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DrillSafe Articles

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

Finger amputated by falling inner-tube

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'.

Finger amputated by falling inner-tube

A drill rig assistant had part of a finger amputated when a wireline inner-tube disengaged from the overshot. It appears that the inner-tube had just been pulled clear of the open drillstring when it disengaged. The assistant had placed his hand underneath the core cage to guide the inner-tube when it suddenly fell back into the drillstring resulting in the amputation of his finger.

The reason why the inner-tube disengaged is the subject of an investigation.

Other Hazard alerts in this series