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Fall leading to serious personal injury

What happened

A crew member suffered a fall leading to concussion and other serious injuries. The incident happened when he was single-handedly trying to hold and manoeuvre a drill tool into position for a certain task. The movement of the vessel combined with slippery conditions underfoot meant that he lost control of the swinging tool, which caused him to fall onto the raised platform floor/deck. He was concussed and sustained various soft tissue injuries.

What went wrong

  • Risk seen as tolerable: the technique for doing this particular task had been determined and accepted by management beforehand;
  • The task risk assessment and work instructions did not specifically include the methodology or address specific risks associated with this task;
  • The potential implications of the mixed sea conditions (operating in marginal (but within defined working limits) sea state for drilling operations), damp equipment and slippery deck (due to foggy conditions) were not sufficiently considered or mitigated in the task risk assessment and planning;
  • The movement of the vessel coupled together with the layout of the drill floor resulted in the crewman placing himself in the line of fire while performing this task;

What went right

  • The incident response and management of the incident went well and exactly as planned in the project medical emergency response plan.

Lessons learned

  • Update and review task risk assessments and procedures, and ensure personnel affected are properly briefed and instructed in the revised methods of doing the task;
  • Engineering changes were made to the equipment used for this task, and to the task methodology:
    • Equipment was installed to allow the drill tool to be manoeuvred and manipulated more easily, so that crew would be able to do this work on the drill tool with no lifting or dragging required, even when the vessel is heaving or rolling.

Members may wish to refer to:

Safety Event

Published: 5 September 2022
Download: IMCA SF 20/22

Relevant life-saving rules:
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