The drilling industry set another record with the lowest ever lost-time incidence (LTI) rate of 0.53 in 2007, a 5% improvement over 0.56 in 2006. The number of fatalities decreased as well, from 29 in 2006 to 23 in 2007. These are worthy achievements in an industry where rig demand continues to increase, as do pressure on personnel. Still, 23 lives lost is 23 too many, and every incident remains a cause for concern and a reason for improvement.
Data in this report were provided voluntarily by drilling contractors for the IADC ASP Program, which has tracked safety and accident information for the drilling industry since 1962. During 2007, 111 contractors representing approximately 78% of the worldwide oil and gas well drilling rig fleet participated in the ASP, with a total of 446.34 million manhours worked. A total of 4,572 recordable incidents, 1,159 LTIs and 23 fatalities were reported.
Incidence rates are calculated on incidents per 200,000 manhours. Data are compiled separately for land and offshore operations and for seven geographic regions – US, Europe, Canada, Central & South America, Africa, Middle East and Asia Pacific.
The number of fatalities decreased by six to 23 in 2007, with the fatality incidence rate being 0.010, compared with 0.013 in 2006. Not surprisingly, the largest percentage of the fatal incidents – 10 of the 23 – involved employees who had less than one year of service with the company. Six of the victims had worked for the company between one to five years, and three had worked for the company for more than five years.
Five fatalities occurred during tripping operations. Twelve incidents were floormen and four were supervisors of driller or above.
Summaries by region
For land operations, the Middle East had the overall lowest LTI rate of 0.28 and the lowest recordable incidence rate of 1.03. Offshore, the Middle East had the lowest LTI rate of 0.15, while both the Middle East and Africa had the lowest recordable incidence rate of 0.90.
Europe: Contractors in this region worked more than 41.61 million total manhours in 2007 – 35.01 million offshore and 6.61 million on land.
Land contractors improved their LTI rate by 50%, from 0.96 in 2006 to 0.48 in 2007. However, their recordable incidence rate worsened by 26%, from 2.43 to 1.79. Offshore contractors saw the reverse – with a worse LTI rate (0.40 in 2006 to 0.41 in 2007) and a better recordable incidence rate (1.25 in 2006 to 1.11 in 2007).
There were no fatalities reported for this region.
US: US land contractors worked 100.68 million manhours, and offshore contractors worked 39.70 million manhours for a total of 140.39 million manhours in 2007.
This region saw slight improvement all around in safety statistics. For offshore workers, the LTI rate improved 10%, from 0.31 in 2006 to 0.28 in 2007, while their recordable incidence rate improved by 1.5%, from 1.37 in 2006 to 1.35 in 2007. On land, the LTI rate improved 4%, from 1.28 in 2006 to 1.23 in 2007, and the recordable incidence rate improved 7%, from 5.46 in 2006 to 5.06 in 2007.
Twelve fatalities were reported, all in the land category.
Canada: Canadian contractors accounted for 4.38 million manhours, with 2.75 million manhours worked on land and 1.63 million manhours worked offshore.
Land workers improved their LTI rate slightly from 1.03 to 1.02. Their recordable incidence rate improved 25% from 3.62 in 2006 to 2.70 in 2007. Offshore, the LTI rate remained at 0.25 and the recordable incidence rate improved 18% from 1.36 to 1.10.
One fatality was reported for this region, in the offshore category.
Central and South America: This region accounted for 67.17 million manhours, with 47.58 million on land and 19.59 million offshore.
Land contractors’ 2006 LTI rate of 0.32 remained unchanged in 2007, while their recordable incidence rate of 1.10 in 2006 worsened slightly to 1.11. Offshore’s LTI rate of 0.36 in 2006 worsened 22% to 0.44 in 2007. Their recordable incidence rate improved 2% from 1.38 to 1.35.
There were three fatalities reported in the Central and South America region, all offshore.
Africa: African land operations accounted for 21.50 million manhours and offshore for 25.52 million manhours, for a total of 47.02 million manhours.
Land workers’ LTI rate improved by 29%, from 0.86 in 2006 to 0.61 in 2007, and their recordable incidence rate improved by 28% from 2.46 to 1.78. Offshore, the LTI rate of 0.23 for 2006 worsened 22% to 0.28 in 2007. Their recordable incidence rate also worsened from 0.81 to 0.90, about 12%.
One fatality was reported on land.
Middle East: This region accounted for 99.52 million manhours. Land operations had 74.64 million manhours, and offshore had 24.88 million manhours.
Land workers saw both their LTI and recordable incidence rates worsen – 0.24 to 0.28 (17%) for LTI and 0.97 to 1.03 (6%) for recordables. Offshore rates also suffered. The LTI rate worsened 7% from 0.14 in 2006 to 0.15 in 2007, and the recordable incidence rate worsened 15% from 0.78 to 0.90.
A total of five fatalities were reported, with four on land and one offshore.
Asia Pacific: Offshore contractors worked 26.95 million manhours and land contractors worked 19.30 million manhours, adding up to a total of 46.25 million manhours.
On land, the LTI rate improved 10% from 0.39 in 2006 to 0.35 in 2007, while the recordable incidence rate improved 2% from 1.22 to 1.19. Offshore workers improved their 2006 LTI rate of 0.40 by 58% to 0.17 in 2007. Their recordable incidence rate, however, worsened slightly from 1.03 to 1.05.
One fatality was reported in the land category.
• Fingers remained the most vulnerable part of the body.
• “Struck by” and “caught between” accounted for 53% of lost-time injuries and 55.65% of recordable injuries.
• Pipes/collars/tubulars is the equipment category responsible for the most lost-time and recordable incidents.
• Tripping in/out is the operation that involved the most lost-time and recordable injuries.
• Unsurprisingly, by far the most injuries occurred on the rig floor.
• LTIs and recordables based on employees’ “time in service” were led by those with one to five years of service, followed closely by those with less than three months of service.
• The most LTI incidents occurred between 09:00 and 18:00 hours.
• June accounted for the most lost-time incidents while August accounted for the most recordable incidents.
The objectives of IADC’s ASP Program are to record data reflecting accident experience, which can be compared with other industries; to identify causes and trends of drilling industry injuries; and to provide a means of recognizing rig crews for outstanding safety performance. For this report, companies that represent approximately 78% of the worldwide oil/gas drilling rig fleet participated. The entire drilling industry is urged to contribute data in the coming year to help contractors achieve even greater safety performance.