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A Hispanic car wash supervisor died when an air tank exploded in a car wash equipment room.

Public Health Institute
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 05CA010, 2006 Oct; :1-7
A 46-year-old Hispanic car wash supervisor died when an air tank exploded inside an equipment room of a car wash. The victim was inside the equipment room when the explosion occurred. The owner of the business and another employee were in the equipment room just prior to the explosion and had just exited the equipment room before the explosion. The business did not have any records or documentation on the air tanks in the equipment other than the Cal/OSHA inspection performed two years prior. At that time, the air tank passed all OSHA tests and inspections. The air tank that exploded was 23 years old. Testing performed by an independent laboratory found that there were products of combustion in the tank. Independent studies have shown that use of an improper oil type can lead to accumulation of oil residue in compressor receivers, and that this residue can lead to combustion and explosions. The CA/FACE investigator determined that in order to prevent future occurrences, employers, should ensure that air tanks and compressors are inspected regularly and maintained in a safe and operational condition, are serviced on a regular basis using OEM (original equipment manufacture) oil, and that all repairs and servicing are documented.
Region-9; Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Work-operations; Work-analysis; Work-areas; Work-performance; Work-practices; Safety-measures; Safety-monitoring; Explosive-atmospheres; Explosive-gases; Explosive-hazards
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
FACE-05CA010; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-008468; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-907284
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Public Health Institute
Page last reviewed: November 12, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division