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A gas drilling rig worker died during a well cleanout operation.

Oklahoma State Department of Health
Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, FACE 03OK034, 2004 Feb; :1-5
A 27-year-old gas drilling rig worker died on May 23, 2003 from blunt force trauma to the head, neck, and chest during a cleanout operation at the well. At the time of the incident, the victim was working within eight feet of the kelly on the drilling rig floor. Compressed air was used to blow out the conductor pipe, but due to a lack of communication, the compressor was turned on before the valves were prepared to control the flow of debris out of the hole. The excess pressure caused the kelly bushing, drillpipe slips, and debris to be blown out of the rotary table. The victim was struck by these objects and was pronounced dead on arrival to the hospital. Oklahoma Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (OKFACE) investigators concluded that to prevent similar occurrences, employers should: 1. Develop, implement, and enforce comprehensive written practices and procedures for all drilling operations. 2. Monitor all job tasks to ensure that employees are not directly positioned in areas that are subject to flying parts, debris, and other hazards. 3. Ensure that all employees are trained properly and possess the skills necessary to recognize and control hazards for all operations in which they participate. 4. Develop and utilize a written emergency action plan and train employees on site-specific emergency response plans.
Region-6; 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; Protective-measures; Equipment-operators; Equipment-reliability; Training; Gas-industry; Safety-programs; Emergency-response
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-03OK034; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-613938
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Oklahoma State Department of Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division