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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 14390967 - One Employee Killed, Two Injured During Reactor Repair

Accident: 14390967 -- Report ID: 0625700 -- Event Date: 01/15/1987
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
10180898801/16/19872869Harmony Construction Corp.
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
10182065201/16/19872869Exxon Chemical Americas
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
10180898801/16/19872869Harmony Construction Corp.
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
10182065201/16/19872869Exxon Chemical Americas
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
10180898801/16/19872869Harmony Construction Corp.
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
10182065201/16/19872869Exxon Chemical Americas
Employees #1 through #3 were in the vicinity while a crew of seven contract mechanics under the supervision of three refinery workers were using a crane to remove a reactor head from a plugged reactor in a crude alcohol refining unit. A nitrogen purge of approximately 300 psi was being used to maintain an inert atmosphere inside the 41 in. diameter by 40 ft tall reactor. The nitrogen was inadequately vented, and after the bolts on the reactor head had been removed, the pressure built up and blew the head off the reactor as it was being lifted. The 11-ton head fell onto Employee #1, killing him. Distribution trays and catalyst material were blown out of the top of the reactor, striking and injuring Employees #2 and #3. Seven coworkers were also hospitalized after being struck by the flying debris.
Keywords: venting, nitrogen, clogged, crushed, explosion, high pressure, struck by, flying object, pressure release, refinery
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 101808988 Hospitalized injury Burn(Chemical) Occupation not reported
2 101808988 Hospitalized injury Puncture Occupation not reported
3 101808988 Hospitalized injury Strain/Sprain Occupation not reported
4 101808988 Hospitalized injury Burn(Chemical) Occupation not reported
5 101820652 Hospitalized injury Electric Shock Occupation not reported
6 101808988 Hospitalized injury Puncture Occupation not reported
7 101808988 Hospitalized injury Burn(Chemical) Occupation not reported
8 101820652 Fatality Fracture Occupation not reported
9 101808988 Hospitalized injury Burn(Chemical) Occupation not reported
10 101820652 Hospitalized injury Cut/Laceration Occupation not reported

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