Elkhart’s Yoder Oil incident under investigation

The Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration is leading an investigation on an accident that ocurred at Yoder Oil in Elkhart.
Posted on Dec. 24, 2012 at 12:00 a.m.

ELKHART — A government agency is investigating an incident at an Elkhart company that sent a person to the hospital last month.

The Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration has an ongoing investigation into the Nov. 16 incident at Yoder Oil, confirmed Bob Dittmer, public information officer at the Indiana Department of Labor.

The company, located on the northwest side of Elkhart, was getting rid of some large tanks. A diesel fuel tank was being cut when it exploded, said Chris McFarland, battalion chief with the Elkhart Fire Department.

The accident, which happened sometime before 3 p.m. on a Friday, sent a worker to the hospital with burn injuries. The person who was injured was not identified on the day of the accident, nor was it determined if the person was an employee of Yoder Oil or a contractor.

The diesel fuel tank, somewhere between 10,000 and 15,000 gallons in volume, buckled following the explosion, McFarland said.

Dittmer said the agency might be done with the investigation sometime before mid-July.

“These investigations tend to take up to six months,” he said. “In fact, we have to complete them within six months.”

The IOSHA’s Industrial Compliance Division is responsible for public and private sector safety and health in the commercial, agricultural, and industrial sector, according to the government website. It recognizes and evaluates the exposure to occupational health hazards such as atmospheric contaminants, chemical, biological, physical and ergonomic hazards.


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