Driller injured in helicopter fall

A drill offsider has been injured in a helicopter lifting incident.

The incident occurred in May, during a drill relocation operation which involved lifting the rig on to a salt lake.

The two drill offsiders prepared the rig by attaching fibre loop slings to the corners of the drill rig base by looping them around the frame; two fibre loop slings were then attached to opposite corners of the rig’s base for use as tag lines and dogging procedures by the drill offsiders.

“As the helicopter lifted the rig, an offsider’s leg became entangled in a tag line,” the WA Department of Mines and Petroleum reports.

“He was lifted some distance before the helicopter pilot became aware of the situation. When the pilot reduced altitude to bring the offsider back to ground, he had untangled his leg and was holding on to the fibre loop sling with his arms.

“The offsider let go and fell five to ten metres to the ground, injuring his back.”

According to the DMP, the fact that fibre loop slings were used as tag lines, and that neither of the two drill offsiders held the appropriate high risk work licences for carrying out dogging or rigging operations directly contributed to the incident.

It added that the risk assessment failed to identify the potential hazards associated with the task.