|Offender||Leyburn Nominees Pty Ltd (ACN 008 887 358)|
|Charge||Charge Number||Offence Date||Date Convicted||Regulation||Section||Penalty Provision||Penalty Imposed||Date Sentenced|
|1||KH1005/2020||8 April 2017||28th October 2020||19(1) 19A(2)||3A(3)(b)(i)||$42,000.00||19th January 2021|
|Description of Breach(es)||
Being an employer, failed, so far as was practicable, to provide and maintain a working environment in which its employees were not exposed to hazards, and by that contravention caused serious harm to an employee.
On April 8th 2017, three employees of Leyburn Nominees Pty Ltd, trading as Joyce Krane (Leyburn), were working on the King Bay Supply Base, Burrup in Western Australia, carrying out tasks for their employer, which was a Woodside Energy Ltd (Woodside) contractor.
The material task to be undertaken by Leyburn under the direction and control of Woodside on the day was to load out flatbed trailers with bundles of large steel pipes known as bucked drill casings. The bundles were being lifted onto the back of these trucks by a mobile crane, operated by a Leyburn employee. Two employees were tasked with slinging the casings, via chain slings, onto the hook of the crane to enable the lift.
After slinging one such bundle, the two riggers (of which one was the victim) tasked with slinging the casings, were next to the racking that the bundles were placed on. They had just hooked a bundle of 3 casings onto the crane lifting hook when the bundle closest to them inadvertently, and in an uncontrolled manner, moved sideways, trapping the victim’s leg against the rack, causing a double fracture and significant tissue damage.
DESCRIPTION OF THE WORKPLACE
The King Bay Supply Base (the Site) is located in Burrup, WA.
It serves as the base of operations for the logistics division of Woodside. The logistics division facilitates the storage and movement of plant and machinery for all of the processes undertaken by Woodside in support of Woodside's drilling operations offshore.
Woodside has overall control of the site. From this base, the logistics team provide their clients - predominantly the operational divisions of Woodside - with logistical support when needed. They control access to the base including security, induction and work permissioning.
The Woodside permissioning regime determines which activities can be undertaken on site and the level of control that Woodside have with regard to the method of work.
There are three 'modes' of operation that Woodside use to control work at the Site. The lifting work that Leyburn was undertaking was a mode 1 operation, under Woodside direction and under Woodside's control.
The incident took place in an area of the Site referred to as the casings area being a demarcated zone that is set aside for the job of bundling 'bucked' drill casings and lifting them onto trucks ready for transport.
On the day of the incident, 8 April 2017, the racking used to store the casings consisted of rows of staggered, older drill casings, placed along the ground perpendicular to the stacked casings, with steel risers welded vertically onto the casings to create end stops .
This was an ad hoc arrangement that had been in place for such a long period of time it had been accepted as normal. At the time of the incident, the casings area ground was compacted dirt. After the incident the storage area was concreted over to provide a more stable base.
The casings used to create the rack, were offset in certain areas, which created both a trip hazard and a pinch-point hazard in the event of movement of the casings on the rack.
DESCRIPTION OF THE WORK BEING CARRIED OUT AT THE WORKPLACE
Leyburn had been contracted to provide lifting and ancillary operations in connection with steel drill casings. The bucking and lifting operation was part of larger works being carried out by Woodside to supply the casings to their operations offshore.
A drill casing is a large steel pipe that is used to provide access, structural support and encapsulate a drill hole in the mining industry. The casings involved in the incident were 13 ¾ inches in diameter (347mm) and approximately 12m long and 1.5 tonnes in weight. Prior to lifting these casings would be bucked together (joined) so they would be approximately 24m long and weighing 3-3.5 Tonnes.
The following processes were carried out as part of the project involving Leyburn:
a) The bucked casing would be bundled securely in sets of three with steel rope slings. The slings were secured with rope ties to prevent them coming loose. This securing process is known as 'mousing'.
b) The bundled casings would then be placed into the storage racks, awaiting transport
c) When an order for casings was received via Woodside's drilling logistics coordinator, the DLC, whose role is to facilitate the equipment and services requested by the rigs, Leyburn employees would lift the required number of bundles onto trucks by crane for transport to a drilling project offshore.
d) This particular phase of work had started on the 31st March, 2017. From 31st March to the 7th April 2017, Leyburn employees were slinging drill casings in bundles and placing them onto the storage racks, awaiting transport.
