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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 674150 - One Employee Died, Other Injured In Explosion

Accident: 674150 -- Report ID: 0454510 -- Event Date: 05/16/1989
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
10783384005/22/19893443Riteway Machinery & Specialty Co. Inc.
On May 16, 1989, Employee #1 was inside a tank spray painting with the epoxy paint. Employee #2 was seated at the tank manhole to act as "spotter" for Employee #1. An unapproved 500 watt floodlight was propped on an aluminum ladder at the manhole to provide interior lighting. Employee #1 was wearing a supplied air respirator and Employee #2 a half mask respirator. The mixing tank measured 67.125 in. height by 74.5 in. width with a 22-in. manhole. The tank contained an agitator assembly. Employee #1 was retouching some area of the interior when paint vapors made contact with the floodlight. There was an explosion and Employee #2 was blown off of the tank onto the ground. Employee #1 climbed out of the tank and had burns of approximately 40 percent on his body. Employee #2 had a broken wrist and burns on 12 percent of his body. Employee #1 and Employee #2 were treated at the Burn Center. Employee #1 died five days after the explosion. There was no confined space entry program and unapproved light was used in flammable atmosphere.
Keywords: burn, flammable vapors, spray painting, explosion, lighting, metal ladder, manhole, tank, respirator, wrist
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 107833840 Fatality Burn/Scald(Heat) Hand painting, coating and decorating occupations
2 107833840 Hospitalized injury Burn/Scald(Heat) Hand painting, coating and decorating occupations

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