Petroleum Safety Significant Incident Report No. 06/2013 - Collapse of mobile lighting tower results in equipment damage

This publication is for: 
Petroleum operator

At the beginning of a work-over operation on an oil well, a mobile lighting tower was erected to provide light during night activities. A few days later, the tower fell onto the lighting plant generator, damaging the equipment. Fortunately, no-one was in the vicinity of the tower when it fell or the outcome could have been more serious. 

Contributory factors

  • The mast was not perfectly aligned during installation, and therefore the spring-loaded locking pin only partially engaged.
  • No instruction manual or written procedure for deployment was available.

Preventative actions

Mobile lighting towers are used throughout the resources sector, but are probably not included as a potential hazard when risk assessing a job requiring illumination. However, towers typically range from 7 to 12 metres in height when fully extended, and can weigh hundreds of kilograms. Therefore they can represent a significant falling object hazard if the tower is not properly secured.

To help control this hazard:

  • provide workers with adequate information, such as manuals and procedures, to ensure installations are performed correctly
  • implement routine double-checks (preferably independent) for plant installations (e.g. another worker to confirm that all locking mechanisms are fully engaged in lighting towers).
Last updated 25 Jan 2024

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