Alert 09 – 20 Incorrect Length of Tong Snub Line Results in Fatality
A rig floor operation required a longer snub line so the drill crew changed out the snub line on the make-up tong for longer tong snub line. The floormen retrieved the old break-out tong snub line that was being utilized as a rig floor sling and installed it on the make-up tong. When the operation was completed, the drill crew did not replace the longer snub line with the standard length one. Two days later when the drill crew was making up a bit onto a bit sub the driller engaged the rotary into reverse to back the bit into the sub. This caused the make-up tong to rotate around 180 degrees from the anchor post, instead of stopping at 90 degrees. This resulted in the floorman manning the make up tong to become trapped between the tong and the extended snub line suffering fatal injuries.