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Fatality While Tripping Pipe

Country: USA - North America

Location: OFFSHORE : Mobile Drilling Unit

Incident Date: 20 October 2015   Time: ---

Type of Activity: Drilling, workover, well services

Type of Injury: Struck by

Function: Drilling


A Deepwater drill crew was tripping in the hole with drill pipe.

As they were transferring a stand of pipe out of the setback area with a hydraracker, the stand caught on a finger at the 51' lower fingerboard.

As the hydraracker continued to move, tension caused the pipe to bow and the pipe was released from the lower tailing arm with significant force toward the setback area striking and fatally injuring the employee.


View of pipe stand in lower fingerboard

What Went Wrong?:

This investigation for this event is ongoing.

Corrective Actions and Recommendations:

While this incident is still under investigation, drilling rig operators using fingerboards with latches are recommended to:

  • Review and assess applicability of NOV Product Information Bulletin 85766409 and NOV Safety Alert Product Bulletin 95249112
  • Verify a system is in place to confirm the opening and closing of fingerboard latches (by way of CCTV or spotter)
  • Ensure personnel are kept clear of the setback area


Safety Alert number: 268
IOGP Safety Alerts http://safetyzone.iogp.org/

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