The U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) has recommended added safety measures following the release of panel investigation reports into two unrelated fatal offshore accidents.
The first accident took place May 16, 2020, on a Fieldwood Energy-operated offshore platform located approximately 60 miles south of the Louisiana coast in the Gulf of Mexico. The accident occurred while a Fluid Crane and Construction (FCC) crew was in the process of replacing grating on the casing deck, resulting in the death of a rigger who fell through the grating some 50 feet to the deck below. Despite discussing using fall protection equipment in a morning safety meeting and even staging the equipment, the fall protection was never worn.
A BSEE investigation panel determined the probable cause to be Fieldwood Energy’s failure to maintain all walking surfaces on the facility in a safe condition, as well as the company’s failure to ensure that FCC’s Safe Work Practices met or exceeded their own.
After a thorough investigation and analysis of the incident, BSEE’s panel made several recommendations to reduce the likelihood of similar events in the future. BSEE also issued Safety Alert No 427, titled “Hazards When Replacing Grating,” which includes recommendations to operators and contractors.
The second accident, taking place on December 2, 2020, was a man-overboard incident that occurred on the DCOR-operated Platform Gilda, located about 8.8 miles west of Ventura, California, which resulted in one fatality and one serious injury.
The two construction crew members were repairing a section of flooring of the galley in the main living quarters when the moisture barrier they were standing on collapsed.
Based on the investigation, the BSEE Panel concluded the cause of the fatality and serious injury was the failure of the construction crew and authorizing personnel to recognize that the 5- millimeter moisture barrier was not a walking/working surface and that it could not support their weight. The victim and IP’s combined weight caused the barrier to break, which resulted in them falling approximately 80 feet into the Pacific Ocean.
The BSEE panel made five recommendations, including operators develop task-specific Job Safety Analysis’ for every task and ensure they are implemented in each stage of the task.
The BSEE investigative panels include subject matter experts, engineers, inspectors, and specialized investigators.