Maersk Driling hit with safety notice over 1,300kg dropped objects

The Maersk Invincible
The Maersk Invincible

Maersk Drilling has been hit with a safety notice after two stands, weighing 1,300kg each, fell on an offshore rig.

The tubular stands fell from a working platform called a fingerboard and across the drill floor of the Maersk Invincible in November at the Valhall field off Norway.

Norway’s Petroleum Safety Authority has carried out an investigation, finding the incident was caused by a failure in locking mechanisms in latches on the fingerboard.

Strong winds were also blowing in the area, causing the stands to detach and fall across the drill floor.

People were present in the area but no one was hurt as cordons had been put in place when the crew understood the stands were in motion.

The PSA said the risk assessment, locking mechanisms and experience transfer within the company had all been “inadequate”.

The safety body said that it has had initial feedback that measures are being taken to address the issue.

The PSA said “Several incidents involving different types of tubulars falling out of fingerboards have occurred.

“The Maersk Invincible accident and earlier incidents demonstrate a need for learning and experience transfer both within and across the companies.”

Maersk Drilling has until April 8 to show how it will address the safety breaches.

A spokesman for the company said: “We have welcomed the subsequent investigation by the PSA and expect that this focused investigation will provide safety insights to the benefit of the entire industry. As a result of this, we have taken steps to strengthen the locking mechanism of fingerboards.

“Thankfully, none of our employees were in harm’s way, and we note that the PSA has commended our crew for reacting by the book when faced with this situation.”

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