Alert 14 – 21 Lack of Communication/Failure to Stop Job Results in Fatality


The rig crew was in the process of running casing. They had reached a point where a marker joint needed to be picked up and placed into the pipe handling system so that it could be made up in the casing string. The crew retrieved the forklift that had been rented for use on this location. They tilted the fork carriage forward so that the forks could be spread out. As the forklift operator tilted the 600 pound (272 kilogram) fork carriage forward, and because the hydraulic pins on the bottom were not attached to the carriage, the entire carriage swung free and was suspended only by the hooks. The crew attempted to hammer the pins out, not realizing they were hydraulic. Their intent was to pin the carriage correctly. The night company man was observing the operation and, after a discussion with the employees, it was agreed that the lift would be used in its “as is” condition to place the marker joint into the pipe handling system; and that the forklift would be corrected later. One employee was positioned in front of the forks in order to slide it over while two other employees pushed on the bottom section of the fork and away from the carriage. One employee stated to the employee, who was ultimately fatally injured, “Hey, you are in a bad spot” as he was standing directly underneath the carriage. The employee replied, “This is only going to take a second.” As they pushed on the bottom section of the fork, the fork carriage was pushed free of its hanging points and the entire fork carriage fell off of the lift. As the fork carriage fell, it struck the employee who was standing directly underneath the carriage on the head, thereby knocking and pinning him to the ground. He sustained fatal injuries.

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