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An oil field worker died after being struck by a falling pump jack head.

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 03OK060, 2004 Feb; :1-5
A 24-year old oil field floor hand died on August 18, 2003 from massive chest trauma received on July 21, 2003 from a falling pump jack head (horsehead). The victim and three co-workers were working to replace the down-hole pump, which required removal of the horsehead. At the time of the incident, the victim was standing in the work over rig floor opening with the rig floor in the up position. As the workers attempted to secure the winch line to the horsehead, the line caught the horsehead jack screw and pulled the head off the walking beam of the pump jack. The horsehead was not secured to the walking beam with a properly installed clamp bolt. The falling horsehead struck the victim in the chest and also struck a second floor hand, causing a nonfatal head injury. The victim died 28 days later as a result of his injuries. Oklahoma Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (OKFACE) investigators concluded that in order to prevent similar occurrences, employers should: 1. Ensure that the pumping unit horsehead is tightened, locked and/or latched securely in place with properly installed jack screws and clamp bolt. 2. Use tag lines to position the pumping unit horsehead when removing or lowering and to keep personnel clear of the suspended load. 3. Develop written safety procedures for securing and removing well parts using the hoisting system of the work over rig to reduce the chance of fall, overhead, and struck-by hazards during maintenance and servicing. 4. Ensure that all employees are trained to perform each assigned task, are able to recognize and control associated hazards, and have access to manufacturer-specific operator manuals. 5. Develop a system to monitor activities and assure the safe operation of machinery and equipment on job sites.
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; Training; Machine-guarding; Oil-industry; Safety-programs
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-03OK060; 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