Alert 12 – 25 Snagged Hoist Line Results in Fractured Vertebrae
During cementing operations while utilizing the hoist line on the rig, a floor hand was being hoisted up the mast to tighten the manifold for the cement head. The crew decided to use a 20 foot (6m) extension chain, which was connected to the hoist line, in an attempt to keep the swivel connection above the hoisted employees head while working at any given height. While the floor hand was being hoisted, the swivel connection got caught under the casing stabbing basket on the driller’s side. Neither the floor hand nor the employee running the hoist noticed the swivel had snagged. Not realizing that the swivel was snagged, which put extreme tension on the lifting cable, the employee running the hoist continued lifting the floor hand to the required height. Once the swivel connection was pulled out from under the stabbing basket, the floor hand was thrown upward and then dropped approximately 3 feet (91cm) to the end of the slack in the hoist line. After the floor hand dropped to the end of the slack, it caused the hoisting cable to jerk him resulting in a compression fracture to his spine.