Forensic Engineering Investigation of a Pipe Joint Tester Explosion
Keywords:Compressed Air Hazard, Stored Energy, Safety Hierarchy, Air Pressure Regulator, Pressure Relief Valve, San Diego
A construction laborer was killed while operating a pipe joint tester, which was used to test joints between sections of newly installed sewer pipe. The joint tester contained a donut-shaped rubber bladder, which was inflated with compressed air to seal against the inside of the pipe joint during the test. During a pipe joint test, the pipe joint tester bladder exploded without warning. The joint tester operator was fatally injured when he was struck by pipe joint tester components and the air blast. A forensic engineering investigation was conducted to determine the role of the design and construction of the pipe joint tester in the cause of the incident.
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