Flash fire involving an LPG water heater mounted in a van

Energy type: 
LPG
 
Event summary: 
A contractor suffered moderate burns and shock as a result of a flash fire involving an LPG water heater mounted in the back of a van. The contractor was in the process of commercially cleaning an oven grill using an LPG burner heated water bath. While he was away from his van, the LPG flame had extinguished. On returning, the contractor attempted to re‑light the flame not realising that gas had continued to flow and fill the vehicle interior. He received multiple burns to the body.
 
Accident ID: 
160308 03
 
Accident date: 
7 March 2016
 
Site: 
Domestic
 
Environment: 
Car/van or truck
 
Voltage: 
1
 
Equipment: 
Other
 
Accident type: 
Fire and explosion
 
Casualty: 
Non-fatality
 
Injury: 
Burn
 
Property damage level: 
No property damage
 
Outcome of investigation: 

A worker in an oven cleaning business was using a gas appliance to clean oven trays. The appliance consisted of a water bath with an unsupervised burner below it. The flame extinguished. The worker tried to relight the appliance without allowing the unburned gas to dissipate and got caught in the resulting fire ball.

The actions of the worker will be considered under the HSE Act and the employer will be subject to a duty holder review. Energy Safety will look at the lack of flame supervision with the appliance as an appliance audit.