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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 756148 - Two Employees Injured In Water Monitor Manhole Explosion

Accident: 756148 -- Report ID: 0855610 -- Event Date: 02/06/1993
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
11461543802/10/19931611Schmid Sand & Gravel Inc
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
11463261502/09/19939199Town Of Lyman
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
11461543802/10/19931611Schmid Sand & Gravel Inc
Employees #1 and #2 were using a propane Weedburner to attempt to thaw-out a frozen water line in a water monitor manhole. The Weedburner was left unattended for several hours. When Employees #1 and #2 returned to the manhole, the Weedburner had lost its flame and the propane from the Weedburner tank had accumulated in the manhole. The employees believed that the weedburner flame had gone out because the propane tank was empty. A week later, Employees #1 and #2 returned to the water monitor manhole to attempt again to thaw out the frozen water line. One employee entered the manhole while the other one handed him the lit Weedburner wand. Employees #1 and #2 were struck by a flash fire, resulting from an accumulation of propane as in the manhole. Both employees received second-degree burns on their faces and hands for which they were hospitalized. Employees #1 and #2 did not perform atmospheric testing of the manhole before entering or using equipment.
Keywords: flammable vapors, work rules, explosion, propane, manhole, hand, burn, confined space, fire, face
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 114615438 Hospitalized injury Burn/Scald(Heat) Supervisors; handlers,equip-cleaners,laborers nec
2 114632615 Occupation Not Listed
3 114615438 Hospitalized injury Burn/Scald(Heat) Construction laborers

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