BSEE Issues Report Following Incident on HELIX Q-4000

by | Nov 24, 2022 | Maritime Law, Offshore accidents, Personal Injury

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) has released its investigation report on the September 10, 2022 incident on board the Helix Q 4000 located in the Gulf of Mexico.  At the time of the incident, the Helix Q 4000 was located at East Brakes 602.  The platform is operated by Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, and the vessel is owned by Helix Energy Solutions.  One worker was injured while removing the Torpedo Guide (TG) from the drill-string onboard the Helix Q-4000.

The BSEE report provides a timeline of the work being performed:

On September 10, 2022, at 1200 hours the Helix crew prepped and reviewed the Job Safety Analysis (JSA) for the removal of the TG. The Helix crew attached two air hoist lines and the Sand Line Crane (SLC)to the TG. Members of the Helix crew lifted the TG with the air tuggers with two members, one on the left and one on the right and used their hands on the TG frame for load stability.

At approximately 1600 hours the TG was lifted up and clear of the production tubing stump. Next, the IP used his hands to push on the left side of the TG frame as the air hoists and SLC attempted to lower the TG to the floor. While maneuvering the TG the unsecured TG door opened and pinned the IP’s right arm against the TG frame. The air tuggers were slacked off and the TG door swung away from the IP releasing his arm. The job was stopped, and the IP was seen by the onboard medic. After discussions with onshore medical personnel, the IP was subsequently evacuated to shore for further evaluation.

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.

Here, BSEE’s investigation including a review of the JSA that was completed on the day of the incident.  Although the JSA included steps for installing the Torpedo Guide, none were included for the device’s removal.

BSEE’s report noted the probably cause of the incident:

Human Performance Error: IP failed to control the movement of the TG door while manually pushing on the TG frame as stated in the JSA

BSEE found possible OCS violations:

G-112 C issued 30 CFR 250.107


On 10 September 2022, at approximately 4:00 pm the Helix crew was removing the torpedo guide, during the removal the (IP) Injured Person suffered a right arm injury. The (JSA) Job Safety Analysis identified the hazard of the door swinging during install and removal. JSA stated “maintain hand control on torpedo guide door”. The identified hazard was not controlled by the IP as stated in the JSA. IP’s hands were on the torpedo frame but were not on the torpedo frame door to prevent it from swinging open. IP’s arm was pinned between the swinging door and the torpedo guide frame resulting in injury, evacuation, and more than three days of lost time. Lessee must ensure personnel follow JSA’s and/ or apply engineering controls to mitigate identified hazards and prevent incidents.

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 accident.  Please contact us online or call 713-804-9306 or to learn more about your legal rights.