5 Most Tragic Work Accidents


Common Sense

Most accidents are caused by the failure to use common sense.

Here are some common sense safety rules:

  • Treat safety as an important part of your job
  • Keep your full attention on what you are doing
  • Know and follow the company safety rules
  • Use the required protective equipment
  • Remind your coworkers about safety procedures and equipment
  • Pay attention during safety training programs and meetings
  • Know what to do in case of an emergency
  • Ask questions when you don’t understand
  • Don’t fool around or show off on the job
  • Don’t let anger; frustration or personal problems interfere with your work
  • Don’t ignore a safety hazard
  • Don’t become overconfident with jobs you’ve done many times
  • Don’t use equipment in ways they were not intended
  • Don’t get pressured by others into ignoring safety procedures
  • Don’t take shortcuts on the job
  • Don’t assume safety is someone else’s job



Cumulative Trauma Disorders (CTD’s) are strains that may result from long-term repetitive motion or from continually working in an awkward position. Strains commonly occur in the wrists, arms, shoulders or back, affecting the body’s joints and surrounding muscles and tendons.


CTD’s are said to be today’s fastest growing occupational problem, affecting all types of employees, from computer operators to construction workers.


Modern equipment, tools and machinery have increased production capabilities in many ways. But in some cases, they have also increased the potential for strain injuries in people.


These disorders not only cause great discomfort, they can also affect a person’s employability and personal lifestyle choices.




  • Do warm-up exercises before beginning physically demanding tasks (take a tip from athletes)


  • Plan ahead, if you will be doing a job that is awkward–think of ways to make it easier.


  • Rotate your work position, to change how muscles are used during your work shift.


  • Use the proper tool for the job to avoid awkward movements and the need for overexertion.


  • Take a rest break when fatigue sets in. Just a few minutes can make a difference.
    • Carefully stretch tired or overworked muscles to improve circulation and relieve tension.


    • When appropriate, use anti-shock or anti-vibration gloves, back supports, wrist supports, or other personal protective equipment that helps prevent cumulative trauma.


    • Always use proper lifting techniques. Back strain is one of the most common CTD’s.


    • When using hand tools keep your wrists in a “neutral” position, as opposed to repeatedly bending them up, down or sideways during work tasks.


    • Just because a co-worker is not affected by a physically demanding task, don’t ignore messages your body sends you. Although humans share many physical characteristics, people are often different in terms of their physical strengths and weaknesses.


    All muscle discomfort and fatigue is not a cumulative trauma disorder. Everyone experiences occasional aches and pains from both work and play-especially when you are not used to the activity. Nevertheless, awkward, repetitive work positions can result in long-term physical problems, so it’s up to you to avoid these in whatever ways you can. If the ache doesn’t go away within a day or two, follow the above suggestions.


    If you have early symptoms of chronic discomfort, report it immediately to your supervisor. The sooner a better tool or work position can be incorporated into your work activities, the sooner those symptoms can be controlled.


    Listen to what your body tells you and learn how to avoid CTD’s!

Punctures and Cuts

Punctures and cuts are common on-the-job injuries. Punctures occur when objects such as splinters, nails, glass, and sharp tools such as scissors and knives pierce the skin and cause a small hole.

Cuts occur when sharp objects, including knives, scissors, sharp metal edges, and glass slice through the skin superficially or into the deeper layers of fat, tendons,                         muscles, and even bone.

The best way to deal with cuts   and punctures is to avoid getting them in the first place. Wear appropriate clothing on the job such as sturdy shoes or work boots, long sleeve shirts, and long pants. Consider sturdy coveralls to protect your skin from sharp and flying objects. Wear personal protective equipment (PPE) appropriate to your job tasks such as gloves, safety glasses, work boots, gauntlets, and chaps.

Follow safe work practices and know how to use your tools properly. Inspect, maintain, and replace your tools when necessary. Always use the correct tool for the job. Ensure that blades on cutting tools are sharpened; dull cutting surfaces can cause accidents. When working with sharp tools, always know where both of your hands are at all times. Practice good housekeeping with your sharp and cutting tools by sheathing and storing them properly. Place tools far back on workbenches and shelves, not against the edge where someone walking by might get stuck.

