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Offshore Contractor Tragically Killed on Petrobras Drillship in Gulf of Mexico

Offshore Injury Lawyer | Petrobras Accident Lawyer | TransOcean Accident Lawyer

An offshore contractor was tragically killed on Sunday, following an equipment accident aboard a drillship in the Gulf of Mexico.

The offshore oil and gas operator, Petrobras America Inc., reported the accident around 4:45 a.m. on December 2nd.

The incident took place aboard the Petrobras 10000, a drillship owned by TransOcean Ltd.  The vessel was positioned 172 miles south of Port Fourchon, Louisiana.

Deceased Contractor Was Participating in Pipe Handling Operations

The unidentified contractor, who was employed by Spencer Ogden as a floorhand, was participating in pipe handling operations when the fatal accident occurred.

“The Spencer Ogden employee received immediate medical attention on the rig, but unfortunately he passed away. The proper authorities were notified,” Petrobras said in a statement. “The cause of the incident is being investigated. Our thoughts and prayers remain with the crewmember’s family.”

Accident Prompts Bureau of Safety & Environmental Enforcement to Issue Safety Alert to Offshore Operators

A December 6th safety alert issued by the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) indicates that, at the time of the incident, the contractor was positioned between a stanchion with his back to the retracting skate when it moved.  This caused the “loading platform” of the skate to pin the worker against the stanchion.

There was reportedly a 3-inch clearance between the stanchion and the loading platform. The accident occurred in the “rig floor red zone,” an area on the rig where entry is controlled.

“The exact cause(s) of the fatality are now under investigation,” the safety alert stated. “Because the factors involved in this incident are common to many drilling rigs in the Gulf, BSEE recommends all operators and drilling contractors review their facilities’ hazardous areas and associated safe work practices.”

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