• Published: 24 May 2011
  • Incident ID: 3159

Belt Tong - Near Miss

Cause & Consequence

  • Moving, flying or falling object
Incident Consequence

Incident Location

Onshore office, support base, heliport

Incident Activity

Any Activity Type

Incident Info Source

Frank's International Ltd ;Colin Thatcher ;

Specific Incident Equipment

Belt Tongs

Lessons Identified

Possible Contributing Factors- Damage from previous use of the tong without ensuring that the latch pin was fully engaged with the lower Yoke Plate overloaded the upper Yoke Plate and created cracks. With time and subsequent use, these cracks grew to the point that the upper Yoke Plate was no longer able to resist the load, ultimately fracturing the plate.- Quality control issues, while not directly responsible for this incident, have been uncovered. The problem relates to the strength of the plate not fully meeting specification.

Incident Recommendations

Corrective Action- Immediately MPI all Belt Tongs, not already inspected since 11 January 2008, per the manufacturer’s guidance, maintenance procedure OPS-P-4.1.6 and inspection procedure EI-P-4.1.8.-

Always ensure that the belt retaining pin is fully engaged before commencing make-up / break-out operations. As always, ensure that all personnel stay clear of tools during make-up & break-out operations.-

Due to quality issues recently discovered relating to a lower than specified material strength in the Yoke Plates, FRANK’S is imposing lower Interim Torque Ratings for these tongs. (See TABLE 1) These limits will remain in effect until the issues can be resolved and additional corrective actions taken. At that time, Service Bulletin 150 and Frank's Safety Alert will be revised, and re-issued.

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