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BSEE: Stored Energy in Slings Causes Multiple Injuries

The United States Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) has published Safety Alert #445 relating to multiple injuries caused by stored energy in slings.

What happened

The BSEE writes: there have been multiple instances across the Gulf of Mexico in which offshore personnel have sustained injuries to the face while working with slings. These incidents resulted from stored energy in the slings. Recent incidents include the following:

  • In December 2021, a contract roustabout slid a sling off a joint of drill pipe, which left a double loop in the sling. While unhooking the shackle from the sling, the stored energy in the double loop released, causing the sling to strike the roustabout in the mouth. The injured party (IP) lost multiple teeth as a result.
  • In May 2022, a trapped shackle dislodged from the edge of a beam during lifting operations in which a roustabout was holding a tagline attached to the end of a web sling. As the shackle was freed, it struck the roustabout in the cheek/nose area, causing injury.
  • In both 2022 incidents, the persons hurt were Short Service Employees (SSE). BSEE has also seen a recent increase in the number of incidents involving SSEs, as referenced in SF 21/22.

Therefore, BSEE recommends that operators and contractors consider:

  • Raising stored energy awareness with crews during safety meetings, toolbox talks, etc.
  • Reviewing Job Safety Analyses (JSA) for both high-risk and routine operations and verifying they include job-specific instructions and associated mitigations for potential hazards, including the hazards of stored energy in rigging and improper positioning of rigging in relation to the rigger’s body;
  • Updating lifting and rigging procedures to include good body positioning and checking rigging for stored energy;
  • Incorporating an additional verification measure within operating procedures and/or hazards analyses for situational awareness regarding line of fire exposure;
  • Ensuring appropriate personnel have access to the necessary operating procedures and understand them before performing work;
  • Reducing risks related to double handling through deck management initiatives;
  • Reinforcing the right and obligation to stop the job without fear of reprisal;
  • Increasing training and supervision of new and inexperienced crew – “short service employees”.

Members may wish to refer to:

Safety Event

Published: 24 October 2022
Download: IMCA SF 23/22

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