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An automotive mechanic dies from thermal burns when the gasoline he was pouring into a vehicle ignited.

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 11CA006, 2012 Apr; :1-10
An automotive mechanic died when gasoline he was pouring into a vehicle ignited and burned him. The victim had just replaced a gas tank on the vehicle. He was using a bucket to pour gasoline into the new fuel tank that did not have the filler hose installed. The fuel spilled onto a wire cage-covered incandescent drop light under the vehicle, which ignited the fuel causing the fire. The victim ran from the vehicle with the bucket of fuel, leaving a trail of spilled gasoline which ignited. The ignited trail of fuel caused the bucket of fuel to also ignite, burning the victim. Contributing factors identified in this investigation were the positioning of the drop light, the type of drop light used, the use of a bucket to store and pour gasoline, and the filling of an incompletely assembled fuel system. The CA/FACE investigator determined that, in order to prevent fires within an automotive repair shop, owners should ensure that: 1. Sources of ignition are eliminated when work involves flammable liquids. 2. When refueling vehicles with a portable container, the container should be equipped with an automatic closing cap and flame arrester. 3. Gas tanks are properly installed before refueling.
Region-9; Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Work-practices; Mechanics; Automobile-repair-shops
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-11CA006; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-008468; B07092012
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