• Published: 7 Jun 2024

Dropped Borescope to Sea

Dropped Borescope to sea
Dropped Borescope to sea

Description of Incident

A work party consisting of rope access technicians were executing a decommissioning work scope on a North Sea installation that required the verification of a cut line and lateral restraint on a conductor. Rope Access Technician (RAT) #1 radioed for the camera and borescope to be sent down to him to enable him to perform the verification tasks. The tool bag was sent down to RAT #1 on a haul line, which he attached to his harness. He noted the lanyards within the bag were tangled up and he proceed to unclip karabiner in an attempt to untangle the lanyards.

RAT #1 lost his footing on the surface of the conductor, resulting in the borescope falling out of the bag onto his lap. He attempted to retrieve the borescope; however, it fell to sea. The loss of such tools to sea requires a PON2 to be raised by the duty holders for the information of the Offshore Petroleum Regulator for Environment & Decommissioning (OPRED). However, the incident was not formally reported to the management of the installation (i.e. OIM, Offshore HEQ Advisor) in a timely manner.


Failure to adhere to procedures and risk assessments - requires tools to be secured when working at height. The IOGP Life Saving Rules have specific requirements in relation to the prevention of dropped objects. The Line of Fire rule requires individuals to ‘take action to secure loose objects and report potential dropped objects’, and the Working at Height rule requires individuals to ‘secure tools and work materials to prevent dropped objects’.

Key Learnings:

  • Inspect tools and equipment prior to starting a job, ensure that lanyards are untangled prior to deployment.
  • We must ensure tools are secured at all times when working at height. Any tooling at height must always be secured with secondary retention if there is a requirement to disengage a lanyard.
  • When working at height personnel should seek to limit the number of items contained within tool bags to those that are essential.
  • Everyone has the responsibility to ensure that all incidents, including near misses, are reported regardless of their actual severity.

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