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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 200376309 - Maintenance Worker Injured When Dyeing Vessel Explodes

Accident: 200376309 -- Report ID: 0454510 -- Event Date: 04/01/2013
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
31700450504/10/20132261Aurora Specialties Textiles Group
At approximately 2:30 p.m. on April 1, 2013, Employee #1 was working as a member of a maintenance crew in a factory at which textiles were produced. At the time of the incident, a coworker was working as the operator of dyeing equipment in the factory. He was performing his daily job of monitoring and running the three jig dyeing vessels located in the dyeing area of the factory. While examining the pressure gauge located on the vessel, he noticed that Jig Number 2 was operating at a pressure higher than the normal operating pressure. Jig Number 2 was constructed by the Gaston County Dyeing Machine Company. It had been sold to the textile factory through Zimmer America Corporation. Jig Number 2 consisted of, but was not limited to, several systems. These included a kier, heat exchanger, smaller mixing vessels, a control panel, a pump, and a motor. The way to open the kier for Jig Number 2 was to move the kier along a track on the floor so that the vessel could be loaded with rolls of material before it was closed. Jig Number 2 was running a typical dyeing cycle. This involved running a long roll of cloth or polyester through an internal dyeing bath at a high temperature to quicken the dyeing process. The roll being processed at the time of the incident was 10 to 12 feet wide and 250 yards long (3.0 to 3.7 meters wide and 229 meters long). The chemicals, temperature, and time it took to dye the roll of cloth or polyester mix depended on the desired end product. The normal operating pressure was between 30 and 35 psi (207 and 241 kPa, or 2.10 and 2.40 bars). At the time of the incident, the operating temperature was approximately 275 degrees Fahrenheit (135 degrees Celsius), and the process was in approximately its second hour. The entire dyeing process takes approximately four hours. The operator called the maintenance department in order to report the high pressure. Two maintenance personnel responded to the call from the operator and arrived at Jig Number 2. Employee #1 was one of them. After the maintenance personnel arrived, the operator stepped away from the machine to attend to other job duties. Employee #1 and his maintenance coworker began examining Jig Number 2. They discovered that the light for "Module Number 7" was illuminated. Employee #1 decided to return to the maintenance shop in order to obtain and review the schematics to begin troubleshooting Jig Number 2. The second maintenance worker stepped away from Jig Number 2 as well and went to check on another area of the facility. Employee #1 returned to Jig Number 2 with the schematics. He was standing approximately 15 feet (4.6 meters) away on the operator side of the vessel, when Jig Number 2 exploded from the overpressurization. Employee #1 was knocked to the floor. He received first- and second-degree burns on his arms and abdomen. He also sustained the dislocation of his left shoulder. The fire department and police force responded to the incident, and emergency responders took Employee #1 in an ambulance to the hospital. No other personnel were injured in the explosion. The facility lost power in the immediate area. Other machinery, next to Jig Number 2, was damaged due to the explosion and flying parts. One structural support beam was bent due to the movement of the machinery from the explosion. The kier portion of Jig Number 2, which moves along the track to open, was pushed off its track and into machinery located behind the original location of Jig Number 2. The neighboring machinery stopped the movement of the kier. The rest of Jig Number 2, which included, but was not limited to, the lid of the kier, control panel, mixing vessels, and motor, was pushed toward the front area of Jig Number 2. The lid of the kier and the control panel, though structurally braced into the concrete of the facility, were pushed by the explosion with enough force to remove them from the brace. The lid of the kier, control panel, and other various pieces of the machinery collid
Keywords: burn, pressure vessel, equipment failure, explosion, textile production, dislocated, high pressure, valve, textile, high temperature
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 317004505 Hospitalized injury Burn(Chemical) Occupation not reported

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