The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) has released its investigation report on the November 23, 2021 accident that occurred on Shell Offshore’s Auger Tension Leg Platform in the Gulf of Mexico. The injury occurred on Helmerich & Payne’s 406 Rig which is permanently affixed to the Auger Platform at Garden Banks (GB) Block 426A. During the incident an employee of Helmerich & Payne sustained injuries to his hand, requiring medical evacuation from the platform.
According to BSEE’s investigation report, a crew was performing well decompletion operations. During this process a bushing came off, falling onto a rubber mat before bouncing and striking the employee’s hand. BSEE’s investigation determined the floorhand lacked experience in performing this task, which should have utilized hands-free tools. The H&P Job Safety Analysis (JSA) failed to identify this hazard, and also did not recommend the hands-free tool be used.
The BSEE report determined the probable cause of the incident:
Human performance error.
- Improper hand placement – hand placement between the split wear bushing and the running tool by a H&P SSE floorhand.
- Not following proper procedures – not utilizing support lines attached to the lifting eyes and/or hands-free tools to minimize the potential for pinch points.
BSEE was also able to identify multiple contributing causes of the incident, which serve as a reminder of how to safely conduct work offshore:
Human performance error:
- Inexperience Offshore – H&P SSE on his second hitch as a floorhand.
- Not following proper procedures – not following the recommendations stated in the TechnipFMC Work Procedure for Decompletion Activity for removal of wear bushing from running tool.
Management system: inadequate hazard analysis – the H&P Job Safety Analysis (JSA) failed to identify that bouncing tools off the rubber rotary mat may pose a hazard.
Resolving anyone one of the contributing causes to this incident could have prevented the incident from ever occurring. When an offshore accident like this one occurs, there are often multiple causes which contribute to it. Safe offshore companies must insure that adequate precautions are taken, including proper communication between workers, and adequate supervision from the managers on site. Safe offshore companies must also have adequate Job Safety Analyses to protect both their employees and contractors and the environment.
Shell received an incident of noncompliance as a result of the investigation:
Based on the incident investigation findings, a G-110 (C) Incident of Noncompliance (INC) is issued to document that Shell Offshore Inc. (Shell) failed to perform operations in a safe and workmanlike manner during Well A019 decompletion operations using the Helmerich & Payne, Inc. (H&P) 406 rig on the Auger TLP located at Garden Banks Block 426A.
BSEE previously issued a report on the April 3, 2021 incident that occurred on Shell’s Auger TLP.
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, including previously bringing suit for an incident on Shell’s Auger Platform. 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 accident. Please contact us online or call 713-804-9306 or 877-678-5864 to learn more about your legal rights.