BSEE Report Issued for Vermillion Block 331 Platform A Man Overboard Incident

by | Oct 24, 2021 | Industrial Accident, Offshore accidents

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) has released its Accident Investigation Report on the man overboard incident on the Vermilion Block 331 Platform A on August 7, 2021.  The offshore platform is operated by Talos Energy.  During the incident, a pipe fitter employed by Quality Construction and Production fell through grating on the platform into the Gulf of Mexico.

The BSEE report, explained the incident:

At approximately 3:00 pm the PF precut the welds holding the corroded grating to the plus 10 deck supports. The PF realized he needed to take another measurement to fabricate the new grating section and walked onto the pre-cut grating. The pre-cut grating gave way and the PF and grating fell into the GOM. The PF was able to swim to the platform’s boat landing and self-rescue himself.

The BSEE investigation found that although there were numerous supervisors on the platform, none of them were present when the incident occurred.  The BSEE report determined the contributing cause of the incident:

Inadequate supervision – The QCP crew took short cuts to complete the grating removal and replacement by ignoring the required uses of barricades and safety harnesses, while working on the plus 10 deck. The PIC, TCR, HSE, and QCP supervisor did not correct the missing barricade and safety harness requirements.

Inadequate pre-job meeting – The JSEA, FRP, ACBP, and HWP are approved without visually verifying the jobsite is safe.

One mechanism to safely evaluate and prepare for risks is through the use of a Job Safety Analysis (“JSA”) or Risk Assessment, which is standard in the offshore industry.  When this does not occur, it can result in catastrophic personal injury or death. In a JSA, each step of the job is examined to identify potential hazards and to recommend the safest way to perform the work in order to minimize those risks. Ultimately, the JSA used for work on a platform should be detailed enough in order to cover all of the important steps on a job.  Accidents like this are often known risks, which must be planned for by platform owners and operators.

BSEE found a violation of law contributed to this:

G-110 (C) 30 CFR 250.107 Personnel failed to conduct construction operations in a safe and workmanlike manner, which resulted in a man and grating falling overboard into Gulf of Mexico waters on August 7, 2021.

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 following fires or explosions 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.