Worker Burn to Hand from Hot Paraffin Wax

Image for Worker Burn to Hand from Hot Paraffin Wax

Type:  Lessons Learned

Publisher:  URS CH2M Oak Ridge, Oak Ridge, TN

Published As:  Public


Topics:  Operations, Work Management/Planning, Material Handling/Storage

A drillers helper prepared to seal a Shelby tube with wax. He put a block of paraffin wax in a container and placed it on a hotplate to liquefy. He stood the sample tube on the pavement in a level area. Once the wax had melted he attempted to pour it into the tube. The container being used to pour the wax came in contact with the tube causing it to tip over. The worker reached to stabilize the tube and hot wax splashed onto his left hand and wrist. The gloves the worker was wearing (flex/grip type) did not prevent the hot wax from causing second degree burns to his hand and wrist.

Every step of a task needs to be identified as part of the scope so it can be evaluated for hazards regardless of how routine they may seem. The activity of pouring hot liquefied paraffin wax into a Shelby tube soil sampler was not evaluated for hazards and resulted in second degree burns to a workers hand.

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