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Investigation of the September 13, 2011, Fatality at the Strategic Petroleum Reserve Bryan Mound Site

November 2011

On September 13, 2011, a recently-hired, untrained subcontractor employee struck three large elevated pipes while operating a front deck mower at the Cavern 5 area of the Strategic  Petroleum Reserve Bryan Mound (SPR-BM) site. The employee was pronounced dead shortly after the accident by medical authorities. This accident meets the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Accident Investigation Criteria 2.a. (1) of DOE Order 225.1B, Accident Investigations, Appendix A: “Any injury or chemical or biological exposure that results in or is likely to result in, the fatality of an employee or member of the public.”

On September 14, 2011, based on the severity of this accident and the requirements of DOE Order 225.1B, the Office of Health, Safety and Security (HSS), in consultation with the Office of Fossil Energy (FE), began assembling an accident investigation team. On September 19, 2011, Glenn S. Podonsky, Chief Health, Safety and Security Officer, formally appointed an Accident Investigation Board to investigate the accident in accordance with DOE Order 225.1B.