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Drilling Contractor Safety Understanding the hazards associated with rod separation.

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Presentation on theme: "Drilling Contractor Safety Understanding the hazards associated with rod separation."— Presentation transcript:

1 Drilling Contractor Safety Understanding the hazards associated with rod separation

2 An Incident NZ September two drilling contractors were using pipe wrenches to separate drill rods that were extremely tight. During this process, the hydraulic rotation of the drill string was accidentally activated Both men were hit by the handle of a pipe wrench and knocked to the ground. Both men suffered severe bruising. It could have been much worse

3 What Went Wrong? Mechanical tools for rod separation were available but were not used The drillers decided to separate the rods using manual tools The hydraulic controls were not protected from inadvertent operation Hydraulic rotation was accidentally applied

4 The plan was to break this sub section Away from this section By holding this section with one pipe wrench And rotating this section with another wrench In this direction

5 With the wrench in place the drill is rotated slowly anti- clockwise to apply tension to the wrench by bringing the handle of the wrench against the mast of the rig

6 Drill string rotation is stopped but hydraulic power remains Drillers work in close proximity to drill string Drillers attach pipe wrench to secure one section of the drill string Rotation is accidentally applied Drill Rig (Plan)

7 Common practice Drill continues to rotate and unscrew under power Driller holds pipe wrench in place High speed rotation is applied

8 Drill String Drillers work in close proximity to drill string Danger Zone Danger Zone while drilling Add a pipe wrench and area increases significanlty

9 A rotating pipe wrench – Easily makes contact with anyone near the controls. Maximum speed. ~1,000rpm

10 Why is this a major issue? The combination of manual tools with hydraulic rotation identified as a major contributing factor The practice is common and widespread There is an alarming history of similar incidents from a number of industries where drill rigs are used The following examples did not occur on URS projects

11 #1 Queensland – Chest Injury (Non URS)  Two large pipe wrenches were used in conjunction with a lever block to disassemble a hammer bit on a drill rig string. The handle of the wrench broke striking the drilling operator in the chest. This is not the first time

12 #2 Western Australia – Chest Injury (Non URS)  A driller was struck in the chest by the handle of a pipe wrench when rotation was released following torguing up of a joint. This is not the first time

13 #3 NSW – Head injury (Non URS)  Two field technicians were hit on the head by a drill rod which was being used as a pipe wrench extension handle to break drill rods This is not the first time

14 #4 Western Australia – Broken Legs (Non URS)  A driller received two broken legs when rotation was applied to the drill rods with a pipe wrench attached This is not the first time

15 #5 Western Australia – Abdominal Injury (Non URS)  A driller received serious injuries to the abdomen when hit with the handle of a pipe wrench This is not the first time

16 #6 Pennsylvania USA – Broken Ribs (Non URS)  A drillers is hit in the chest with the handle of a pipe wrench which was attached to a drill string. The drill was rotated at full speed instead of being inched. The driller was air lifted to hospital with chest injuries. This is not the first time

17 Where practicable, use mechanical means of drill rod separation (only) at all times Where mechanical methods of rod separation are not suitable or available, eliminate the combination of manual tools with powered rotation. Whenever manual pipe wrenches or hand tools are used to fit or remove drill rods, this must only be undertaken once the rotational power of the drill string is isolated, de-energized or positively disengaged such that intentional or accidental rotation of the drill string while pipe wrenches or tools are attached is not possible What can be done?

18 What is mechanical means of drill rod separation?

19 Opposing Hydraulic Control

20 Rod Locking Devices Rod Spanner

21 Hydraulic foot clamp

22 Hydraulic Break-out Tool

23 What is manual rod separation? The use of manual hand tools (pipe wrenches) to lock or separate rods When should you this method be used?

24 Only when the rotational power of the drill string is isolated, de-energized or positively disengaged


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