Alert 03 – 15 Spinning Out Pipe With Top Drive Results in Injuries


Recently two rig floor workers were injured while working on the rig floor. The job at hand was pulling out of the hole, while pumping on the drill pipe. The slips had been set and the pump was turned off. The stand of pipe had been broken out at the floor with the iron roughneck. The mud bucket was placed around the drill pipe and the stand was picked up out of the box to allow the mud to drain. After draining, the mud bucket was removed and the stand was stabbed back into the box end of the drill string in the rotary. The Driller then proceeded to break out the upper connection from the top drive, using its hydraulic pipe handler. Manual make-up tongs were placed on the pin end of the drill pipe stand to hold back-up, against the top drive’s spin out. As the Driller started the spin out, the stand jumped out of the box and swung around on the rig floor, striking employees. The two employees were evacuated to a local hospital, where they were treated and released for minor injuries.

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