Dropped Objects – Persistent, Deadly Problem In Oil And Gas

So here is a video every oil and gas worker needs to see.  Just a watermelon, a hardhat and a heavy object dropped from a height.  

It is a slightly funny, but very effective way to get across the danger that every oilfield worker faces if personnel  aren’t focused on preventing dropped object incidents.

An awareness poster from Helix

Drops are one of the most difficult safety issues to correct because it takes a large dose of awareness and constant reminders to reduce the incidence.   According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of workplace fatalities involving personnel being struck by objects or equipment increased by 7 percent from 2011 to 2012.  OSHA has said  it is one of the top causes of deaths in the oil and gas injury, with many of those incidents involving tools, equipment or other items falling from heights.

One group, based mostly out of the North Sea, but expanding, is called DROPS.   One of the first things that strikes you about the group is its openness to admit the industry has a problem.  A large part of its mission is to share reports of accidents and potential accidents and then to share both lessons learned from incidents and best practices.  According to the group’s last statistical roundup, from April of 2011 to April of 2013, its participants reported 220 potential or actual incidents.  of that group, about 27% involved drilling operations, 18% involved lifting operations and some 13$ involved maintenance operations.

The DROPS website has a lot of every good information and lessons learned.  It should be on every safety manager’s list of bookmarked internet sites.


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