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Serious LTI – deck crew member struck by termination head/flexible

During a flexible jumper installation operation, the 1st end termination head had been transferred over the Open Vertical Laying System and deployed through the vessel moonpool ready to initiate laydown.  The rigging crew was unpacking the 2nd end termination head (3Te) from the reel in order to lower it onto a deck trolley (Fig.2). The 2nd termination head was secured to the reel by 8 off rigging assemblies, each consisting of a round sling and a lever hoist. Each lever hoist was secured to the reel by a combination of chains, wires and round slings.

The rigging team were removing plastic protection when the termination head suddenly moved downwards approximately 0.15 to 0.5 m, causing the termination head jumper to swing in towards the reel cradle. The injured party was struck by the jumper and squeezed towards the reel cradle and sustained life threatening injuries.  He was medivaced to the onshore medical facilities for immediate care.

Fig. 1 – Image from CCTV 15s before the incident
Fig. 2 – View looking forward (post incident)

What went wrong?

  • The sudden downward movement of the 2nd end termination head is believed to have been caused by slippage and reorganization of the rigging securing the termination head to the reel;
  • Drawings and procedure did not have sufficient details related to unpacking of the reel.
  • The line of fire was not identified prior to starting work.

 Lessons learned

  • Termination heads on reels should be treated as suspended loads; with the potential to drop and swing.
  • Drawings, procedures and risk assessments with sufficient detail are to be produced for unpacking of reels.
  • Identify and discuss all possible line of fire situations and ensure personnel are in safe positions prior to starting a task.
  • Slippage / reorganisation of the rigging is difficult to identify and can occur without warning;
  • The potential for termination heads/suspended loads dropping and swinging should be mitigated.  They should be treated as suspended loads with the potential to drop and swing;
  • Unpacking of reels should be be proceduralised and risk assessed;

Members may wish to refer to 

Safety Event

Published: 16 December 2020
Download: IMCA SF 34/20

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