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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 550509 - Employee Dies In Explosion After Using Torch On Asphalt Tank

Accident: 550509 -- Report ID: 0627400 -- Event Date: 06/08/1994
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
12341072206/09/19941761Ar Contractors Of America, Inc
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
12341068006/09/19941542Tribble & Stephens Co.
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
12341121706/09/19941731Galbraith Electric Co.
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
10740751206/09/19941791Welco Steel
Employee #1 was directed to use an open-flame propane torch to unclog a pipe line/elbow on top of an asphalt tanker trailer. The pipe line/elbow was blocked with solidified asphalt. The blockage was suspected to be located at the pipe elbow on the gasoline-powered submerged pump. The employee checked the side motor mount area with a live, open-flame propane torch while the internal asphalt tanker heaters were operating (heating the asphalt and creating off-gassing within the tank's interior). It is suspected that the torch ignited combustible vapors/gases that were seeping out around the motor mount. The explosion blew the submerged pump off its mount and into the employee's upper body and head. The employee was blown off the platform and landed on the ground. He was burned over his upper body by the flash fire. He was pronounced dead upon arrival at a local hospital.
Keywords: head, explosion, burn, fire, work rules, vapor, construction, gas, propane torch, asphalt
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 123410722 Fatality Bruise/Contus/Abras Occupation not reported
2 123410680 Occupation Not Listed
3 123411217 Occupation Not Listed
4 107407512 Occupation Not Listed

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