Tambar incident: Several people could’ve died, safety body says

The Maersk Interceptor jack-up rig (Image source: Aker BP)

The Norwegian offshore safety body PSA Norway has completed the investigation into a fatal accident that happened aboard the Maersk Interceptor drilling rig on December 7, 2017, offshore Norway.

The incident, in which one worker died, and another one was seriously injured occurred while the rig was working for Aker BP on the Tambar field in the Norwegian section of the North Sea.

Several breaches of the regulations have been identified, the PSA said on Thursday, adding that several people could have died had the circumstances been slightly different.

According to the PSA report, the incident occurred in connection with lifting and installing a seawater pump. Four people took part in the work, which involved the use of a steel sling. The latter parted, and the pump fell down.

A power cable attached to the pump was pulled along in the fall and hit two people who were in the vicinity. One of them fell into the sea and died, while the other was seriously injured.

“Under slightly different circumstances, several lives could have been lost,” the PSA said.

 

Direct and underlying causes

The direct cause of the incident was that the lifting sling broke because it was overloaded.

Underlying causes were multiple and complex, and can be related to design weaknesses and inadequacies in following these up, failure to identify risk at several levels, training, and planning and work practice, the PSA said.

The investigation has identified a number of regulatory breaches.

These relate to planning the work process, design of lifting equipment, use of  information and continuous improvement, education and training, use of lifting facilities and equipment, follow-up of enterprise of competence, barriers and cordons.

Maersk has been given until May 31, 2018, to explain to the PSA how these nonconformities will be dealt with.

PSA said, that on the basis of the preliminary findings from the investigation, the PSA issued an order to Maersk in January 2018. The latter applied to systems for follow-up and use of portable lifting equipment and to a requirement to identify and review all operations related to the materials handling process for the installation of seawater pumps.

 

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