PSA ends probe into injuries suffered on ‘Transocean Barents’. Finds safety breaches

The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) has completed its investigation of an incident involving personal injury on the Transocean Barents on March 4, 2015 and identified several non-conformities from the regulations.

The incident occurred on the Transocean-operated semi-submersible drilling rig the Transocean Barents in connection with work on well 6305/7-5H D North on the Ormen Lange field, in the Norwegian Sea. At the time of the incident, the rig was under a contract with A/S Norske Shell.

A roustabout was injured on March 4, 2015 while carrying out an inspection in the derrick. According to the regulator, he was on a work platform about 12 metres above the drill floor, and was probably bending forward a little over the railing when the yoke for the top drive descended and snagged him.

The regulator further explained that the roustabout was squeezed/struck between the yoke and the work platform railing, but managed to twist free, and added that the worker suffered injuries to his head, neck and back. The PSA emphasized that the incident had the potential to cause serious injury or death.

Investigation

According to its statement, the investigation team from the PSA started its work on the unit on the day the incident occurred. In addition to conducting its own investigation, the PSA supported the police inquiry. Transocean also investigated the incident and had participants from Shell in its team.

Non-conformities identified by the PSA’s investigation relate to: inadequate safety configuration of the work platform and failure to complete protection measures which had been initiated; inadequate operational routines for accessing and working in the derrick; unclear zoning of drill floor and derrick; inadequate management, risk understanding and risk assessment related to simultaneous activities on the drill floor.

The PSA has asked Transocean to describe how it intends to deal with these non-conformities.

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