The PSA (Petroleum Safety Authority Norway) has warned a man who fell overboard from a mobile drilling unit could have been killed.
The safety body has been investigating how a worker fell through a gap directly into the sea 13.5metres below from the drilling unit Scarabeo 8 in February this year.
The incident had occurred when subsea personnel were preparing to bring the blowout preventer (BOP) back into service after about four weeks of maintenance.
Two subsea engineers, who were working in the moonpool area at the time of the incident, entered the BOP carrier used to move he unit between the well centre and the parked position.
When one of the subsea engineers descended a ladder and moved onto the grating below he fell through a gap directly into the sea.
A spokeswoman for the PSA said: “The man-overboard alarm was sounded via Scarabeo 8’s control room to the Esvagt Aurora standby ship. Personnel on the latter mobilised its MOB boat and picked up the person from the water.
“He was flown by helicopter from the standby ship to hospital for a check and treatment. No serious injuries were found.”
The investigation found the direct cause of the incident was missing grating on the BOP carrier platfrom, which could have been caused by high seas prior to the incident.
It was wanred that “under slightly different circumstances, the senior subsea engineer could have suffered serious injuries or being killed.”
Scarabeo 8, which is operated by Saipem’s Norwegisn branch, has now been asked to account for a number of nonconformities including barrier management, expertise and training and maintenance management.
The investigation comes just a week after the PSA revealed it had found a number of breaches after a lifeboat was unintentionally launched from the mobile unit Maersk Giant earlier this year.
The incident, in January, occurred during testing of the lifeboat systems.
An investigation by the PSA found if the boat had been released with workers in it, there could have been serious injuries caused or even fatalities.