Petroleum Safety Significant Incident Report No. 01/2011 - Hand injury sustained during tong jaw change-out

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Petroleum operator

During a tong jaw change-out operation on a rig floor, a crew member tapped the tong jaw into position using a rubber mallet to insert the pin while two other crew members held the tong to stabilise it. He started with series of taps then swung with more force as one of the assisting workers adjusted the jaw but with his hand in the path of the mallet. The mallet struck the worker’s right hand, fracturing his middle finger. 

Contributory factors

  • Unsafe and incorrect hand placement.
  • Awkward manual handling of the task.
  • Lack of communication between the crew members.
  • The worker who was injured was on the first day of his shift.

Comments and preventative actions

Use a risk management approach and participative ergonomics (i.e. involve work crew) to review and revise the procedure for change-out operations.

Ensure that relevant staff are aware of the amended procedure and provide training if necessary. Further information on addressing hazardous manual tasks

Last updated 25 Jan 2024

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