NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

A driller working at a West Texas oil field died when he fell from a derrick board he was standing on as it was being lifted into place by a forklift.

Texas Workers' Compensation Commission
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 98TX073, 1998 Dec; :1-6
A 42 year-old, male driller died when he fell from the derrick board he was standing on as it was being lifted into place by a forklift. The victim and a co-worker were "rigging up," assembling an oil rig at the drilling location. The workers were attempting to attach the derrick board to the mast with the mast head (crown) resting on a 25 foot stand. The victim and another employee stood on the derrick board as it was lifted into position. They were going to pin the derrick board to the mast. As they were being lifted up the derrick board was pulled off the forklift's forks by a crane's whip line and the two workers fell to the ground. The victim struck his head on a rock and died from a blunt force trauma to the head and multiple skull fractures. The TX FACE Investigator concluded that to reduce the likelihood of similar occurrences, employers should: 1. Instruct employees that standing on a load being moved, lifted, etc., by a crane or a forklift (in this case a front-end loader equipped with forks) is an unacceptable work practice and should never be done. 2. Perform a job safety analysis (JSA) and instruct supervisors to use the JSA as guidelines for completing a task. 3. Establish procedures that ensure personnel and equipment are properly employed during the "rigging up" process. 4. Ensure that safety is built into and practiced in all phases of all operations and holding those in the line of authority accountable for deviations from accepted work practices. 5. Develop a system of successively heavier penalties for violation of safe work practices.
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; Oil-industry; Supervisory-personnel
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-98TX073; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-613936
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Texas Workers' Compensation Commission
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division