Petroleum Safety Significant Incident Report No. 02/2013 - Diver's umbilical fouled during mast raising

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Petroleum operator

During repetitive diving operations, using equipment specially designed and built for pipeline construction, a diver’s umbilical was pinched after tangling with an equipment masthead being raised.

The diver followed procedure by bailing out and leaving the water, with the assistance of another diver engaged in the activity.

Neither diver was injured, and damage was limited to the specialised equipment umbilicals. 

Contributory factors

  • The diver was too close to the mast to avoid umbilical entanglement.
  • The risk assessment for the mast-raising operation did not identify adequate safe diver positions to avoid the hazard of umbilical entanglement.
  • Specialised purpose-built equipment was being used, with limited time in service to establish “tried and tested” procedures and familiarity with its field usage.

Preventative actions

  • When undertaking an operation with new or unfamiliar equipment or circumstances:
  • revisit the risk assessment to ensure control measures remain adequate, or are reviewed and revised as necessary
  • review equipment processes and checklists, and update if necessary
  • exercise additional caution (e.g. extend safe diver positions) until confident that all hazards and risks have been identified and controlled
  • communicate changes to all personnel involved and provide additional training as required
  • provide regular reminders of the additional risks, particularly when engaged in repetitive tasks.
Last updated 25 Jan 2024

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