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Massachusetts mechanic killed when a 55-gallon drum exploded.

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 00MA042, 2001 Jul; :1-5
On July 24, 2000, a 61-year-old male mechanic (the victim) was fatally injured when a 55-gallon drum exploded. The victim was using a torch to cut the lid off of the drum, which had previously contained diesel fuel conditioner, so the drum could be recycled. After the explosion an employee activated the company's emergency system that consisted of a direct line to their alarm company who then placed a call for emergency assistance. The town police and fire departments arrived at the incident site within minutes. The victim was med-flighted to a hospital where he was in critical condition for seven days before he died from the injuries sustained in the explosion. The Massachusetts FACE Program concluded that to prevent similar occurrences in the future employers should: 1. Develop, implement and enforce standard operating procedures (SOPs) for removing lids from large, sealed metal containers. 2. Routinely undertake hazard assessments of the work site. 3. Provide workers with training in the recognition and avoidance of hazards and safe work practices that pertain to their work environment. 4. Maintain their chemical inventory at a few months supply, whenever possible, to reduce the number of large metal containers used.
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; Training; Mechanics; Chemical-properties; Chemical-reactions; Explosive-gases; Explosive-hazards
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
FACE-00MA042; 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