at Nevada OSHA have concluded the investigation of the explosion and fire that
resulted in severe injuries to a Bango Refining NV, LLC employee.
the morning of December 9, 2013, workers at the facility were attempting to
restore flow to an asphalt recycle line that had become sluggish due to
sub-zero temperatures. Several methods were employed to heat the line including
application of plant steam inside the line. The use of a weed burner-style
propane tank and torch for direct external heat, a method not prescribed in the
company’s standard operating instructions, was also employed.
is suspected that plant steam applied inside the frozen line was redirected into
the hot asphalt tank which created steam pressure in excess of tank
design. The result was the dislocation
of the asphalt tank-top cover which propelled hot liquid asphalt and other
combustible products into the air, raining down on the employee using the torch
below. The employee dropped the lit
torch, turned, and attempted to run before he into slipped and fell forward
into the pooling hot asphalt. A fire ensued and all other employees were able
to evacuate without injury.
comprehensive investigation of the accident was initiated to determine whether
there was a violation of Nevada OSHA safety and health standards or the general
duty clause, and any effect the violations had on the accident.
have cited Bango Refining, NV, LLC with three proposed serious citations and
penalties of $20,790 for violations of Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) General
Duty clause and Nevada OSHA General Industry standards.
SUMMARY OF CITED
A General Duty Citation was issued because Bango did not follow Hot Work
Procedures, including implementing of the permit system with the introduction
of an open flame. The investigation found that management was aware of the open
flame being used on the day of the incident despite the absence of a written
policy for this activity. $6,930 proposed penalty
CFR 1910.1200(h)(1): This citation was
issued because the employer failed to provide training and information to
employees allowing them to recognize the potential physical and health hazards
associated with the hot work practices used to restore flow to blocked asphalt
lines. $6,930 proposed penalty.
CFR 1910.1200(h)(3)(iii): This citation was issued because the employer failed
to implement or enforce specific measures including specifying a personal
protective equipment requirement for employees during hot work activities. $6,930