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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 200370658 - Two Employees Injured In Chemical Explosion

Accident: 200370658 -- Report ID: 0454510 -- Event Date: 08/12/1999
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
30244676008/23/19992869Southeastern Chemical & Solvent Co.
At approximately 5:45 p.m. on or about August 18, 1999, Employees #1 and #2 were working in the drum shed, mixing chemicals containing vinyl acetate monomer. They were pouring 55-gallon drums of monomer into a mixing vessel that contained approximately 300 gallons of a fuel mixture previously pumped from a storage tank. The lime from the mixing vessel was directly vented to a thermal oxidizing unit. As they were doing this, a loud noise was heard in the oxidizing unit and flames traveled through the ductwork, igniting the mixing vessel. Employee #1 sustained severe burns, for which he was hospitalized. Employee #2 jumped from the dock to escape the explosion, fracturing his leg. The cause of the fire was unknown, but may have been due to the degradation of the chemical stabilizer and polymerization inhibitor. The employer was cited for violations of process safety and fire brigade standards.
Keywords: burn, fracture, flammable liquid, fire, mixer, explosion, chemical reaction, fall, chemical, leg
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 302446760 Non Hospitalized injury Fracture Miscellaneous plant and system operators
2 302446760 Hospitalized injury Burn/Scald(Heat) Miscellaneous plant and system operators

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