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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 202468724 - Employee Is Burned When Leaking Propane Ignites

Accident: 202468724 -- Report ID: 0950643 -- Event Date: 11/25/2009
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
31243520912/17/20094212Reddaway
On November 25, 2009, Employee #1 was operating a forklift inside a tractor trailer that was docked for unloading. The forklift was propane-powered, with the propane tank mounted on a fixed support with a hinged security bracket. The bracket was secured by a latch on one end and had a grab handle that protruded outward. Employee #1 was backing out of the trailer when, unknown to him, the security bracket swung open 180 degrees. Because the forklift was traveling backward, he did not notice the open bracket. The grab handle hit the rails of the trailer's overhead door and bent, puncturing the side of the propane tank and causing release of the gas. Employee #1 stated that he turned his head to the right to look back since he was traveling in reverse. He heard a loud hissing sound and jumped off the forklift. He saw gas escaping from the tank and started to walk away. He then stopped to look back. At the same time, the heat of the motor ignited the propane, creating a ball of fire. Employee #1 sustained second-degree and third-degree burns to his arms and face and was hospitalized for his injuries.
Keywords: burn, ind trk operator, flammable vapors, explosion, industrial truck, gas leak, propane, tractor trailer, arm, face
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 312435209 Hospitalized injury Burn/Scald(Heat) Freight, stock and material handlers, n.e.c.

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