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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 201354016 - Employee Inhales Steem, Burns Lungs, Later Dies

Accident: 201354016 -- Report ID: 0419700 -- Event Date: 02/06/2010
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
31387487702/08/20102499Green Circle Bio Energy, Inc.
The employer produced pelletized wood by stripping bark from raw timber, burning the bark for fuel, and drying the remaining white wood to increase the heat content in the wood. Two furnace units were used. In each furnace unit, the hot gases and ash (inorganic material that was not combusted) from the primary combustion chamber were pulled into a secondary combustion/retention chamber by fans. An ash hopper was attached to the bottom of the secondary combustion unit, and this ash hopper funneled the ash from the secondary combustion process to a water conveyor system. There was a 24-in. diameter pipe that connected the bottom of the ash hopper to the water conveyor system that conveyed the ash to a disposal bin. Ash would drop through the ash hopper into the water conveyor system, but ash would also stick to the side of the hopper and secondary combustion chamber, and plug the 24-in. pipe. Every two or three months, ash would have to be cleaned from the sides of the chambers and pipe. One way to clean was to open an 18-in. by 18-in. door on the side of the hopper, stand on the metal enclosure of the water conveyor, and use metal pipes inserted through the door opening to knock the stuck ash loose. On January 13, 2010, Employee #1 was working alone while cleaning the ash hopper. Employee #1 was standing on the metal enclosure of the water conveyor, and was using a metal pipe to break loose the ash inside the hopper. Apparently, a hot klinker (term for a clump of ash that is stuck to the hopper wall) fell into the water conveyor system, and produced steam that severely burned Employee #1's lungs. Employee #1 was taken to a hospital where he died from his injury on February 6, 2010.
Keywords: burn, heat, lung, steam
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 313874877 Fatality Burn/Scald(Heat) Occupation not reported

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