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DrillSafe Articles

Safety information and collaboration forum for the exploration drilling industry in Southern Africa.

Assistant struck by falling inner-tube assembly

Drill Safe

By Colin Rice

Colin Rice Exploration and Training (Pty) Ltd. -

The primary objective of DrillSafe is to improve the understanding of drill site hazards and one of the mechanisms used is to share the learning from incidents and accidents that occur on drill sites. To do this however, it is necessary that relevant incident and accident reports are passed on to us so that they can be analysed and the learning passed on to you, the DrillSafe subscribers and visitors.

We are working hard with some mining companies to develop a flow of information, but the process is sometimes a little slow. In the absence of an “official” written communication, we have to rely on verbal communication of the incident or accident. The below incident / accident has not been officially communicated to DrillSafe and so what is presented is based on what we have been told. When, or if, the official report reaches DrillSafe we will provide a more detailed summary. In the meantime, DrillSafe feels it completely necessary to share this information with you to ensure 'zero repeats'.

Assistant struck by falling inner-tube assembly

A drill rig assistant was struck on the shoulder by a falling inner-tube assembly when the wireline cable snapped. It appears that the inner-tube assembly had been pulled from the borehole but the wireline cable snagged on a piece of the mast structure. In trying to free the assembly, the driller increased the pull on the wireline cable resulting in the cable snapping. The entire inner-tube assembly then fell downwards striking the drill rig assistant. 

Other hazard alerts in this series