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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 202541322 - Two Employees Are Burned When Flammable Vapors Explode

Accident: 202541322 -- Report ID: 0950641 -- Event Date: 09/29/2009
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
30087075510/06/20091799911 Restoration Enterprises Inc
On September 29, 2009, Employees #1 and #2, who were employed by a restoration services company, were working in an apartment unit, on the second floor of an inhabited, four-story multi-unit residential building. The workers had been at the site on two previous occasions to expose framing members by removing drywall and then to enclosed the subject area with plastic sheeting. Because test results from an independent testing lab showed that mold was still present, Employees #1 and #2 returned to the apartment unit a third time to encapsulate the mold. Employees #1 and #2 were spraying Kilz(R) Original Aerosol to encapsulate visible mold that was on the framing members of an interior partition wall of the apartment unit, while inside the plastic-enclosed containment area. The homeowner was in the kitchen area of the apartment. Employees #1 and #2 exhausted four and one-half, 13-ounce-sized cans of the flammable aerosol within the containment area, which measured 41 inches deep by 8 feet long by 8 feet, 10 inches high. They then plugged into an electrical outlet an OmniAire 1000V HEPA air filtration machine, which was also inside the containment area. An explosion and fire occurred, when an ignition source was introduced inside the containment area where flammable vapors were concentrated. Employees #1 and #2 sustained serious burns (second and third degree) to their upper bodies and faces. They required inpatient hospitalization for more than 24 hours. According to the manufacturer, OmniAire 1000V was an air filtering machine designed for filtering particulates and providing negative air pressure for asbestos abatement. The machine was listed as meeting requirements for UL (Underwriters Laboratories) Standard UL507 for Safety for Electric Fans. The listing did not include use in hazardous atmospheres, where flammable vapors were present. The machine had a variable speed controller and Emerson, open-frame type fan motor. The investigation found that the employer's IIPP (Injury and Illness Prevention Program) lacked several required elements and that the workers were not trained on the physical or health hazards of the Kilz(R) Original Aerosol. Further, the improper use of listed equipment in a hazardous atmosphere caused the explosion and fire. The employer was issued citations accordingly.
Keywords: burn, enclosed space, fan, flammable liquid, flammable vapors, fire, construction, explosion, air contamination, high temperature
End Use Proj Type Proj Cost Stories NonBldgHt Fatality
Single family or duplex dwelling Maintenance or repair Under $50,000 4
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation Construction
1 300870755 Hospitalized injury Burn/Scald(Heat) Technicians, n.e.c. FallDist:
Cause: Interior painting and decorating
FatCause: Fire/explosion
2 300870755 Hospitalized injury Burn/Scald(Heat) Technicians, n.e.c. FallDist:
Cause: Interior painting and decorating
FatCause: Fire/explosion

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