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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 201352242 - Employee Died From Explosion Of A Dehydration System

Accident: 201352242 -- Report ID: 0419700 -- Event Date: 08/18/2003
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
30674690008/18/20033089U.S. Plastic Lumber Corp.
On August 18, 2003, an employee, an extruder operator, was in the area where a coworker, an operator, was using a Heil dehydration system to dry wood dust. The coworker had difficulty in starting the equipment which used natural gas as a fuel. He attempted to start the system several times. During these attempts, portions of the system were turned on and off. The natural gas supply was on for approximately 45 minutes, and this resulted in the system being filled with natural gas. On the fourth attempt to start the system, the natural gas was ignited, and an explosion occurred. The coworker was not close to the equipment at the time of the explosion, and was not seriously injured. However, the employee was in the area blowing dust from his clothes. The blast and debris from the explosion struck the employee, causing head trauma and other injuries. He died as a result of these injuries. The employer had not repaired or replaced parts of this system which had been identified as being in poor repair, such as the pilot burner, igniter assembly. The employer also did not have an inspection, testing and maintenance program in place for the dehydration system.
Keywords: dust, natural gas, explosion
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 306746900 Fatality Fracture Occupation not reported

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