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Accident Report Detail

Accident: 201951902 - Two Employees Burned From Methane Gas Ignition

Accident: 201951902 -- Report ID: 0522000 -- Event Date: 07/18/2000
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
30344657907/19/20001794R. B. Jergens Contractors, Inc.
Employee #1, Employee #2, and another employee were working in a landfill. The operation consisted of placing pipes within the landfill and extracting gases created from the decomposition of waste materials and routing them to a central collection location for burn-off or commercial sales. The gas was comprised mainly of methane with carbon dioxide and other organic gases. The gases were transferred from various locations within the landfill through 12 high density polyethylene piping (HDPE). The work involved installing a new gas collection line to tie into the existing 12 HDPE, which was located 3.5 to 4 feet below the ground surface. The three man crew had just finished excavating the existing pipeline and had placed the new line along its side to complete the connection. The connection was to be accomplished by use of an electro fusion process. The coupling had not been placed on the pipe prior to the event. Employee #1 cut the existing piping with a portable power tool to enable the connection to be made. After five minutes passed, Employee #1 again used the power tool to trim the gas fed side of the connection cut in the existing line so he could install a cap on the line. As this operation started, the methane gas ignited and burned Employee #1 on the face, arms, and hands. Employee #2 was also burned as he entered the excavation to rescue Employee #1. Employee #1 was hospitalized for his injuries.
Keywords: burn, portable power tool, excavation, natural gas, gas, landfill, carbon dioxide, pipe, arm, face
End Use Proj Type Proj Cost Stories NonBldgHt Fatality
Pipeline New project or new addition $250,000 to $500,000
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation Construction
1 303446579 Non Hospitalized injury Burn/Scald(Heat) Construction laborers FallDist:
FallHt:
Cause: Installing underground plumbing conduit
FatCause: Fire/explosion
2 303446579 Hospitalized injury Burn/Scald(Heat) Construction laborers FallDist:
FallHt:
Cause: Installing underground plumbing conduit
FatCause: Fire/explosion

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