Safety Lanyard & Spearheads
Inner tubes detaching from the overshot has been an on-going issue. Safety designs are in place to prevent a tube from detaching from the overshot when the spearhead or lifting dogs are worn out. However, nothing is in place to prevent the tube from falling if the spearhead breaks, or the components of the inner tube fail.
Team Drilling has recognized this hazard and has made it mandatory that all their drills are outfitted with Safety Lanyards for the overshot and inner tube backends.
Recently Team Drilling as had two specific hazard identifications and one near-miss involving spearheads on the back ends.
• The spearhead bent out at the roll pin by the weight of an empty NQ tube, and a spearhead broke while inserting a pin with a punch and pressure of one hand.
• A PQ tube was being lowered into the rod string, it was noticed that the spearhead had a crack in it from the base of the spearhead, down to the pin hole.
• A tube (PQ) with only 2ft of core in it was being lowered to the floor when the spearhead broke. The safety lanyard prevented the tube from falling to the ground or hitting the helper.
Safety has many levels, when an injury or property damage occurs, all levels of safety have failed to some degree. When there is a near-miss at least one level of safety was effective to a degree.
In the two hazard identifications, observant drillers and supervisor saw an issue, reported the issue and did something before an near miss or worse an injury could occur. In the third incident the safety lanyard was in use and prevented an injury.
Team Drilling is investigating the sourcing of the spearheads and will work with the manufacturers to address any potential quality control issues.
As these incidents have shown the safety lanyard is an important tool that must be used at all times, because tubes can fall unexpectedly. Some points to remember when using the safety lanyard;
- It is to be used raising & lowering, full & empty tubes
- Ensure the lanyard is the correct length, not to short that it is infective or to long that it will get caught when in use
- The lanyard needs to be inspected regularly like any other tool
- Any lanyard used to prevent a fall must be taken out of service and replaced with a new lanyard
Thank you to everyone that reported these spearhead incidents and please keep reporting all hazards and near misses. Reporting helps prevent co- workers from injury. Together we can achieve MISSION: ZERO!