Reported injuries due to stored energy in slings

Reported injuries due to stored energy in slings
Reported injuries due to stored energy in slings

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) has issued advice and lessons learnt following injuries sustained by offshore crew working with slings. By issuing this information, BSEE hopes to prevent similar incidents in the future.

There have been multiple instances across the Gulf of Mexico in which offshore personnel have sustained injuries to the face while working with slings. These incidents resulted from stored energy in the slings. Recent incidents include the following:
– December 2021: A contract roustabout slid a sling off a joint of drill pipe, which left a double loop in the sling. While unhooking the shackle from the sling, the stored energy in the double loop released, causing the sling to strike the roustabout in the mouth. The injured party (IP) lost multiple teeth as a result.
– March 2022: A loop in a sling moved while the crew was working to separate slings with the intent to hook them up to a crane. The loop struck the IP in the face, resulting in damage to several teeth and a lip abrasion.
– May 2022, a trapped shackle dislodged from the edge of a beam during lifting operations in which a roustabout was holding a tagline attached to the end of a web sling. As the shackle was freed, it struck the roustabout in the cheek/nose area, causing injury.

In both 2022 incidents, the IPs were Short Service Employees (SSE). BSEE has also seen a recent increase in the number of incidents involving SSEs.

Lessons learned

– Raising stored energy awareness with crews during safety meetings and toolbox talks.
– Reviewing Job Safety Analyses for both high-risk and routine operations and verifying they include job-specific instructions and associated mitigations for potential hazards, including the hazards of stored energy in rigging and improper positioning of rigging in relation to the rigger’s body.
– Updating lifting and rigging procedures to include good body positioning and checking rigging for stored energy.
– Incorporating an additional verification measure within operating procedures and/or hazards analyses for situational awareness regarding line of fire exposure.
– Ensuring appropriate personnel have access to the necessary operating procedures and understand them before performing work.
– Reducing risks related to double handling through deck management initiatives.
– Reinforcing the right and obligation to stop the job without fear of reprisal.
– Increasing training and supervision of SSEs.

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