If you have to pick up broken glass or metal shards, use a broom and a dustpan or pieces of cardboard. Never pick up broken glass with your bare hands. Dispose of sharp objects properly in rigid sided containers that will not get punctured and spill. Label these containers with the word “Sharp” to warn coworkers of the hazard. Never reach into a garbage can with your hands or try to “tamp” it down with your hands or booted feet in case someone has improperly disposed of a sharp object or even a syringe. To properly dispose of syringes, pick them up with tongs and place them into hard plastic medical waste containers.

If you receive a puncture or cut on the job, notify your supervisor immediately. If you can, gently wash the area with soap and water. To stop bleeding, apply gentle pressure to the wound with clean gauze, cotton, or other absorbent material. When bleeding has stopped, apply an antibacterial ointment and a clean dressing to the wound. If you cannot stop the bleeding, if the wound is very large, or if you are impaled with an object, seek medical attention. Watch your wounds for signs of infection including fever, severe pain, redness beyond the wound edge, swelling, warmth, or pus drainage. Get medical attention immediately if you suspect infection.

If your wound was caused by stepping on a nail or other sharp object in contact with the soil, you may be exposed to the bacteria that cause tetanus. Consider getting regular boosters for tetanus every five to ten years. If your wound was caused by a needlestick, seek medical testing and treatment due to a potential exposure to bloodborne pathogens. Consider a Hepatitis B vaccination if you are exposed to potential needlesticks.

Sample Rigless Risk Management Plan

Rigless Risk Management Plan


Table of contents



  1. Objective
  2. Scope
  3. Responsibilities
  4. HARC Implementation
  5. Permit to Work System
  6. HARC and Permit to Work System
  7. Risk Management of Critical Rigless Hazards
  8. Rig Move Top Hazards
    1. Working under poor weather conditions
    2. Driving
    3. Working at Heights
    4. Manual Handling
  9. Well Site Operations Top Hazards
    1. Confined Space entry
    2. Working at Heights
    3. Pressure
    4. Fire
    5. Drops
    6. Mechanical Lifting Operations
    7. Hydrogen Sulphide
    8. Hazardous Materials
  10. HSE Meetings and communications
  11. Tools Box Meeting
  12. HSE Meeting
  13. Safety Notice Boards
  14. Risks Reporting HSE Cards
  15. Appendixes
  • Rigless Operation Risk Register




This procedure outlines the responsibilities and activities required to ensure the risk management process is carried out consistently and effectively on a rigless site and that appropriate records are maintained.

Implementation of this procedure will ensure that risks are assessed, identified, controlled, monitored, documented and reviews are carried out when required.


  1. SCOPE

Covers all hazards, risks, control measures, documentation, maintenance measures and responsibilities associated with an activity or process conducted on a rigless sites.



The identification of hazards and the assessment of risks is a key part of rigless operations processes.  Risk assessment is carried out on an ongoing basis and to be effective it is essential that all our employees co-operate wherever they can in the risk assessment process to ensure that the assessment accurately reflects the process, which is undertaken.

  • Managers and supervisors are responsible for ensuring the hazards analysis is conducted, regularly reviewed and remedial issues identified and actioned.
  • If at any time an employee considers that there is a serious hazard in their area or there are deficiencies in existing HSE measures, or an Opportunity For Improvement has been identified, the employee must inform their line supervisor as soon as possible.
  • QHSE function shall work in line with rigless operations team to identify hazards and assesse potential risks and address adequate control measures for elimination of identified hazards.



Each segment shall set up a program for hazard analysis to be conducted with their team by identifying the various tasks performed by their segment on a rigless site and producing a HARC register. The method for conducting Hazard analysis and Risk Control is defined in the company Standard SLB-QHSE-S020.

All generic HARC shall be reviewed and approved by the line management for consistency .  For activities which involve a significant risk, reviews are carried out more frequently.  Some extremely high risk operations will require a risk assessment to be carried out each time the activity is undertaken.

