A Floorhand Dies When He Falls Off a Mobile Oil Well Servicing Rig

California Case Report: 14CA001
Release Date: April 21, 2015 (Revised May 15, 2015 – Original report incorrectly identified the mobile rig manufacturer.)


A floorhand died when he fell approximately eight feet off a mobile oil well servicing rig to the ground below. The work crew was in the process of shutting down the operation when the incident occurred. The victim was standing on the metal guard above the cab of the rig, preparing to secure the equipment. The cab guard was not equipped with guardrails and the victim was wearing a hard hat and fall protection equipment, however the fall protection was not attached to the rig. Autopsy toxicology studies showed the presence of methamphetamine in the victim’s urine.
The CA/FACE investigator determined that, in order to prevent future incidents, well servicing companies should ensure that:

  • Employees utilize a personal fall restraint system when working six feet above a work floor, ground, or other working surface.
  • Mobile oil well servicing rigs are equipped with fall restraint tie-off points at employee working positions.

In addition, well servicing companies:

  • may consider implementing an appropriate drug testing program.

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Page last reviewed: September 14, 2018, 11:15 AM