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Crack! Pop! Thud! Smash! Boom!

These sounds are not only out of your favorite childhood comic book fight scene. They’re also the sounds of a dropped object making its way down to the rig floor. In a comic book, while this may indicate some exciting action, dropped objects on a drilling rig can have devastating consequences.

Asking “what if?” a simple concept with a big impact

Since Helmerich & Payne’s adoption of Actively C.A.R.E.™, our serious injury or fatality (SIF)-based safety program, dropped objects have stayed at the top of SIF exposures that our workers face daily. With so many different items located throughout the drilling rig with the potential to become a dropped object, we must stay constantly vigilant in our assessments to eliminate these exposures.

While we strive to eliminate potential dropped objects by engineering them out, we sometimes must use other approaches to reduce the chance of a SIF potential event. Some of these tactics include inspections, secondary retention, erecting and honoring buffer zones, and always looking up and asking, “What if?”

What goes up… must come down

Dropped objects don’t just include large objects like tubulars. As rig crews complete routine mast maintenance and tools are not recorded properly, they can get left at heights. Rough drilling or even a gust of wind can cause these items to fall back down to the rig floor or the ground, with the potential to unexpectedly injure someone.

Processes that help us ask, “What if?”

Our focus on the control and removal of exposures has resulted in elimination or mitigation of the potential of many dropped objects on our rigs. Maintaining a proactive approach in support of our employees and rigs allows us to continue to make improvements in this area. This includes involvement by employees throughout the organization – supply chain, technology, operations and HSE teams – as we continue to look for more effective and innovative ways to address those exposures.

Consider these proactive measures to help create a safer work environment for yourselves and others:

✓ Complete all dropped object inspections in the cadence they are required
✓ Correcting any deficiencies noted in timely manner
✓ Perform a final walk around or visual inspection prior to raising the mast
✓ Utilize the Tools at Heights Checklist
✓ Verify all equipment that was taken overhead for work has been brought back down
✓ Honor all barricades and buffer zones per procedure for working overhead, rough drilling, and
day to day tasks
✓ Ensure secondary retention is in place during all equipment installations, if required, and change out if needed
✓ Think outside the box: stop the job and find ways to eliminate any potential dropped objects from the work location - you are the ones completing tasks daily.

These items are just some of the many ways to help us eliminate the SIF exposures that pertain to dropped objects around the drilling rigs. As we Actively C.A.R.E. for ourselves and others, let’s look up and live!


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