The basic approach to the management of risk is summarized by the following stages:

  • Consider all tasks and situations conducted
  • Consider all hazards identified in the workplace Identify job steps involved in completing the task
  • Identify those who may be exposed to the hazards
  • Identify the hazards which are, or may be, involved
  • Identify the control measures already in place
  • Analyze the risks of injury or loss from the hazards
  • Evaluate if the risk is adequately controlled
  • Consider methods which may eliminate or further reduce the risk in line with the basic principles of hazard control
  • Implement the risk control measures Monitor the measures
  • Review and feedback of any Corrective Actions or Opportunities For Improvement



The Project PTW procedure will be applied to plan and execute all non-routine / high risk activities. The procedure describes roles and responsibilities, work flow, list of activities subjected to PTW and applicable training requirements.

The rigless site coordinator is the ultimate authority at the Well Site for the application of the PTW process.

All personnel working in the rigless site shall receive a training on the Permit to work System (PTW Level 1) as part of the HSE minimum training

Personnel with a specific role in the Permit to Work process (“signees”) will shall complete an advanced Permit to Work Training (PTW level 2) as per SLB-QHSE-S020-G001-PTW Guideline.



All activities requiring a PTW to be used; a detailed HARC shall be already prepared for the task and approved the by the line management and supported with the PTW completed for the task.

Activities requiring a PTW as defined in the company Standard SLB-QHSE-S020; shall not be conducted unless the following steps are completed:

  • A PTW is completed on site as per the PTW procedure
  • A valid and approved HARC is available on site
  • A pre-job meeting is held with team conducting the task
  • Appropriate supervisory level is continuously present during task execution.

Hard copies of the approved HARC file shall be always maintained on a rigless site by the segment supervisor.



        I.                      RIG MOVE TOP HAZRDS:

a)                              Poor weather conditions

Weather condition can enormously affect the execution of the rig site move by increasing adverse condition and therefore combined risks to this activity. Project team shall assess weather conditions prior to any rig move to prevent unexpected risks during the operations. Weather condition can increase potential risks in driving; lifting; handling; stepping and all activities planned in rig move job. Adequate control measures shall be taken to leverage the likelihood of conducting the rig move under poor weather conditions.

  1. Driving

The Driving Policy SLB-QHSE-L002 and Journey Management Standard SLB-QHSE-STD-S001 shall be implemented for on rigless site. This will include:

  • Driver training and qualification
  • Seat belts
  • Journey Management
  • Substance abuse
  • Driver improvement monitors and performance monitoring
  • Cellular phones
  • Discipline enforcement

Any commuting between site and camps shall be assessed and correct measures are taken to avoid driving related risks

Any driving movement outside the geozone shall be done through the e—journey. Trips between camp and site shall be in compliance with local journey management procedure if driving geozone is not required.


  1. Working at heights

Working at heights during rig move operation presents high risk of personnel fall from elevation if not managed properly. WAH can result in drops risks on location if appropriate control measures are not assessed properly. WAH activity is associated mainly with slinging and lifting and mechanical lifting jobs. Refer to Working At Heights HARC.


  1. Manual handling

Employees are continuously exposed to risks of falling and body injuries during their work. Use of Schlumberger injury prevention tools does enormously help the employee in prevention of accidents related to stepping; manual lifting and handling. All employees should have completed the required SIPP training and assessment prior to work on a rig site.


      II.                      RIGLESS SITE OPERATIONS TOP HAZRDS:

a)                              Confined Space Entry

Entering a confined space presents a high risk to personnel and should be avoided by all means and solutions. If a confined space entry job has to be conducted; recommended prevention and mitigation measures shall be provided to ensure safety of personnel. Only trained and qualified personnel shall be involved in confined space entry activities. Appropriate HARC shall address rescue plan from CS in case of emergency; and shall be reviewed and approved by the management.


b)                             Working at Heights

Working at heights during well operations shall be identified and assessed in HARC. Rigging up / and down rig equipment involve access of personnel to elevated platforms and areas. If a job has to be conducted on elevated areas; appropriate control measures shall be followed as per the site Fall Prevention Plan. Refer to Rigless Site Fall Prevention Plan.




c)            Pressure

Schlumberger Pressure Standard, SLB-QHSE-S014 will prevail for all Project Operations.

