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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Inspection Detail

Inspection: 105522270 - Murphy Welding & Crane Service

Inspection Information - Office: Tenn Cmpl Sfty 6

Nr: 105522270Report ID: 0454716Open Date: 05/28/1988

Murphy Welding & Crane Service
2301 Buffalo Rd
Johnson City, TN 37604
Union Status: NonUnion
SIC: 1796/Installation or Erection of Building Equipment, Not Elsewhere
Mailing: P. O. Box 5308 Eks, Johnson City, TN 37603

Inspection Type:Unprog Rel
Scope:Complete Advanced Notice:N
Safety/Health:Safety Close Conference:05/28/1988
Planning Guide: Safety-Construction Close Case:05/28/1988

Related Activity:TypeIDSafetyHealth

Accident Investigation Summary
Summary Nr: 14214027Event: 05/28/1988One Employee Killed, Others Injured When Unit Explodes
This accident occurred in the sterilization area where two 45 ft long by 4 ft 10 in. wide by 6 ft 6 in. high sterilization units were situated side by side. The construction crews were replacing a door on the unloading end of unit #1, using a torch powered by MAPP (methylacetylene propadiene) gas. Grinding was also being done. A few seconds after the door on unit #2 was opened an explosion occurred at unit #2. Several employees were directly in front of or near the exploding unit. Other employees were at unit #1. Employees #1 through #7 sustained burns and/or other injuries. Employee #8 died. The fuel sources were ethylene oxide (ETO), MAPP, propane, and gasoline. The gasoline was in a small can and the propane was in a cylinder on a forklift. Neither is considered to have caused the explosion. A small leak was found between the MAPP cylinder and the regulator, but it was not considered to have been large enough to have caused the explosion. The explosion apparently was caused by the ETO that was still in unit #2 and which ignited when unit #2 was opened.
Keywords: leak, explosion, ethylene oxide, propane, gasoline, construction
Inspection Degree Nature Occupation
1 105522270 Hospitalized injury Strain/Sprain Construction trades, n.e.c.
2 105522270 Hospitalized injury Burn/Scald(Heat) Supervisors, n.e.c.
3 105522270 Non Hospitalized injury Burn/Scald(Heat) Construction trades, n.e.c.

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