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Tractor-trailer repairman dies while welding interior wall of a tanker in Indiana, June 9, 1987.

Authors
NIOSH
Source
NIOSH 1987 Jul; :1-6
NIOSHTIC No.
00177514
Abstract
A 34 year old tractor trailer repairman was killed in an explosion during welding inside a tanker compartment. The victim entered an 8500 gallon cargo tank to weld a leak. The employer was a family firm with nine employees, six of them trailer repairmen. Specific safety regulations for confined spaces were in place at the time of the accident which would have prevented the accident had they been followed. The victim had about 15 years of experience. The tanker had four compartments, and an interior wall required welding. Between compartments was a baffle area to prevent chemicals from mixing. The tanker was steam cleaned for 1 to 1.5 hours to remove chemicals and vapors, in this case, lacquer thinner. Drain holes were opened, but the victim and an assistant were unaware that a drain hole had clogged. After cleaning, the men noticed the clogged drain and cleaned it, but did not resteam the baffle in spite of strong fumes. Compressed air was shot into the drain hole to disperse vapors for about 10 minutes. Strong fumes persisted, but the welder did not use a working explosion meter which was available. The explosion occurred when he began welding. Cause of death was multiple blunt force injuries. It is recommended that a comprehensive enforcement and safety review program for confined space operations be instituted. The safety policies of the company should be enlarged to include hazards due to oxygen deficient, flammable/explosive, or toxic environments.
Keywords
NIOSH-Author; Region-5; FACE-87-50; Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Welders; Organic-solvents; Maintenance-workers; Explosive-hazards; Safety-practices
Publication Date
19870721
Document Type
Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation; Field Studies
Fiscal Year
1987
NTIS Accession No.
PB88-190269
NTIS Price
A02
Identifying No.
FACE-87-50
NIOSH Division
DSR
SIC Code
NAICS-81
Source Name
Division of Safety Research, NIOSH, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Morgantown, West Virginia, Report Number FACE-87-50, 6 pages
State
IN; WV
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