NEW ORLEANS – The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) has released its panel investigation report on an August 23, 2020, incident that resulted in a fatality on the Pacific Khamsin drillship in the Gulf of Mexico.
The drillship was under contract with Total E&P USA, conducting well operations in Garden Banks Block 1003, approximately 174 miles offshore Louisiana when the incident occurred.
The panel, which included BSEE subject matter experts, engineers, inspectors, and specialized investigators, conducted its investigation to determine the cause and contributing factors that led to the fatality of a rig floor crewmember operating a hydraulic torque wrench while attempting to extract bolts from a telescopic joint flange.
After a thorough investigation and analysis, BSEE found that among other contributing factors, a lack of training with hydraulic torque wrenches and a lack of understanding of the risks associated with the riser, and a failure to initiate a stop work authority contributed to this incident.
Based on its findings, BSEE has issued a safety alert to the industry which recommends that operators and contractors ensure that the Job Safety Analysis captures the limitations of the hydraulic torque wrench when in use, verify all employees understand the Job Safety Analysis and have been formally trained on operating the hydraulic torque wrench, expand the Drill Floor Observer responsibilities to monitor all aspects of jobs occurring on the rig floor, and explore options for employing a load indicator, or a similar design mechanism onto the HUW package.