In particular:

  • All connections on high pressure circulation lines shall be snubbed with adequate means to prevent them from swinging or kicking in case of sudden release of pressure.
  • Mud pumps must be equipped with relief valves and bleed off devices.
  • All pressure vessels (pneumatic or hydraulic) and pipe work shall be factory made and certified, equipped with a pressure release mechanism and a pressure gauge They shall be regularly inspected and retested after any repair of modification. Pressure equipment needs to be uniquely identified and traceable to certification.
  • Compressed air can only be used with pneumatic tools and equipment designed for its use.
  • A Permit to Work shall be obtained prior any pressurized Operations such as, but not limited to, BOP testing, Frac or Acid job, etc.

The Rig shall maintain a pressure equipment per Schlumberger Pressure Standard, SLB-QHSE-S014.


d)            Fire

On a rigless site; elements of fire ignition can be easily combined if required precautions are not taken. Storage of chemicals; control of hydrocarbon; electrical equipment and all sources of energy and fire ignition shall be identified; assessed and controlled. The site location shall put in place a fire HARC and implement preventive measures in the design and set up of the site operation. Equipment for the detection of fire shall be also considered in the design of facilities and equipment. Mitigation measures shall be designed to face any fire incident on well location. The site personnel awareness about the potential risks of working around flammable products and gases shall be instilled through trainings and exercises program to mitigate the fire hazards.

e)            DROPS

Drops hazards can result in fatal accidents to personnel if proper preventions are not in place. It can result in damage to assets and environment as well. A drops plan shall be put in place to prevent unsafe condition from combining personnel or objects from falling from heights. Preventive measures shall include compliance of equipment design to drops requirement; awareness program and assessment and auditing actions on well site locations.


f)             Mechanical Lifting Operations

All mechanical lifting operations will be conducted according to the requirements established in the Mechanical Lifting Standard SLB-QHSE-S013

As a minimum all Segments and other Contractors and Subcontractors involved in lifting operations shall comply with the following requirements:

  • All lifting equipment and gear shall be certified and regularly inspected and maintained. A lifting register will be maintained at Rig site for tracking purpose.
  • Homemade lifting gear is banned from Operations.
  • Lifting plans will be established for all critical Lifting Operations as defined in the Project Permit to Work Procedure
  • Crane and forklift operators will be trained and certified as per Saudi ARAMCO training requirements
  • Tag-lines shall be systematically used to guide loads while maintaining helpers at a safe distance.
  • Personnel lifts with winches shall only be performed using a certified and designated “man-riding” winch which shall be inherently safe
  • All Critical Lifts needs to be supervised by segment supervisor and HSE Field.

Segment supervisors and HSE Field should be certified on “Onshore Mobile Crane Supervisor Level 2” training.


  1. H2S

H2S is a high potential risk when working in known rigless operations H2S areas. When operating in suspected or known H2S areas the site shall be fully compliant with H2S Standard SLB-QHSE-STD15,

All employees and visitors are required to complete H2S Level 2 training prior to work/visit an H2S known/suspected rigless site.


  1. Hazardous Materials

The use and storage of hazardous materials is widely involved on rigless site. Handling chemicals shall be conducted as per the materials safety data sheets of chemicals. Personnel shall be fully aware and trained on use of chemicals provided on well site operation and appropriate mitigation measures in case of contact with hazardous materials. Storage of chemicals shall be compliance with the manufacturer recommendations to prevent potential impact on personnel and environment as well.



a.            Tool Box Meeting

Prior to starting any non-routine or major Operation, a toolbox (pre-job) meeting shall be held by the Supervisor in charge to acquaint each person involved in the Operation with the scope of work, the hazards and the specific Procedures to be followed.

The nominated supervisor shall ensure, after consulting any appropriate guidelines or task based risk assessments (HARC or TRA/JSA), and that an adequate Tool Box Meeting is held to address the job in detail. The quality and scope of the discussion at the meeting shall ensure that all personnel involved fully understand:

  • All hazards associated with the task.
  • The control measures to be put in place.
  • Specific responsibilities as regards the task.
  • Detailed work instructions.

