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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Inspection Detail

Inspection: 1151687 - Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical Corp

Inspection Information - Office: Charleston

Nr: 1151687Report ID: 0316400Open Date: 08/20/1984

Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical Corp
Wv Rt 2 South
Ravenswood, WV 26164
Union Status: Union
SIC: 3334/Primary Production of Aluminum
Mailing: Post Office Box 98, Ravenswood, WV 26164

Inspection Type:Accident
Scope:Partial Advanced Notice:N
Ownership:Private
Safety/Health:Safety Close Conference:09/04/1984
Close Case:03/04/1986

Related Activity:TypeIDSafetyHealth
 Accident360572937    

Violation Summary
Serious Willful Repeat Other Unclass Total
Initial Violations 3 3
Current Violations 3 3
Initial Penalty $2,700 $0 $0 $0 $0 $2,700
Current Penalty $1,800 $0 $0 $0 $0 $1,800
FTA Amount $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0

Violation Items
# ID Type Standard Issuance Abate Curr$ Init$ Fta$ Contest LastEvent
  1. 01001A Serious 19100022 A01 10/03/1984 10/06/1984 $600 $900 $0 10/24/1984 F - Formal Settlement
  2. 01001B Serious 19100022 A02 10/03/1984 10/06/1984 $0 $0 $0 10/24/1984 F - Formal Settlement
  3. 01002 Serious 19100036 B08 10/03/1984 10/06/1984 $600 $900 $0 10/24/1984 F - Formal Settlement
  4. 01003 Serious 19100307 B 10/03/1984 10/06/1984 $600 $900 $0 10/24/1984 F - Formal Settlement

Accident Investigation Summary
Summary Nr: 14481212Event: 08/10/1984Coal Tar Pitch Dust Explosion And Fire
CRUSHED COAL TAR PITCH HAD JAMMED IN A "BRADY" CONVEYOR SYSTEM. TWO EMPLOYEES, ALONG WITH TWO FOREMEN, HAD GONE TO THE BASEMENT OF THE BUILDING AND REMOVED A SECTION OF THE PIPE. THEY WERE GOING TO INCREASE AIR PRESSURE IN THE LINE TO PURGE THE MATERIAL BY BLOWING IT OUT AT THE POINT WHERE THE PIPE HAD BEEN DISCONNECTED. THIS WAS A COMMON PRACTICE AND WAS THE SECOND TIME IT HAD BEEN DONE ON THIS SAME SHIFT. WHEN THE LINE CLEARS ITSELF THE ENTIRE BUILDING IS ENGULFED IN COAL TAR DUST. THE AREA HAD NOT BEEN CLEANED IN OVER TWO WEEKS, ALLOWING AN UNUSUAL AMOUNT OF PITCH TO BUILD UP IN THE BASEMENT. THE TWO FOREMEN (MAINTENANCE) TOLD THE TWO MILLWRIGHTS TO GO ON BREAK WHILE THEY BLEW OUT THE PLUGGED LINE. THE MILLWRIGHTS LEFT. WHILE ONE OF THE FOREMEN WAS AT THE AIR CONTROL VALVE, PRESSURIZING THE SYSTEM TO BLOW OUT THE PLUG, A CLOUD OF DUST AND A BALL OF FIRE CAME UPSTAIRS AND OUT OF THE BASEMENT. THERE WAS INSTANTLY A FLASH FIRE IN THE BUILDING. THEN A MAJOR FIRE BROKE OUT AS THE PITCH RESIDUE, WHICH WAS EVERYWHERE, BEGAN TO BURN. THE TWO FOREMEN WALKED OUT OF THE BUILDING ON THEIR OWN, WITH MOST OF THEIR CLOTHING BURNT OFF THEM. BOTH HAD SECOND AND THIRD DEGREE BURNS OVER 70% OF THEIR BODIES. THE IGNITION SOURCE FOR THE EXPLOSION AND FIRE WAS MOST PROBABLY A BROKEN INCANDESCENT LIGHT BULB.
Keywords: burn, coal tar pitch, coal dust, fire, explosion, conveyor, purging
Inspection Degree Nature Occupation
1 1151687 Fatality Burn/Scald(Heat) Occupation not reported
2 1151687 Fatality Burn/Scald(Heat) Occupation not reported

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