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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 202501540 - Worker Burns 80 Percent Of Body Falling Into Dip Tank

Accident: 202501540 -- Report ID: 0352430 -- Event Date: 01/29/2008
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
31185272701/30/20083999Baltimore Galvanizing Co., Inc.
On January 29, 2008, Employee's #1, #2 and three coworkers were working on the second shift. The company operates on two shifts with the second shift starting at 4:00 p.m. On Tuesday January 29, 2008 at approximately 5:00 p.m., one hour into the second shift the five Employees were working in the galvanizing/dip tank area. A metal dipping basket that had a load of steel inside was lifted out of the zinc dip tank ( that is heated at 840 degrees) and then was moved by an overhead crane to where a metal banging frame was located at the south end of the zinc dip tank. Using a piece of steel rebar that was 6-feet and 9-inches long with a 4.75 inch long curved end as a pulling bar; an employee hooked the curved end of the steel rebar pulling bar into the top of the basket and proceeded to pull on the basket banging it into the banging bar. That was done to knock the excess zinc off of the steel and the basket where it would fall to the floor. Employee #1 had his back to the water/cool down dip tank which was where the basket would have been taken to next. The basket would have been dipped to cool down the steel and the basket before the steel was removed from the basket and stacked in the outside storage yard. The distance from the banging bar to the north end of the water/cool down tank was 10 feet 9.5 inches. The water/cool down dip tank was 21 feet and 6.5 inches long, four feet wide, and thirty-two inches deep with the outer walls 13.25 inches above the floor. The water in the tank (that is replaced with new water each day) starts off being cold but after repeated dipping of the baskets and the steel all day long the water gets hotter and hotter( though cold water is added as needed during the shifts). There were no guardrails around the water/cool down tank; and a sheet of plywood that was usually in place at the north end of the water/cool down tank had been removed during the first shift and had not been replaced. The sheet of plywood was 6 feet 3.5 inches long and four-feet wide and would be placed on top of two pieces of steel. The floor area where the employee was standing had a very small accumulation of zinc droppings; was badly cracked and uneven; and there were two steel plates on the floor that were not level. While the employee was pulling on the basket the third time something happened; either the steel rebar pulling bar slipped out/off of the basket; he lost his grip on the rebar; and/or he lost his footing on the floor. Employee #1 lost contact with the pulling bar and lost his balance and stumbled backwards two steps when his feet struck the base of the north wall of the water/cool down tank causing him to completely lose his balance. Employee #1 fell backwards into the water/cool down tank that had very hot water inside. Employee #1 was completely submerged except for his feet and ankles and possibly his hands. Employee #2 and a coworker saw Employee #1 fall into the water/cool down tank and ran over to him. Employee's #2 and the coworker both reached into the water and pulled Employee #1 out. Employee #1 and Employee #2 were taken to Bayview Medical Center. Employee #1, the worker who fell into the hot water received third degree burns over eighty percent of his body and he died from his injuries at 6:09 a.m., on February 13, 2008. Employee #2 who reached in to pull Employee #1 out of the water received second degree burns to the back of his left hand. He was treated and released later that night. A coworker who also reached in to pull Employee #1 out of the water was not injured.
Keywords: burn, rail, dip tank, fall, skin
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 311852727 Fatality Burn/Scald(Heat) Laborers, except construction
2 311852727 Hospitalized injury Burn/Scald(Heat) Laborers, except construction

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