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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 4196.015 - Employee Is Killed When Metal Drum Explodes

Accident: 4196.015 -- Report ID: 0522300 -- Event Date: 12/17/2011
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
110513.01512/19/2011Heritage-Wti, Inc.
At approximately 1:13 p.m. on December 17, 2011, Employee #1 was splitting (tra nsferring) waste metals from a 55 gallon drum (parent drum) into smaller drums w hen a combustible metal explosion occurred. The metals involved were Hafnium, N iobium, Titanium and Zirconium. Tested residue material representred that near 1 00% zirconium was in the drums. Employee #1 was using a steel garden shovel to loosen the material (approximately 800 pounds) from the parent drum to be distri buted into two [2] 400 pound fiber drums. Employee #1 had used the shovel severa l times in the parent drum to loosen up the material for transfer when the explo sion occurred. Both employees were blown back from the explosive force. A worke r rushed into the explosion site and found Employee #1 and transferred him to a safe area. Employee #2 crawled out of the area until he was found by more rescu e workers. Ambulance's arrived on scene and took both workers to the hospital wh ere they were later transferred to a burn center. Employee #1 died the next day and Employee #2 had burns to over 30% of his body.
Keywords: combustible dust, explosion, hazardous waste
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature
1 110513.015 52 M Fatality

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