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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 202086062 - Employee Dies From Burns In A Propane Fire

Accident: 202086062 -- Report ID: 0524700 -- Event Date: 05/24/2002
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
30511419105/24/20021771Garman Construction
On May 24, 2002, Employee #1 and a foreman were preparing to use an asphalt crack sealing machine referred to as a tar kettle to fix pavement cracks with hot asphalt. The foreman left the job site to make a phone call, telling Employee #1 to watch the tar kettle. Employee #1 added water to a tank containing thermal transfer oil that surrounded the tar kettle. This tank was served by propane burners to provide even heating of the tar kettle's contents so the asphalt flowed easily. After Employee #1 added the water and steam pressure caused the thermal oil tank to fail. Vaporized oil was released and then ignited. The fire burned through the liquid propane lines supplying the thermal tank's burners, allowing the propane to escape and explode. Employee #1 sustained burns over 98 percent of his body. He was transported to the hospital, where he died.
Keywords: burn, flammable liquid, flammable vapors, work rules, fire, construction, explosion, high pressure, hot asphalt, propane
End Use Proj Type Proj Cost Stories NonBldgHt Fatality
Multi-family dwelling Maintenance or repair Under $50,000 1 X
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation Construction
1 305114191 Fatality Burn/Scald(Heat) Construction laborers FallDist:
Cause: Paving
FatCause: Fire/explosion

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