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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 80431.015 - Employee Is Burned In Acetone Vapor Fire And Later Dies

Accident: 80431.015 -- Report ID: 0950635 -- Event Date: 08/26/2015
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
1092834.01509/17/2015Smark Company
At 3:11 p.m. on August 26, 2015, Employee #1, who had worked with the company for three months as a forklift operator/ repacking, was working alone in the repacking area making a transfer of flammable liquid acetone from an elevated 793-gallon stainless steel intermediate bulk container (tote) to a 350-gallon stainless steel tote on the ground. In order to make the transfer, Employee #1 elevated the 793-gallon tote with a Yale forklift. The main valve connected directly to the tote was open, and the valve connected to the transfer hose was closed. While elevating the 793-gallon tote, the valve connected to the transfer hose broke when the two totes came into contact with each other, causing the acetone liquid to spill. Employee #1 tried to close the main valve by going under the elevated tote, but it was too low. The employee went back to the forklift cab and elevated the tote higher. The employee went under the elevated tote the second time, and was able to close the valve. As the leaked acetone vapor travelled, it came in contact with the hot surface of the forklift engine, and caught the forklift and Employee #1 on fire. Employee #1 was able to get out of the burning forklift, but suffered third degree burns over more than 60 percent of his body. He was taken to a local hospital but died a month later as a result of his injuries.
Keywords: acetone, chemical burn, fire, flammable vapors, powered industrial vehicle, hose, flammable liquid, chemical vapor, valve, spill
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 1092834.015 38 M Fatality Burn/Scald(Heat) Equipment Operator: Skidsteer/Bobcat

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