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Safety watchdog launches investigation after North Sea worker hit on head by crane hook

Heidrun platform
Heidrun platform

An oil and gas worker had to be airlifted off a North Sea platform earlier this month after they were struck on the head by a crane hook.

It happened on the pipe deck of Equinor’s Hedirun installation, around 109 miles north of the Norwegian municipality of Kristiansund, on January 17.

A search and rescue helicopter was dispatched to the installation to fly the worker ashore for treatment.

The Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) Norway has now launched an investigation into the “serious lifting incident”.

The watchdog said the team is drawn from its “specialist staff” and that work is already underway.

It’s hoping to work out the causes of the accident and to draw up possible lessons to be learnt, which will then be shared with the wider industry.

Police have launched a separate investigation, which will be aided by the PSA.

The Heidrun field, situated on the Halken Bank, was originally discovered in 1985 by Conoco, which served as operator for the exploration and development phase.

It came on stream producing oil and gas in October 1995.

Gas from Heidrun is piped to Tjeldbergodden in mid-Norway and provides the feedstock for Equinor’s methanol plant there.

In a statement, the PSA said: “The main objective of the investigation is to identify the causes of the incident and possible lessons to be learnt, and to share this information with the industry.

“In conducting its investigation, the PSA will:

  • clarify the course of events and the scope of the incident
  • assess the actual and potential consequences of the incident
  • identify direct and underlying causes
  • identify nonconformities and improvement points related to the regulations
  • apply necessary enforcement powers to correct possible regulatory breaches
  • make public its findings
  • contribute to experience transfer to and learning by other players in the petroleum sector.

“The police have launched their own investigation of the incident, which is also receiving technical support from the PSA.

“This field lies on the Halten Bank in the Norwegian Sea. It is operated by Equinor.”

Equinor has been contacted for comment.

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