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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 201953429 - Employee Killed In Explosion Of Charge Tank

Accident: 201953429 -- Report ID: 0522000 -- Event Date: 04/02/2003
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
30644703804/02/20032821Bayer Polymers Llc
. On April 2, 2003, Employee #1 and a coworker, the technicians, were watching a polymerization process involving styrene and acrylonitrile monomers. Employee #1 and the coworker's jobs involved monitoring a reactor vessel throughout the process. At the end of the batch process, non-polymerized monomer and vapors were stripped from the reactor through a condenser system to a distillate collection tank and were ultimately charged to subsequent batches. Toward the end of the stripping process, Employee #1 left the control room to determine if enough distillate had been removed to allow the remaining water and mixture to be dumped to the "dirty" sewer and a collection system. While Employee #1 was in the vicinity of the reactor, an explosion occurred in a small auxiliary charge tank. A piece of metal struck Employee #1's abdomen and killed him. Although the charge tank was not in use at the time of the accident, a small amount of the batch had back-flowed through a valve between the reactor and the auxiliary tank during the reactive process. The batch continued to react in the auxiliary tank, overheating and overpressurizing the tank.
Keywords: abdomen, reactor, acrylic monomer, explosion, styrene, struck by, overheated, tank, charge bucket
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 306447038 Fatality Other Technicians, n.e.c.

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