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Pressure tester struck by bull plug in Wyoming.

NIOSH 1992 Sep; :1-4
A 30 year old male oilfield pressure tester died at the scene of an oil rig where he was conducting a pressure test when a bull-plug dislodged from a flow-back manifold, striking the victim in the head. The victim was testing well pressure, and was in the process of releasing pressure from the pressure manifold into the burn pit when the cap came loose under 10,000 psi pressure. The victim was knocked to the ground, his hard hat was thrown 30 yards away from the victim, and the pressure plug shot 200 yards beyond where the victim lay. The nearest witness to the incident was approximately 10' to 15' away, and facing in the opposite direction when he heard a pop, followed by the sound of pressure blowing off. He turned and saw the victim on the ground with severe damage to his head. The witness used a cellular phone to call for help. The victim apparently died within seconds of the incident. Employers may be able to minimize the potential for occurrence of this type of incident through the following precautions: 1. Establish periodic training/recertification procedures that emphasize those unique risks that come from pressure-related velocity-caused injury. 2. Encourage employees at locations which are distant from hospital/ambulance services to participate in EMT/Rescue training programs. 3. Consider temporary deflective barriers for instances where safety professionals are particularly at-risk through close proximity to pressure-related devices. 4. Alert manufacturing employees to the criticality of meeting standards specifications toward prevention of injury to on-site safety professionals.
Region-8; Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Work-operations; Work-analysis; Work-areas; Work-performance; Work-practices; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-measures; Safety-monitoring; Personal-protection; First-aid; Rescue-measures; Emergency-care; Emergency-treatment; Training; Oil-industry
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
FACE-92WY007; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-807083
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Wyoming Department of Health