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Lid from decommissioned open vent line fell onto walkway during heavy winds

Country: NORWAY - Europe

Location: OFFSHORE

Incident Date: 16 November 2022   Time: 07:00

Type of Activity: Production operations

Cause: Dropped objects

Function: Production

What happened?:

A "bird screen" lid with a weight of 20 kg which had been bolted on to a decommissioned atmospheric vent line fell down on a walkway 37 m below during a period of high winds (50-60 knots).

What Went Wrong?:

  • The vent line lid was designed to be installed on a vent facing upwards.
  • The lid, as installed, did not have any means of secondary retainment since the lid had not been identified as a potential dropped object.
  • The original tag number of the vent line was set to "deleted" after being decommissioned, hence leaving it without a formal trace in the maintenance program.

Corrective Actions and Recommendations:

  • Review of decommissioning procedures to cover the risk of potential dropped objects.
  • Review and improve inspection routines for potential dropped objects, physical and drone based.
  • Review requirements for establishing tag numbers for other decommissioned equipment that could deteriorate into hazardous conditions.

Figure 1: Lid while installed on the atmospheric vent line
figure 1

Figure 2: Lid after it had fallen down on walkway
figure 2

Figure 3: Atmospheric vent line after the lid had fallen down
figure 3

Safety Alert number: 352
IOGP Safety Alerts


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