Alert 13 – 23 Failure to Torque Drill Pipe Results in Serious Near Miss Event
The crew had made up a stand of drill pipe in the mousehole. After hoisting the stand out of the mousehole, and while it was still hanging in the elevators, the crew began to make up a float sub to the bottom of the stand using the iron roughneck. Unknown to them, when the stand was originally made up in the mousehole, the connection (tool joint) between the top and middle joints did not get fully torqued thereby creating a “loose” connection. When the iron roughneck was engaged to spin the bottom joint of the stand to make it up into the float sub, it also backed out the “loose” connection between the middle joint and top joint of drill pipe, separating the bottom two joints of the stand from the top joint. The bottom two joints fell damaging the hand rails on the rig floor before continuing off the floor and coming to rest against the substructure. No injuries occurred.