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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 201771060 - Employee Killed In Chemical Explosion

Accident: 201771060 -- Report ID: 0213900 -- Event Date: 09/29/2000
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
30271723609/29/20003399Reade Manufacturing Company
At approximately 8:45 a.m. on September 29, 2000, Employee #1 was inside Building 14 sorting out "tramp" material (paper, plastic, steel, large pieces of magnesium, etc.) from magnesium scrap piled on a steel-sorting table. At the time of the accident, a powerful explosion took place in and around Building 14. The building was demolished with many pieces of magnesium scrap thrown up to approximately 310 feet from the blast area. This scrap pierced other surrounding buildings. The blast caused the sorting table to bow down and rip from the bolts that anchored it to the concrete floor. Employee #1, who was inside Building 14, was critically injured, and died the next morning from complications from the thermal burns. The exploding material was a magnesium, Teflon, viton blend that was inadvertently mixed into the magnesium scrap. The magnesium, Teflon, viton blend is a very reactive and sensitive material. Mechanical impact, friction, electrostatic discharge or electrical sparks and flame easily initiate a reaction. Another employee was directed to dump three drums of material, thought to be magnesium, into a magnesium scrap bin in Building 15. However, this material was not solely magnesium, as the employer believed. An investigation following the accident identified it as the magnesium, Teflon, viton (MTV) blend. Unknowingly, this magnesium, Teflon, viton blend and magnesium scrap mixture was scooped by a bobcat from the bin in Building 15, then driven into Building 14 and dumped onto the sorting table. The exact source of energy that initiated this explosion is unknown.
Keywords: burn, marking, metal shop, fire, explosion, chemical reaction, unguarded, chemical
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 302717236 Fatality Burn/Scald(Heat) Misc. metal & plastic processing machine operators

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