Fatality: Fall from rig of a container

We have received a report of an incident where a man died when a refrigerated container fell from a mobile offshore drilling unit (MODU) to the sea.

The MODU was a jack-up drilling rig, jacked up in drilling operational mode. The container had been previously lifted from a supply vessel and placed on an elevated purpose-built landing platform. The container was longer than the landing platform, with the back of the container (which contained the refrigeration unit) overhanging the back of the landing platform.

Supplies were being unloaded from the container on the MODU at the time, with a worker inside the container passing the food cargo to personnel outside. As the unloading progressed, with load being removed from the front of the container, it appears that the centre of gravity changed, causing the container to tip backwards onto the deck below and then to the sea. The worker inside the container died as a result.

The company involved has re-emphasised the importance of ensuring that the potential risks associated with any containers (full, empty or partially full), whether or not they are supported and/or fully secure, should always be fully assessed and any concerns arising addressed.