Upon completion of work, learning points shall be discussed and Documented by the work party, in order to enable the update of any relevant Procedure, Guideline or risk assessment and provide feedback.


b.    HSE Meeting

All staff on site shall take an active role in the daily, weekly and monthly HSE meetings at the well, and any other formal and informal meetings addressing Q&HSE matters.

Third party personnel shall be invited to the QHSE meetings. The content and attendance will be documented and records maintained at the well site.


c.    Safety Notice Board

The Rig shall have a dedicated safety bulletin board presenting as a minimum the applicable HSE Policies, Emergency Procedures, and latest Safety Alerts etc. Such board will contain relevant HSE material from either party (Saudi ARAMCO and/or Schlumberger).


For the reporting of hazardous situations, unsafe conditions and unsafe acts will implement a combination of 3 tools:

  • Risk Identification Report : Incidents, near incidents and high potential hazardous situations
  • Stop Cards : Unsafe conditions
  • Observation/ Interventions : Safe/Unsafe acts

All above reports will be captured in QUEST and appropriate Action Items will be created and assigned whenever follow-up is required.


  • Refer to Rigless Operation Risk Register document.




What’s the best way to move something?

Ask someone else to do it for you!

What’s the next best way? Be sure you know the proper way to move materials yourself.

If you could transfer the risk of handling heavy, large and awkward items and not get hurt, wouldn’t you do it? However, for many people who must move heavy items on a regular basis at work or at home, this is not a reality. One of the best ways to avoid suffering a muscle strain or sprain is to use a hand truck. The use of this tool also increases productivity and lessens the chance of dropping and damaging merchandise.

Although hand trucks appear to be fairly simple devices, users must remember a few basic safety procedures:

  • Use a hand truck that is appropriate for the job and the load to be carried.
  • When stacking items on the truck, keep the heaviest load on the bottom to lower the center of gravity.
  • Balance the load forward on the axle of the hand truck, so the weight will not be carried by the handle.
  • Never stack items so high that you can’t see where you’re going.
  • When carrying multiple boxes side by side, attempt to stagger them to “lock in” the boxes.
  • Be sure the items to be transported on the hand truck are sturdy enough to be moved in this manner. Secure any bulky, awkward or delicate objects to the truck.
  • Plan your route. Be aware of potential hazards to be encountered during the path of travel.
  • As a rule, avoid walking backwards with a hand truck. Remember the back care rule: It is safer to push than to pull.
  • Hand truck injuries typically occur by getting your hand pinched between the handles and a nearby stationary object, so take care when working your way through tight spaces. The use of gloves can provide extra protection.
  • Always maintain a safe speed and keep the hand truck under control.
  • Always park the trucks in a designated area, never in aisles or other places where they may cause a trip hazard or traffic obstruction. Two wheeled trucks should be stored on the chisel with handles leaning against a wall.

When you use a hand truck properly, it does the job and reduces the chance you’ll strain a muscle or be injured. Let the truck do the work for you!

Tires –The benefit of using Nitrogen

Why use Nitrogen?

  • Less inflation pressure loss
  • Reduced wheel corrosion
  • Prevents inner-liner rubber deterioration by oxidation
  • Tires run cooler
  • Increases tread life
  • Increases fuel mileage
  • Helps prevent uneven wear

Oxygen in compressed air permeates through the wall of the tire, thus reducing the tire’s inflation pressure. During its journey through the tire wall, oxygen oxidizes the rubber compounds in the tire, causing under-inflation and deterioration of the rubber. Dry nitrogen will maintain proper inflation pressure and will prevent auto-ignition, will not corrode rims, extends valve core life, and will help the tire to run cooler.

The biggest advantage – improved tire life

Experts in the tire industry indicate that oxidative aging is one of the primary causes of decreased tire life. Oxidative aging is caused by the diffusion of oxygen from the pressurized air cavity of the tire to the outside atmosphere. Tests have shown that if tires are inflated with nitrogen, there is a significant reduction in tire failure.


