Alert 12 – 21 Lack of Communication Results in Multiple Injuries
The crew was in the process of laying down drill pipe. A joint was pulled out of the hole, the slips were set, the tongs were attached to the top and bottom of the tool joint and the connection was broken. The bottom set of tongs were removed and the Driller engaged the rotary to spin out the connection. The breakout tongs were left on the upper joint to keep the blocks from rotating and tangling the lines. As the rotary engaged, the crew did not notice that the breakout tongs slid down below the tool joint to the pipe in the rotary. The break-out tong hand made the tongs bite, as he had prior, thinking that they were on the top joint. At the same time, the injured employee reached into the Red Zone to grab the tail rope on the back handle of the tongs to help pull the tong around. As he reached in, the tongs bit on the pipe in the rotary and swung around striking the employee in the chest knocking him back into the laydown post which was in the mouse hole. He then fell forward, landing face first on the floor. The employee sustained multiple injuries. Quick responses by the crew, and the medical team upon their arrival to the site prevented more serious complications.