Oseberg is an oil and gas field located 130 kilometres west of Bergen. Equinor is the operator.
Drilling operations are currently in progress on the B platform under a contract awarded by Equinor to KCADeutag (KCAD). At the time of the incident, the latter also had its own personnel on board responsible for materials handling, crane and lifting operations.
The incident occurred during a work operation which formed part of preparations for skidding the derrick. In that connection, a 5.5-tonne catwalk extender was to be disconnected and moved to dedicated storage.
Four wire rope casing slings were attached by shackles to pad eyes on the extended and to hooks on the crane pennant. When the crane operator tightened the slings, one became snagged on a structural component on the underside of the extender. The latter was then lifted a little, and tipped onto its side.
The injured person was positioned at the time on top of the extender, fulfilling the roles of both slinger and banksman. They fell about 3.6 metres and landed on the pipe deck. The railings on the extender ended up about 30 centimetres from their head.
At the time of the incident, the conditions were good for lifting operations: daylight, dry weather, good visibility and little wind.
Actual and potential consequences
The roustabout suffered a fractured wrist, a cracked spine, a cut on their head and concussion. The extender had only minor structural damage.
Under slightly different circumstances, the incident had a potential for even more serious injury or death for the roustabout.
Direct and underlying causes
The direct cause of the incident was that one casing sling became snagged on the extender’s structure during raising of the crane hook which the sling had been attached to.
The underlying causes of the incident are multiple and complex. They relate primarily to the following.
- Lack of an available materials handling plan, user manuals or work instructions for connecting and disconnecting the extender.
- Inadequate knowledge of the equipment.
- Failure to plan the operation in such a way that risks were adequately identified
- Inadequate compliance with the management system for safe use of lifting equipment.
- Safety culture in the work team.
- Inadequate follow-up by leading KCAD personnel to ensure implementation of and compliance with the management system for safe use of lifting equipment.
- Inadequate exercise of Equinor’s see-to-it duty to follow up KCAD’s implementation of and compliance with the management system for safe use of lifting equipment.
Breaches of the regulations
The investigation has identified four nonconformities with the regulations. These relate to deficiencies in
- Equinor’s exercise of its see-to-it duty
- the management system
- planning and risk assessment'
- execution of the lifting operation.
On this basis, the following order has been given to Equinor.
Pursuant to section 69 of the framework regulations on administrative decisions, see section 7, paragraph 2 of the framework regulations on responsibilities pursuant to these regulations, section 21 of the management regulations on follow-up and section 92 of the activities regulations on lifting operations, Equinor is ordered to see to it that the preconditions for safe execution of lifting operations on Oseberg B are taken care of and to follow up that possible measures function as intended. See sections 8.1.1, 8.1.2, 8.1.3 and 8.1.4 of the report.
The deadline for compliance with the order is set at 31 December 2020.