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Dropped Object: 1.3 pound link pin fell 40 feet

Country: USA - North America

Location: OFFSHORE : Mobile Drilling Unit

Incident Date: 14 November 2013   Time: 22:00

Type of Activity: Unspecified - other

Cause: Struck by

Function: Drilling

A drilling contractor was tripping pipe out of the hole and a link pin came loose from the hook, falling 40 feet (12.2 metres) to the deck below. The pin bounced and struck a glancing blow to the left jaw/neck area of a worker. The link pin is 1 inch by 5 inches (2.5cm x 12.7cm) and weighs 1.3 pounds (0.6 kg).

What Went Wrong?:

The type of keeper pin used on the dropped object did not adequately secure the pin. The link pin is threaded and uses a cotter pin to prevent the pin body from backing out. The pin was secured with a coil "diaper pin" instead of a cotter pin.

Corrective Actions and Recommendations:

  • Safety pins that can be knocked out must not be used for lifting operations or securing equipment overhead.
  • Follow cotter pin installation guidelines:
    • Both points on a cotter pin must be bent around the shaft.
    • Cotter pins are a single-use instrument and should never be re-used.

Safety Alert number: 271
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