OSLO, Norway – Equinor must take action at the Oseberg field center in the Norwegian North Sea, following an investigation of a lifting incident this April on the Oseberg B platform.
The Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) opened its inquest after a catwalk extender tipped over, causing an injury to one person.
At the time KCA Deutag was performing drilling operations on the platform, with personnel on board in charge of materials handling, crane and lifting operations.
The incident occurred during preparations for skidding the derrick in which a 5.5-metric ton (6.06-ton) catwalk extender was to be disconnected and moved to a storage location.
Four wire rope casing slings were attached by shackles to pad eyes on the extender and to hooks on the crane pennant. When the crane operator tightened the slings, one became snagged on a component on the extender’s underside of the extender.
Lifting the extender slightly caused it to tip onto its side, injuring the individual on top of the extender, who was acting as both slinger and banksman.
The individual fell around 3.6 m (11.8 ft) to the pipe deck, suffering a fractured wrist, a cracked spine, a cut to the head and concussion, with the railings on the extender ending up around 30 cm (11.8 in.) from his head.
According to the PSA, the accident was caused by a casing sling becoming snagged on the extender’s structure during raising of the crane hook, which the sling had been attached to.
The investigation found numerous operational deficiencies, including no plan, user manuals or work instructions for connecting and disconnecting the extender; inadequate risk identification measures; and inadequate follow-up with KCA.
Equinor must now ensure that pre-conditions for safe execution of lifting operations on Oseberg B are taken care of by Dec. 31, 2020.