A near-miss incident on the Hibernia offshore platform last week is being investigated by Hibernia Management and Development Company Ltd. (HMDC), operator of the oil platform. The investigation is being monitored by regulator the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB).
On October 5, employees were completing a pressure test of the high-pressure manifold on the platform. They had closed the upper diverter valve when the valve handle and gear box cap (which weighs approximately 27 kg) separated and flew a distance of 3.9 metres.
No one was injured and no equipment was damaged. The location where the incident occurred was barricaded as a restricted area. At the time of the incident, five employees were in the work area.
HMDC immediately ceased operations in the area and initiated the investigation to determine the potential classification and root cause of the incident. C-NLOPB has imposed limitations on related equipment until repairs have been completed and the operator has demonstrated that related systems are fit for use.
C-NLOPB safety officers will follow up with HMDC to review the incident.
This was the fourth near-miss incident on the platform this year.
On August 17, employees were moving a 711 kg elevated feeder machine bridge adapter plate using a wire sling rated for 2235 kg. As the lift was started, the sling failed, dropping the plate approximately 4.8 metres to the mezzanine deck below.
In March, two accidents happened within a week. On March 15, employees were moving the east blowout-preventer gantry crane when a piece of the motor’s drive assembly fell 10 metres to the deck. On March 20, a crane was lifting a mini container when it made contact with a scaffold hoarding in which three people were working.
No one was injured in any of the incidents.