• Published: 2 Nov 2011
  • Incident ID: 3394

Three Dropped Object Incident Whilst Tripping Out of the Hole

Cause & Consequence

  • Moving, flying or falling object
Incident Consequence

Incident Location

Drilling unit

Incident Activity

Drilling, workover

Lessons Identified


1. Quick connect fittings were substituted for the original equipment swivel connections on the hoses.

2. Inadequate procedure: A new procedure required the Driller to not touch the open switch until the stand touches the pipe rack.

3. The cover did not have a safety strap in place as did the Off-Driller’s Side cover. Jarring took place for several days before a comprehensive inspection of the top drive took place.

Incident Recommendations


To address this incident, this company did the following:

 Remember to use the original equipment recommended by the manufacturer.

 Substituting equipment may cause serious consequences (as in the case of the quick connect vs. the swivel connect). In this case, the elevators came open while “picking up” the pipe that was still in the slips. The elevators could easily have opened up, thereby dropping a stand on someone’s foot or dropping a string down the hole.

 Hydraulic elevators are nice technology with built-in conveniences; yet there are some problems that are being highlighted, such as inadvertently opening them while they are suspending pipe. In this case, the elevator’s “open” function was activated and the pipe could have fallen on someone’s foot.

 Top drives and auxiliary equipment vastly increase the number of potential “derrick apples” (things that can fall on floor-hands); so be sure to examine top drives daily for potential falling objects.

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