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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 18181586 - Employee Killed When Reactor Vessel Explodes

Accident: 18181586 -- Report ID: 0522500 -- Event Date: 09/10/1997
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
1818158609/10/19972821Georgia-Pacific Resins, Inc.
On September 10, 1997, Employee #1, a utility operator at Georgia-Pacific Resins, Inc., was making a Novolak resin (batch type 2140) in an 8,000 gallon K-2 reactor vessel. Novolak resin is a thermoplastic phenolic resin used in foundries. Employee #1 had mischarged phenol, formaldehyde, and sulfuric acid to the K-2 reactor vessel while making the Novolak resin. The vessel also had steam on its coils. The mischarge of chemicals caused an uncontrolled phenol-formaldehyde polymerization reaction, resulting in the over-pressurization and failure of the K-2 reactor vessel. Employee #1 was killed and his coworkers in the resin department sustained injuries.
Keywords: reactor, work rules, steam, explosion, chemical reaction, high pressure, formaldehyde, sulfuric acid, pressure release
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 18181586 Fatality Concussion Occupation not reported

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