A worker suffered severe burn injuries after a drum explosion and fire at a manufacturing facility in Ottawa according to a report from the Canadian OH&S news.
A worker at Masterloy Products Company was moving items on a forklift when one of the drums fell off and exploded and, in turn, caused the forklift's propane tank to explode according to Matt Blajer, a representative for Ontario's Ministry of Labour (MoL). The driver of the forklift suffered life-threatening third-degree burns to his forearms, legs, and back. (WCxKit)
The day after the accident, Blajer adds, the worker's injuries were upgraded to non-life-threatening, with second-degree burns to 30% cent of his body and third-degree burns to his back.
The 46-year-old man was transferred to the trauma centre at the Ottawa Hospital, rather than a burn unit, due to the possibility of internal injuries, Stephanie Logan, a representative with the Ottawa Paramedic Service) said.
Marc Messier, public information officer with Ottawa Fire Services, says firefighters originally believed there might have been a dust explosion in or around the dust collection unit at the site as there was fire damage in the dust collector.
"There was mention of some drums containing aluminum powder; however, there was no indication these drums were involved," Messier said at the time.
The fire department's preliminary estimation of fire damages is $50,000 to the building, $50,000 to contents, and $10,000 to the destroyed forklift.
The exact cause of the explosion remains under investigation as MoL officers are still gathering information, Blajer said, but four orders were issued to the company on August 25 as follows:
1. Stop handling barrels of re-burn dust until a procedure is in place to prevent danger or a hazard to the safety of a worker.
2. Ensure that workers are trained in the developed procedure.
3. Ensure drums of re-burn dust are lifted, carried, or moved in a way that does not endanger the safety of any worker. (WCxKit)
4. Have a professional engineer assess the existing re-burn dust collection system to ensure that it meets applicable standards and provide, in writing to the MoL, a report from the engineer.
Blajer added the MoL sent an inspector and engineer to the facility, as it falls under the Regulations for Mines and Mining Plants.
Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. See www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.
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