Safety Alert 54 – Dropped Object

Safety Alert 54 – Dropped ObjectSafety Alert 54- Dropped Object
What: Dropped Object
Where: Noble Paul Romano- Port Aft ROV Deck
When: April 10, 2017

Workers were dismantling a hanging scaffold. In the process of dismantling the scaffold one of the workers unpinned a bar that was adjacent to the leg and bar that he was working from. When the bar was unpinned the adjacent leg and bar swung as it was only attached to the rig with a swivel clamp and a tube. When the leg swung loose the leg was taken out of the bind it was in. This allowed the swivel clamp to loosen and the tube slipped through the clamp. This resulted in the 7 ft. leg, 7 ft. bar, tube, and swivel clamps to fall overboard into the water. Luckily, no one was on this portion of the scaffold and no one was injured during the incident.

The scaffold was improperly built. This created an unsafe condition for the crew dismantling the scaffold, who were not present during the build. There were no right angle clamps used to attach the opposing legs to a structural member of the rig. The legs were supported only by the swivel clamps and tube, which allowed it to swing freely upon being disconnected. The leg was in a bind because it was slightly being pulled away from the swivel clamp. This makes it difficult for the clamp to fully tighten around the tube. When the bind that is put on the leg releases, it can cause the clamp to slightly loosen and the tube to not be adequately secured. There was also no safety clamp to prevent the tube from sliding in the event that this happened. The scaffold still would have shifted, but with a safety clamp the tube could have been caught and prevented it from falling into the water.
Although it did not contribute to the incident there were a few other issues identified with the scaffold. The swivel clamp and tube were attached to a handrail instead of a beam or other structural member. There were several legs that were hanging from bars without being attached or having a 45° brace within 12 inches of the beam clamps. Many of the scaffolds, including this scaffold, did not have any toe boards installed.

Corrective Measures
• The Noble Paul Romano and Globetrotter require that all materials that are to be handled over the water be tie-off when erecting or dismantling hanging scaffolds until they are adequately secured.
• Hanging scaffolds must be properly secured using right angle clamps and should not be supported solely using swivel clamps.
• All tubes used for support must be equipped with safety clamps to offer a secondary device to prevent tubes from slipping through clamps.
• Whenever beam clamps and tubes are used to secure legs to a structure either the right angle or a 45° support must be located within 12” of the beam. Handrails are only required to support 200 lbs. of force and are not adequate supports for a scaffold.
• Toe boards are required on all scaffolds.
• If you did not build a scaffold and are required to come back later and tear it down, be sure to double-check all connections and plan the safest approach to dismantle the scaffold. Step back, identify all support points, assess all the possible hazards, and develop a plan to eliminate or control the identified hazards. This should be part of the JSA process.
• Supervisors must ensure that the above corrective actions are being followed. When inspecting scaffolds, you must get on the scaffold and thoroughly inspect it to identify hazards. If any of the above mentioned requirements are not followed the scaffold must be fixed immediately. Be sure to communicate these corrective measures and controls with your crews during your next pre-tour safety meeting.

For questions or concerns, please contact Chris Detillier at 985-354-4043 or

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