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