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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 170080162 - Employee Dies When Struck In Head By Vent Pipe

Accident: 170080162 -- Report ID: 0625700 -- Event Date: 08/16/1994
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
10343590508/18/19948711Petroleum Engineers International Inc.
At approximately 10:30 p.m. on August 16, 1994, Employee #1, a consultant engineer with Petroleum Engineers International, Inc., was operating a choke lever on a control unit which opened and closed the infeed lines to a degasser unit at Nabors' rig #570 near Jerrette, LA. Employee #1 and coworkers were trying to bleed off the pressure on the casing pipe in the hole. The casing pipe had been under 3,800 pounds of pressure throughout the course of the day, and the well had kicked. It was decided to use the degassing method to bleed off the pressure. As Employee #1 operated the lever, there was a sudden pressure surge down the line to the degasser equipment. The vent pipe, measuring 6 in. in diameter by 13 ft 4 in. long, blew off the degasser. It flew up in the air and came down, fatally striking the employee in the head. This equipment is used regularly on oil/gas rigs for the purpose of venting off the gas from the drilling head. Employee #1 had experience in working around this equipment. The vent pipe that blew off was screwed on as opposed to being welded onto the degasser apparatus.
Keywords: head, venting, elderly, pipe, struck by, flying object, pressure release
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 103435905 Fatality Fracture Occupation not reported

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