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A driller died after falling through an opening in the oil rig floor.

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 04OK027, 2005 Feb; :1-6
A 59-year-old oil rig driller died on May 28, 2004 from head trauma he received after falling through an opening in the drilling floor. The decedent and his co-workers had just finished raising the derrick into the upright position. During the oil rig assembly process (rigging up), the crew worked on the drilling floor with unguarded openings due to an error in process sequencing where four floor panels were not available at the appropriate time for installation. As a result of the delay in the delivery of panels, the crew erected the derrick without them and intended to later use the rig's air hoist line to lift and place the panels. In order to install the air hoist, the bridle line had to first be disconnected. The victim and four other workers were coiling the legs of the line when the socket assembly at the end of one of the legs fell through an opening in the derrick floor causing the coils to start moving. The line caught the feet of the victim and dragged him over the opening. He struck his head on the edge of the opening and fell 27 feet to the ground. He was transported to the hospital and pronounced dead three hours later. Another worker was caught by the moving line, flung into the air, and dragged to the edge of the opening, but did not fall and only suffered minor injuries. Oklahoma Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (OKFACE) investigators concluded that to help prevent similar occurrences, employers should: 1. Ensure that all employees working at elevated heights are provided with and utilize proper fall protection equipment and are not exposed to unguarded openings or other hazards without adequate protection. 2. Develop, implement, and enforce a comprehensive safety and health program that includes safe operating procedures for all drilling operations. 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.
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; Oil-industry; Personal-protective-equipment; Protective-equipment; Training; Safety-programs; Health-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-04OK027; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-613938; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-008342
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