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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 608455 - Employee Is Killed In Explosion While Cutting Scrap Metal

Accident: 608455 -- Report ID: 0418200 -- Event Date: 11/12/1990
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
10283369611/23/19905093Douglas Iron And Metal
At approximately 10:00 a.m. on November 12, 1990, Employee #1 was working alone in a remote area of a scrap metal yard. He was using a torch to cut up scrap metal to be shipped to a foundry. The employee was cutting a burned-out over-the-road tractor that had the fuel tanks, engine, transmission, and tires removed. The owner heard a "boom," then ran to the area and found the employee on fire. The torch was out and nothing else was burning. The owner rolled the employee to put out the flames, then assisted him to a truck. A coworker drove the employee to the emergency room. While en route, the employee, who had 26 years of experience doing this type of work and who trained new employees on how to safely perform this task, explained to the coworker that he didn't understand what happened. He died on November 18, 1990. The torch was placed back into service. The assumption is that a spark from the torch ignited a gasoline tank that was mixed in with the scrap metal.
Keywords: burn, fire, scrap yard, torch, explosion, scrap metal, spark, gasoline, tank, cutting and burning
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 102833696 Fatality Burn/Scald(Heat) Welders and cutters

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