Statoil rapped over potentially fatal crane crash on Gullfaks

Norwegian operator Statoil has been reprimanded by a safety watchdog over a potentially fatal accident involving a crane on an offshore platform.

The company was forced to halt drilling operations on the Gullfaks B after a 17 ‘Eagle Arm’ ton crane crashed 10 meters to the pipedeck on March 7.

The final report into the causes of accident has pointed to steel rope fatigue failure due to lack of risk assessment, among other issues.

The report concludes that the direct cause for the crane boom fall was fatigue failure within the steel rope.

The Petroleum Safety Authority said the underlying cause was ‘weaknesses in the design of the crane lift system, which resulted in wear and tear of the steel rope over time’.

Statoil are deemed to have breached several regulations, including inadequate identification of risk during equipment assessment, inadequate identification, investigation and follow-up of inconvenient hazard to prevent recurrence and use of competence when specifying claims requirements.

The report also points to a failure of ‘responsibility taking over and operating equipment – Inadequate follow-up and control when taking over and operating machinery and equipment’ and a general lack of maintenance with regard to the steel rope maintenance programme.

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