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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 731208 - Two Employees Injured When Digester Tank Exploded

Accident: 731208 -- Report ID: 0551800 -- Event Date: 05/31/1988
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
10399573406/01/19881629Albany Town Of
EMPLOYEE #1, A WELDER, WAS USING A GAS WELDING TORCH TO CUT MOUNTING HOLES FOR BOLTS IN A STEEL PLATE LOCATED ATOP AN IMHOFF DIGESTER TANK. THE TANK WAS USED TO PROCESS SEWAGE FROM THE TOWN OF ALBANY, INDIANA. EMPLOYEE #2, A LABORER, WAS ASSISTING. EMPLOYEES #1 AND #2 WERE KNOCKED BACK AWAY FROM THE WELDING AREA WHEN A SPARK FROM THE CUTTING OPERATION FELL AND IGNITED METHANE GAS IN THE DIGESTER TANK. THE TANK BLEW UP, KNOCKING EMPLOYEE #2 TO THE GROUND. EMPLOYEES #1 AND #2 WERE ADMITTED TO THE INTENSIVE CARE UNIT OF BALL MEMORIAL HOSPITAL IN MUNCIE, INDIANA.
Keywords: flammable vapors, work rules, welder, natural gas, torch, fall, spark, sewage, tank, cutting and burning
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 103995734 Hospitalized injury Concussion Construction laborers
2 103995734 Hospitalized injury Fracture Welders and cutters

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