BSEE Report Following Incident on SeaDrill West Neptune Drillship

| Sep 20, 2021 | Firm News

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) has released its Accident Report on the incident that took place on the SeaDrill West Neptune Drillship at Mississippi Canyon 503 on October 31, 2020.  Operations were being conducted by LLOG Exploration Offshore LLC.  During the incident, a piece of grating fell through the rotary table before hitting two workers on the platform.

The BSEE report, explained what happened to the two workers during the incident:

While making their way (the two floor hands) to the maintenance basket, the drill crew functioned the spider dogs to the open position. The dogs failed to fully open and therefore reverted to the closed position. At that time, it was noted the back plates of the work platform were still down preventing the dogs from opening. The night tour auxiliary driller went to the spider and raised all 4 back plates.

The dogs were functioned to the open position a second time. It was during this function that the port (left side) aft (toward the back) spider dog safety door was dislodged from the dog. The safety door then fell off the end and down through the rotary to the riser adapter where the two floor hands were stationed (as they had not made it back into the maintenance basket and off of the walkway).

The spider dog safety door struck the riser adapter and the two floor hands knocking them from the walkway and sustaining various injuries. One injured person (IP) had facial lacerations and the other IP had a fractured rib.

The BSEE investigation found that there was an inadequate secondary retention chain for securing the grating on the riser spider.  As a result, the chain did not prevent the grating from falling into the hole once the two bolts that initially secured the spider dog safety door were sheared.

The BSEE report determined the probable cause of the incident:

Human Performance Error: 

  • The two bolts that secured the spider dog safety door were sheared off due to the back plates not being raised on the work platform. 
  • Inadequate secondary safety for securing the spider dog safety door to the spider dog; the chain prevents the spider dog safety door from falling into the work platform area but does not retain the spider dog safety door from falling towards well center and to the moon pool.
  • Standard Operating Manual was not followed by the rig floor by personnel.

BSEE also noted violations that contributed to the incident:

PINC: G-110-(C) Does the lessee perform all operations in a safe and workmanlike manner and provide for the preservation and conservation of property and the environment?

Regulation (30 CFR 250.107a) Standard Operating Manual procedures were not followed and Communication failure between the rig floor and the moonpool personnel which didn’t allow personnel to clear the moonpool before operating spider dogs above them.

  • The retention chain did not prevent the grating from falling forward into the hole once the two bolts that initially secured the grating were sheared off.

Our attorneys have extensive experience in maritime injury and wrongful death litigation in courts across the country and the skills needed to represent the families of loved ones who have lost their lives as a result of the negligence of another party, or been seriously injured.  We have handled numerous cases involving injuries that occurred on offshore platforms.  The experienced offshore accident attorneys at Spagnoletti Law Firm can help you understand your rights if you or a loved one was a victim of an offshore accident.  Please contact us online or call 713-804-9306 or 877-678-5864 to learn more about your legal rights.