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Accident Report Detail

Accident: 202470357 - Employee Is Killed During Disassembly Of Drilling Rig

Accident: 202470357 -- Report ID: 0950643 -- Event Date: 09/26/2011
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
31482683509/26/20111381Kenai Drilling Limited
Sometime before 6:22 p.m. on September 26, 2011, Employee #1 was employed as an oilfield worker for Kenai Drilling Limited at the Ventura Aera Energy Lease site in Ventura, California. Kenai had 250 employees. It provided drilling services for the exploration and development of oil, gas, and geothermal wells. Employee #1 had worked for Kenai Drilling Limited for over six years. He had been promoted to the position of driller two weeks before the accident. Kenai Drilling had been using a new rig, Rig #17, on the Ventura Aera Energy Lease for four months before the accident. It had a year contract with Aera. Average time on a well was 10 to 15 days. The crew would drill a well and then move on. On the day before the accident, Employee #1 and 12 other crew employees began to break down Rig #17 in preparation to move it to a new location. On the day of the accident, the crew moved the rig to a new drilling location. The sub-bases had been set and the mast had been placed on the floor to prepare it to be raised. The crane was hooked to the strong part of the "A" legs, their back, before driving the releasing pin from the "A" leg to separate it from the mast. The driller, Employee #1, climbed up onto the lower "A" leg to pass a wrench to a coworker who was standing on top of the mast. At that point, the motorman knocked out the top releasing pin from the "A" leg. The leg fell, pinning Employee #1 between the "A" leg and the mast section. He sustained a fatal crushing injury to his pelvis as a result. The "A" legs had two releasing pins that could be removed, one on top of the other. The top pin was never to be removed during rig-up or rig-down operations. The removal of the lower releasing pin allowed the "A" legs to be rocked back. Workers from T & T Crane were onsite, and they were able to lift the leg and free Employee #1. Emergency medical services were called, but due to the remote location, it took medical personnel approximately 45 minutes to reach the accident site. Employee #1 died as medics were ready to hoist him off the platform and into a helicopter. He died of the crushing injuries to his pelvis. Interviews were conducted of the crew and supervisors. The investigation concluded that the employer, Kenai Drilling Limited, "had not trained the employee on which pin to knock out on the 'A' legs." The narrative did not make clear whether this comment referred to the motorman who removed the pin in this incident, Employee #1, or its employees in general. Further, the employer did not recognize the hazard of someone's standing on the lower "A" leg when the releasing pin was being knocked out. These violations resulted in the issuance of two Serious citations for CCR, Title 8, 6507, referencing 3203(a)(4) & (7). The Division also issued a Serious Accident Related citation for 3328(e), due to the employer's not making sure that equipment components were secured. The accident was reported at approximately 6:22 p.m. on September 26, 2011, by the Ventura County Fire Department. The Division initiated an inspection at 8:00 p.m. on September 26, 2011.
Keywords: fracture, dismantling, emergency response, oil well drilling, crushed, drill rig--non-oil, falling object, gas well drilling, untrained, oil rig
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 314826835 Fatality Other Laborers, except construction

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