January 16, 2012 | Mark Paradies


OGP Safety Alert


Country: USA – North America

Type of Activity: Construction, Commissioning, Decommissioning

Type of Injury: Struck by

U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) Safety Alert Number: 298

During well temporary abandonment operations, electric line (eline) was used to set a 1,000 pound cast iron bridge plug assembly (the assembly). When the assembly was approximately 6 inches from the deck, the eline parted near the rope socket. As the assembly fell, the Injured Person (IP), who was guiding the assembly to the well bore, was struck on the foot as a result of the IP being within the assembly’s potential fall radius.

What Went Wrong?:

A BSEE investigation revealed the following:

After the incident, the eline operator cut 1,500 feet of the eline off the drum and found the eline to be corroded and brittle with 5 out of the 18 wire rope strands broken.

The approved BSEE Permit to Modify stated the assembly would be run with the workstring, but the assembly was actually run with eline.

The Job Safety Analysis (JSA) was performed 9 hours prior to the job and did not identify all risks associated with the specific lifting operation; e.g., the job required a worker to be within the assembly’s 9 feet potential fall radius but risk assessment of the assembly’s potential fall hazard, and the eline’s condition/capability for making the lift were not addressed.

Findings from a third party lab’s visual examination of the eline indicated corrosion and pitting, with the fractured outer wire strands distorted and bent in a way indicative of shear/overload fracturing due to corrosion. A scanning microscope examination also revealed the fractured surfaces were battered, abraded and corroded, also revealing shear/overload due to corrosion.

The eline operator couldn’t provide any standard operating procedures or long term preventative maintenance records for the eline unit.

Corrective Actions and Recommendations:

Therefore, the BSEE recommends:

1. Eline/wireline operators develop and maintain standard operating procedures and records for the eline/wireline units to include preventative maintenance protocol, visual inspection of the wire rope associated with these units and wire rope change-out records (similar to crane wire rope protocols). Lessees should request a copy of these eline/wireline procedures and records.

2. Lessees and its contractors review BSEE Safety Alert No. 282 that discusses the need for workers to understand it is not the JSA Form alone that will keep them safe on the job but rather the process the JSA represents. It is of little value to identify hazards and devise proper controls if the controls are not put in place.

Source Contact:

Glynn T. Breaux
+1 (504) 736-2560

This alert is being distributed via a partnership between the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (http://www.ogp.org.uk/) and the U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) (http://bsee.gov/).

Safety Alert Number: 241

OGP Safety Alerts http://info.ogp.org.uk/safety/


Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, neither the OGP nor any of its members past present or future warrants its accuracy or will, regardless of its or their negligence, assume liability for any foreseeable or unforeseeable use made thereof, which liability is hereby excluded. Consequently, such use is at the recipient’s own risk on the basis that any use by the recipient constitutes agreement to the terms of this disclaimer. The recipient is obliged to inform any subsequent recipient of such terms.

This document may provide guidance supplemental to the requirements of local legislation. Nothing herein, however, is intended to replace, amend, supersede or otherwise depart from such requirements. In the event of any conflict or contradiction between the provisions of this document and local legislation, applicable laws shall prevail.

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