Investigation begins into offshore rig worker’s death

The U.S. authorities have begun an investigation into the death of a worker aboard the Petrobras 10000 drillship in the Gulf of Mexico.

According to Petrobras, a crewmember employed by Spencer Ogden Inc., passed away “as a result of an incident,” early on Saturday, December 2.

At the time of the incident, the drillship, owned by Transocean, was located in an area of the Gulf known as Walker Ridge 469, about 172 miles south of Port Fourchon, Louisiana.

The U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) and the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) are now investigating the case.

The BSEE has informed that the deceased, working as a floorhand, was taking part in pipe handling operations at the time of his injury, at about 4:45 a.m, and that no other personnel were harmed in the incident.

In a safety alert regarding the incident the BSEE said that “the deceased was working on the rig floor and positioned between a stanchion, on the port side of the rig floor with his back to the retracting skate, when it moved causing the “loading platform” of the skate to pin him against the stanchion. It was reported that there is approximately a three-inch clearance between the stanchion and the loading platform.”

The incident took place within a rig floor red zone – an area where entry is controlled. Also, as a result of the incident, the safety body has issued a safety alert for all the Gulf of Mexico operators, hoping to help prevent the recurrence of a similar incident.

“Because the factors involved in this incident are common to many drilling rigs in the Gulf, BSEE recommends all operators and drilling contractors review their facilities’ hazardous areas and associated safe work practices,” the BSEE said

Layout of the rig floor and preliminary location of the employee – Green tape to left of the stanchion marks the green zone (safe area)
Offshore Energy Today Staff

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