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Packaging Corporation Storage Tank Explosion
FINAL REPORT: Seven Key Lessons to Prevent Worker Deaths During Hot Work In and Around Tanks
Location: Tomahawk, WI
Incident Occurred On: 07/29/2008
Final Report Released On: 03/04/2010
Incident Type: Hot Work - Explosion and Fire
Company Name: Packaging Corporation of America

investigation information

Incident Description
On July 29, 2008, three workers died and a fourth was injured when an explosion occurred inside an 80-foot-tall storage tank at the Packaging Corporation of America (PCA) corrugated cardboard mill in Tomahawk, Wisconsin. The workers were on a catwalk above the tank and performing hot work (welding) at the time of the explosion. The storage tank held a mixture of recycled paper pulp and water which the CSB found decomposed to form flammable hydrogen.
Investigation Status
The CSB issued a hot work safety bulletin summarizing the key findings from the investigation at a news conference on March 4, 2010.



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