Warning: Crane components must comply with manufacturer recommendations

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) has published details of a potentially serious near-miss recently which occurred on a Gulf of Mexico energy facility. While using the platform crane to suspend a wireline lubricator, the pin holding the hook on the crane stinger backed out, resulting in the hook and lubricator falling.

The incident investigation found that the cotter pin at the end of the hook pin had sheared, which allowed the washer to fall and the pin to back out. Following the backing out of the pin, it caused the ear on the connection to distort, resulting in the hook failing.

The BSEE investigation found there was an inadequate pin configuration design. The pin installed on the hook assembly had a smooth composition. The operator determined that a threaded bolt with nuts and keepers was the proper pin design for ensuring the stinger remains secure throughout lifting operations. Following this event, the operator inspected their other facilities and found the same improper arrangement on additional cranes.

Lessons learned

– Be sure to inspect all cranes on the facility and verify that the hook assembly has a threaded pin with nuts and keepers.
– Retro-fit any stingers equipped with an improper stinger hook pin configuration.
– Verify all crane components are in alignment with current manufacturer recommendations.
-Add assessment of the pin condition into the pre-use inspection checklist, which should be completed before conducting lifting operations

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