Skip to content

Fatality involving offshore drilling pipe rack flingers

We have been passed the following safety alert issued by the US Minerals Management Service. Recently, while two roustabouts were positioning a stand of pipe into a pipe rack finger in the derrick, the pipe rack finger fell to the rig floor, killing one roustabout and injuring the other. The nine-stand derrick finger weighed approximately 65 lbs and fell approximately 90 feet. Preliminary indications are that the finger fell as the result of the failure of a weld near the base of the finger.

Although the accident is currently under investigation by MMS, with an official report to be issued at a later date, the above facts and the potential for similar occurrences have prompted this alert.

MMS recommends that all pipe rack fingers currently in use and those scheduled for use be inspected for the purpose of verifying their structural integrity. At the conclusion of MMS’s investigation of the accident, the issuance of an additional Safety Alert with further recommendations is possible.

Safety Event

Published: 1 November 2001
Download: IMCA SF 13/01

IMCA Safety Flashes
Submit a Report

IMCA Safety Flashes summarise key safety matters and incidents, allowing lessons to be more easily learnt for the benefit of all. The effectiveness of the IMCA Safety Flash system depends on Members sharing information and so avoiding repeat incidents. Please consider adding [email protected] to your internal distribution list for safety alerts or manually submitting information on incidents you consider may be relevant. All information is anonymised or sanitised, as appropriate.

IMCA’s store terms and conditions ( apply to all downloads from IMCA’s website, including this document.

IMCA makes every effort to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the data contained in the documents it publishes, but IMCA shall not be liable for any guidance and/or recommendation and/or statement herein contained. The information contained in this document does not fulfil or replace any individual’s or Member's legal, regulatory or other duties or obligations in respect of their operations. Individuals and Members remain solely responsible for the safe, lawful and proper conduct of their operations.