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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 74768.015 - One Employee Is Killed And One Is Burned From An Explosion A

Accident: 74768.015 -- Report ID: 0418300 -- Event Date: 03/11/2015
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
1045711.01503/12/2015Brent Industries, Inc.
At 1:45 p.m. on March 11, 2015, two employees (operators) were working in a comm ercial petroleum dry cleaning facility which utilizes a petroleum solvent to dry clean soiled industrial items such as shop towels and gloves. Employee #1 and E mployee #2 were working in the Processing Area at the Washex Washer #2, #3, & #4 . The two employee operators loaded each Washer with approximately 500 pounds of laundry. The wash cycle was initiated by the operator and solvent was pumped fr om exterior tank to the Washer. Each washer utilizes 150 gallons of mineral spir it to process each laundry load. The industrial washer(s) uses a washing and ext raction process prior to the items being transferred to another machines for dr ying. The soiled laundry was loaded into the machines(s) and the cleaning solven t was automatically injected. The machine contents were agitated for a period, t hen spun at high speed to extract the solvent. The 3 Washex Washers that were be ing operated probably were being drained when an ignition of flammable vapor occ urred at the #4 Washex Washer and subsequently the fire spread to the other wash ers and eventually engulfed the facility. Employee #1 was killed and his body w as found at the #4 Washer after the fire was extinguished. Employee #2 sustained burns to his body prior evacuating the facility and was hospitalized due to bur ns. Employee #1 was most likely incapacitated from the initial fire and the expl osion that occurred at the #4 Washex Washer due to the ignition of the Mineral S prits. The pressure created by the ignition of vapor blew the exterior doors off of #4 Washex Washer. Fire and over-pressurization occurred at each washer wthin seconds of the initial blast. The ignition of the Stoddard solvent vapor in the Washex washer #4 was most likely the result of an electrical spark being genera ted when a sling with metal grommets was inadvertently placed into the washer.
Keywords: chemical, chemical burn, chemical reaction, chemical vapor, combustible liquid, dry cleaning, explosion, heat, washing machine
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 1045711.015 35 M Fatality Laundering and dry cleaning machine operators

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