Fatalgram - Ignition /Explosion of Gas

Image for Fatalgram - Ignition /Explosion of Gas

Type:  Safety Bulletin/Alert

Publisher:  U. S. Department of Labor, Mine Safety and Health Administration

Published As:  Public


Topics:  Occupational Safety and Health, Operations, Maintenance, Compressed Gas/Air, Welding/Hot Work - Grinding

On June 18, 2014, a 41-year-old production supervisor with 19 years of mining experience was killed at a sand and gravel mine. The victim and two contract workers were attempting to remove an impeller that was seized onto the threaded shaft of a centrifugal pump. After several failed attempts to unscrew the impeller, heat from a torch was applied to the enclosed hub on the impeller. While applying heat, the hub exploded and metal fragments struck the victim.

Best Practices
  • Establish and discuss safe work procedures before beginning work. Identify and control
    all hazards associated with the work to be performed and use methods to properly
    protect persons.

  • Train all persons to understand the hazards associated with the work being performed.

  • Do not apply heat or open flame where enclosed spaces such as impeller hubs,
    mounted tires, suspension struts, or tanks may be subject to explosion except as
    directed by the manufacturer.

  • Always examine materials before applying heat, cutting, or welding to ensure gases
    from the applied heat can vent.

  • Never apply heat to materials before ensuring that flammables/combustibles/explosive
    materials are not present.

  • Never apply heat to materials where pressure build up is possible.

  • Do not apply heat or open flame where lubricants, oil, or grease are present.

  • Use special tools, provided by the manufacturer, to loosen an impeller on a pump.

  • Refer to the maintenance manual, warning labels on the pump, or contact the
    manufacturer for special safety precautions.

You must be logged in to open the attachment.

Download Article
Comments about this Article
You must be logged in to add or view comments.
Related Articles
Feedback Form
How did you apply this information?
You must be logged in to use this feature
Is this article applicable to your organization?