted by the supervisor, Employee #3, that there was a gas leak at the manifold outside. Upon investigating, the plant manager, Employee #1, found that the valve was stuck in the open position and that the propellant was bleeding out into the atmosphere. Unable to close the valve, Employee #1 closed the main valve to the manifold, which slowed down the leak but did not stop it. At this time, the supervisor, Employee #3, yelled "fire," and Employee #1 turned to see Employee #2's and Employee #3's jackets on fire. It is not known what the source of ignition was. Employees #1, #2, and #3 evacuated immediately to the Maple Avenue side of the facility, as did other production employees. The plant manager, Employee #1, then ran back into the yard to shut off the propellant supply valves at the tank farm. He suffered additional burns to his hands as a result. Employees #1, #2, and #3 sustained second- and third-degree burns. They were hospitalized. Employee #1 died of his injuries on January 18, 2006. The company had large quantities of flammable and combustible liquids in 55-gallon drums and 100-gallon plastic carboys in the storage lot. In addition, there was a 4,500-gallon tank of acetone stored adjacent to the manifold and approximately 5,500 gallons of flammable propellants, such as propane, isobutene (or isobutane), and A70, in the tank farm in the yard. The ground fire grew and spread as the flammable and combustible liquids added additional fuel, resulting in a total loss of the materials, equipment, and finished and raw product that were in the yard. The exterior yard was completely destroyed in the fire, and the company has not resumed operation on this site to date.
Keywords: burn, repair, butane, flammable liquid, flammable vapors, ppe, fire, acetone, gas leak, propane
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 126150978 Fatality Burn/Scald(Heat) Supervisors; handlers,equip-cleaners,laborers nec
2 126150978 Hospitalized injury Burn/Scald(Heat) Supervisors; handlers,equip-cleaners,laborers nec
3 126150978 Hospitalized injury Burn/Scald(Heat) Supervisors; handlers,equip-cleaners,laborers nec

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