Nevada OSHA Officials Propose Citations in Bango Refining NV, LLC Incident


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Teri Williams
Public Information Officer
(702) 486-0407
CArson City, NV - April 02, 2014

Officials at Nevada OSHA have concluded the investigation of the explosion and fire that resulted in severe injuries to a Bango Refining NV, LLC employee. 

On 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.  

It 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.   

A 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.   

Officials 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 VIOLATIONS

NRS 618.375(1): 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

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29 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. 

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29 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 proposed penalty. 

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