How does Nitrogen help?

While both nitrogen and oxygen can permeate rubber, nitrogen does it much more slowly. It might take 6 months to lose 2 psi with nitrogen, compared to just a month with air. And nitrogen is far less reactive. It doesn’t cause rust or corrosion on steel or aluminum, and it doesn’t degrade rubber. Wheel surfaces stay smooth and clean, rubber remains supple and resilient.

  • Tire pressure is much more consistent
  • When compared to historical data, nitrogen tire inflation provides a 6.1 percent improvement in fuel efficiency when compared to a fleet with no tire pressure maintenance program.
  • When compared to historical data and an in-trial control, nitrogen tire inflation provides a 3 percent improvement in fuel efficiency when compared to a fleet using air inflation and a tire pressure maintenance program; and
  • When compared to the in-trial air control, nitrogen-filled tires provided an average tread life improvement of 86 percent when compared to a fleet using air inflation and a tire pressure maintenance program.
  • Inflating tires with nitrogen to eliminate oxidative aging can extend tire life by up to 25%.
  • Tire pressure is much more  consistent, increasing tire life to 337,500 miles                 that would save $120 per tire.

Use Care with Compressed Air

A mechanic with a small cut on his hand washed some machine parts in a solvent. To dry them, he held the parts in a compressed air stream. A few minutes later he told his supervisor he “felt like his body was going to explode!”

With such unusual symptoms, the injured worker was rushed to a hospital. Doctors decided that the compressed air had penetrated the cut on his hand and had forced air bubbles into his blood stream. Although the mechanic recovered from his self-inflicted injury, his mistake could have been fatal if an air bubble had reached his heart.

Injuries caused by the misuse of compressed air have occurred since this energy source was developed. In fact, compressed air is used so much that too many of us take it for granted, ignoring the hazards involved in its use.

In addition to the danger of air bubbles entering the bloodstream through a cut, a stream of  compressed air can damage an eardrum or eye or inflate a part of the body.

Many people blow dust and dirt from their clothing, body or hair with compressed air. Even if the pressure is as low as 20 to 25 psi, when directed toward openings in the skin or body, air can penetrate causing serious injuries.

  • 12psi can “Pop” an eyeball from its socket.
  • 4psi in the mouth can rupture the lungs & intestine.

OSHA 29 CFR 1910.242(b)


If used for cleaning purposes pressure must be maintained less than 30psi.

Wear a Helmet


What do bicycling, horseback riding, baseball and in-line skating have in common? Helmets!


The trick is that different sports require a different type of helmet to help protect participants from the different types of head injuries common to that particular sport.


All helmets are not created equal; beyond picking the right helmet for the sport, buyers should look inside the helmet for information on standards the helmet complies with.


  • Bike helmets for example should carry a CPSC, Snell, ASTM, or ANSI sticker or label.


Fit is key


A loose helmet cannot protect the head as well as one that is properly fit.


The Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute suggests buying a brand and size that fits well prior to adjustments, and then using the adjustable straps and / or sizing pads to ensure a snug fit.


Select a helmet that fits you or your child now, not a helmet to “grow into.”

Helmets save lives


  • According to the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute, a bicycle helmet reduces the risk of serious head and brain injury by 85%.


  • More than 70,000 persons need hospital emergency room treatment each year for injuries related to skateboarding according to the CPSC.


  • Head injuries cause three-quarters of about 900 bicycle deaths each year, according to the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute, a helmet advocacy program of the Washington, D.C.-area Bicyclist Association.


  • Another 82,000 people suffer brain injuries each year while playing sports such as baseball and football, etc., according to the Brain Injury Association in Alexandria,


  • Brain surgeons and doctors across the S. agree that wearing helmets can save lives.


Both children and adults should wear the appropriate helmet when participating in the following sports, or any recreational activity where head injuries are a risk:


  • ATV riding Baseball Bicycling Football


  • Horse-back riding In-line skating Rock climbing


  • Skateboarding


  • Softball


For handling sports-related injuries and other emergencies, everyone should be trained in first aid.