Join DrillSafe to play your part in preventing drilling accidents

By Colin Rice

If you are involved in any aspect of drilling, then we invite you to sign up to DrillSafe. Signup is free and you'll receive a monthly email with technical articles on a particular focus area, as well as hazard alerts, safety information and drillers' resources. The focus of DrillSafe is to share safety information so that accidents can be avoided and never repeated.

These two almost identical accidents illustrate very clearly how important it is for us to share information.

Accident 1: Blasthole drill accident - 2012

A maintenance fitter was repairing an oil leak on the feed cylinder of a drill rig. He took up a kneeling position with his right leg over the opening in the drill deck through which the drill string passes during drilling operations.

The fitter loosened the hydraulic hose fitting on the feed cylinder which resulted in the rotation head and drillstring plunging downwards through the drill deck amputating his right leg below the knee.

Accident 2: Blasthole drill accident - 2017

A fitter was replacing the regenerative valve on the main feed cylinder assembly. The fitter climbed inside the mast structure and loosened the hydraulic hose fitting, which resulted in the rotation head plunging downwards and fatally injuring the fitter.

Two identical accidents, a permanent disability and a fatality. Could the second accident have been prevented?

If only the lessons from the 2012 accident had been shared and learnt from, 5 years down the line, it might not have been repeated!

You can read more about these accidents, why they happened, and how they could have been prevented here.

We believe that all accidents are preventable and one way to achieve this is to ensure that we have “no repeats”. DrillSafe is a mechanism to share information and experiences as widely as possible through our technical articles, hazard alerts, safety information and our drillers’ resources. You too can play a part by subscribing to DrillSafe, if you haven’t already and encouraging your colleagues to subscribe as well.

By subscribing, you will receive a monthly edition of DrillSafe (delivered to your inbox), as well as other important safety news and hazard information.

We look forward to you joining the community and playing your part in making the drilling industry safer.