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Use of rags: Potential puncture wound

We have received the following report of a near-miss on board a rig, which provides a reminder of the need for constant safety awareness offshore.

A coil tubing supervisor was involved in the process of rigging up equipment on the rig floor. As he was sweating, he went to a rag box and selected an unused rag to wipe his forehead with. After wiping the sweat from his forehead, he noticed a 1″ sewing pin that had been left in the rag.

No injury occurred. However, there was considerable potential for a puncture wound to his hands or face.

The rags came from a chain of suppliers and the rag source was variable.

The company involved has noted that boxes of rags are a widely-used commodity within the industry and that they may not be free from contamination or sharp objects. It is possible that rags may be used to soak up contaminant and then returned to the box.

While there are certain checks within the rag supply process, it is also important that a user checks the rag before use. Everyone should be alert to the possibility of contaminants or sharp objects within rag boxes. As a precaution, the company has stated that rags should not be used to wipe faces.

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