Calls for safety push on offshore rigs after rise in falling objects

With an 800 per cent ¹ rise in the number of falling objects on offshore rigs in Australia this year, companies are being urged to maintain effective safety practices and encourage the use of appropriate safety equipment to minimise risk and injury to workers.

Nine dropped object incidents were reported in the first quarter of 2013, compared to one in the same period of 2012, according to a report by the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA).

The report indicated that six out of the nine incidents could have resulted in a fatality. The weight of each falling object ranged from two to 2,300 kilograms, and they fell from a maximum height of 43 metres.
According to an industry supported ‘DROPS calculator’, a mass as little as 700 grams falling from a height of 15 metres has the potential to result in a fatality¹.

An increase in the number of dropped objects on offshore rigs highlighted the need for suitable safety equipment and continued regular safety training.

“With such a significant rise in the number of dropped objects, it is extremely important that workers are provided with appropriate safety equipment and are regularly educated about preventative falling object safety measures to eliminate the occurrence of dropped objects altogether,”

“Dropped objects can include sections of drill pipe from casing, a spool, wire rope, an equipment handle or navigation light fitting. It really doesn’t matter what it is, it’s the weight of the object and the height at which it drops that does the damage.

“Our Squids® Ergodyne Tool lanyard range allows workers to secure tools with a number of attachment options ranging from heavy-duty self-locking carabiners and barrel locks, to quick connect buckles. We also offer Squids® grabbers which are designed to hold gloves, rags, caps, water bottles and more close at hand items.”

Injuries that workers have suffered to date include crush and leg injuries and each outcome could have been a lot worse and potentially fatal. Having the right ergonomic and safety protection equipment like tool safety lanyards is a small price to pay for the safety of workers in productive, high-risk environments and we’re urging all companies to invest in quality products.

1. Source: NOPSEMA: Number of Dropped Objects on Offshore Rigs on the Rise (Australia)