The bucking of two casings together prior to transport was, at the time, a relatively new process which was developed and trialled in late 2016. The rationale behind the change in the process was to increase efficiency and safety for the off-shore drilling work. Leyburn had also provided the lifting support for this work during the trial in October/November of 2016.
On the day of the incident - Saturday 8th April 2017 - there were three Leyburn employees on site; a rigger (the injured person), the crane driver and another rigger. They were tasked with attaching the bundles to the crane and lifting them onto trucks.
A combination of inclement weather preventing transport offshore and a large volume of orders to be fulfilled created build-up of bundles on the racking. The high volume of casings awaiting transport meant that the bundles on the racks were stored on top of each other in several layers. There were no load restraints between bundles such as chocks, gluts or stanchions.
On the day of the incident, there were a number of points of failure.
THE PROCESS THAT OCCURRED ON 8/4/2017
On Saturday 8th April 2017 at approximately 7am the victim, the driver and the rigger reported to work at the Site.
The Leyburn employees had been working the previous day bundling casings, mousing them and placing them onto the storage racks. The plan for April 8th 2017 was to lift the bucked casings from the racks onto awaiting trucks for transport.
This method of work is not described in detail in any of the Woodside or Leyburn risk mitigation documentation.
The Leyburn working party began loading the bucked casings at approximately 0900 hrs. They continued the work throughout the morning and by the time of the incident (1340hrs) had slung and loaded approximately 20-30 loads of bundled bucked casings onto trucks for delivery.
The victim and the rigger, had been walking along the bucked casing bundles in order to attach the crane hook to the sling. They needed to access the top of casing bundles for the following reasons:
The first casings needed offshore included those with centralisers attached to them, which were in the middle of the stacked bundles. The consequence of these bundles being removed was the creation of gaps or spaces on the rack which increased the likelihood of uncontrolled movement in the remainder of the stacked bundles.
The positioning of the slings was not close to the end of the bundles as they were stacked with the sling directly in front. Having the sling laid out directly in front of the bundle meant having to approach the load from a position in front of the bundle and required the riggers to climb directly onto on the bundles.
The removal of bundles from the centre of the racking, and lack of load restraints such as chocks, gluts or stanchions, created the condition where the potential energy within the stacked load was provided with a means of being released.
At approximately 1340hrs on April 8th 2017, both the victim and the rigger were on or near the bundles, when a bundle of casings moved unexpectedly towards them.
The rigger managed to move clear and was unhurt but the victim was caught unawares by the rapid migration of the bundle.
The victim was directly in front of a staggered casing which resulted in him being trapped between the case bundle and the edge of the casing storage. The bundle struck the victim, fracturing his right leg and causing significant tissue damage.
The victim’s colleagues moved the bundle by attaching it to the crane hook and lifting it off him. He was then given first aid on site while awaiting the ambulance services and was taken to hospital where he was diagnosed as sustaining an open wound and two fractures to his right leg.
POST-INCIDENT - INJURIES SUSTAINED
The victim’s lower right leg suffered an open wound and a compound fracture of tibia and fibula. He underwent three operations at the time of the incident - a skin graft, a muscle graft and a bone graft.
CHANGES MADE AS RESULT OF INCIDENT – LEYBURN
After the incident Leyburn created and implemented a new operating procedure for the handling of steel casings, GL-01 Pipe Handling Guidelines (Guidelines). The Guidelines are intended by Leyburn to be used in conjunction with the procedures used by its clients on all sites where Leyburn undertakes this type of work. The new procedure includes:
a) Laying casings on wooden gluts to increase friction, where such infrastructure is provided by Leyburn's client at the relevant site.
b) Implementing a rule of single stacking of bundles rather than double stacking, where such an arrangement can be accommodated by Leyburn's client at the relevant site.
c) Only slinging casings from the side of the bundles, eliminating the need to access the bundles from the front. This has a secondary benefit in that it also eliminates the need to climb onto the stack thereby reducing potential energy in the system and the fall potential simultaneously.
d) Providing hooks to enable staff to retrieve slings by walking along the side of the load.
This revised procedure both eliminates the downwards forces exerted on the stack, reducing significantly the likelihood of uncontrolled movement, and places employees away from the hazard, should it migrate. This was a system that could have been implemented prior to incident, to the extent Leyburn had the ability to exert control over the infrastructure provided, and arrangements adopted, by Woodside at the Site.
The Accused plead guilty and was convicted on 28/10/2020. On 19 Jan 2021 the Magistrate fined the Accused $42,000 and ordered costs of $10,833.75
|Court||Magistrates Court of Western Australia - Karratha|
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