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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 201353950 - Worker Cutting Tops Off Of Metal Drumjs Dies In Explosion

Accident: 201353950 -- Report ID: 0419700 -- Event Date: 01/02/2010
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
31387363012/10/20093679Teligentems, L.L.C.
On January 2, 2010, a welder was using an oxygen/acetylene torch to cut the tops from two, 55-gallon metal drums. The open-top drums were to be used as burn barrels. Previously, these two drums contained isopropyl alcohol. The welder cut off the top of the first drum without mishap. When he was about to cut the second drum, a coworker noticed that the drum still had the plugs in place so that the drum could not vent. The coworker told the welder to be sure to vent the drum. The welder took the suggestion lightly, and reportedly said "No problem, I'll just put a hole here", and contacted the center of the top of the drum with the torch's flame. Because the drum was not vented and had not been thoroughly cleaned of isopropyl alcohol, the drum exploded and ruptured at both ends. The welder received second- and third-degree burns over 75-80 percent of his body. He was taken to a local hospital, and later to a special burn hospital, where he died that day from complications relating to his injuries.
Keywords: burn, isopropyl alcohol, flammable vapors, work rules, drum, torch, explosion, struck by, untrained, cutting and burning
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 313873630 Fatality Burn/Scald(Heat) Welders and cutters

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