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Increase in dropped object events

The Australian National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) has identified a concerning increase in dropped object events on mobile offshore drilling units (MODUs) in the first quarter of 2013. Nine dropped object notifications have been received by the authority in the first quarter of 2013.

The weights and heights of the dropped objects ranged from 2 to 2300 kg and from less than 1 metre to 43 metres. The dropped objects were sections of drill pipe and casing, a spool of wire rope, a navigation light fitting, slip inserts, a hose bundle, an equipment handle and a camera located in the derrick. Three members of the workforce were injured in three separate dropped object events. Two workers each suffered a crush injury to the foot requiring a medical evacuation from the facility, while another worker required first aid treatment for a leg injury. In another case, a member of the workforce was standing only 2 metres from where a 28 kilogram object landed having dropped from a height of 19 metres.

Analysis using the industry supported DROPS Calculator indicates that six of these dropped object events could have resulted in a fatality.

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