NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Massachusetts plant operator dies in fall at a petroleum marketing terminal.

Massachusetts Department of Health
Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, FACE 94MA007, 1994 Aug; :1-3
On December 13, 1993, a 37 year old, male plant operator was fatally injured at a Massachusetts oil supply terminal when he fell nine feet from the top of a home heating fuel truck. The victim and the fuel truck driver had climbed on top of the truck to purge air from a load arm assembly line prior to filling the truck with fuel. The plant operator inserted the loading tube in the opening at the top of the truck and pushed it in until it reached the bottom of the tank. When he pressed the loading tube handle to activate the fuel line, a jet of compressed air blew the pipe out of the truck and knocked the victim onto the asphalt ground below. Seconds later, the terminal supervisor found the victim unconscious and bleeding profusely from the head and face. The supervisor immediately summoned emergency medical assistance and the victim was transported to a hospital, where he died five days later from craniocerebral injuries due to blunt trauma. The MA FACE Program concluded that to prevent similar occurrences in the future, employers should: 1. Explore the feasibility of devising a system to stabilize the load arm tube when purging air from supply lines; 2. Install mechanical devices (safeguards) in the load arm assemblies to allow for a slower or more diffuse release of built up pressure; 3. Always use the on site purging tank with the built in man lift and guard rail when evacuating air from supply lines; Furthermore, fuel truck manufacturers should: 4. Consider making all fuel trucks with bottom loading charge points.
Region-1; Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Work-operations; Work-analysis; Work-areas; Work-performance; Work-practices; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-measures; Safety-monitoring; Protective-measures; Machine-guarding; Fuels; Oil-industry; Air-pressure
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
FACE-94MA007; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-108704
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Massachusetts Department of Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division