Offshore Fatality Prompts BSEE Safety Alert

The five-member investigation panel identified several failures in using basic safety management practices, failures that may have contributed to a supervisor's death in 2014.

The federal Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement published a Safety Alert and also released the panel investigation report into the Nov. 20, 2014, explosion on a platform operated by Fieldwood Energy. The explosion occurred on West Delta Block 105 Platform E and killed Jerrel Hancock, a Turnkey Cleaning Services supervisor contracted by Fieldwood Energy. He died after an explosion occurred inside the electrostatic heater treater located on the platform while the contract cleaning crew personnel were cleaning the vessel.

The five-member investigation panel identified several failures in using basic safety management practices, failures that may have contributed to Hancock’s death, according to BSEE, which said the report found there were inadequacies in electrical isolation and verification of that isolation, as well as ineffective ventilation and air monitoring of the vessel, and a job safety analysis did not align with the cleaning procedures and lacked specific assessments of the hazards associated with the job and equipment on which their work was to be done.

"I thank the panel for their work to thoroughly investigate the incident and find important lessons learned," BSEE Director Brian Salerno said. "Reviewing the panel's findings, it's critical that operators and contractors adhere to the basic tenets of a safety culture and that it permeates throughout the organization."

Based on the findings and recommendations of the panel, Salerno has directed BSEE staffers to conduct an assessment of whether a site-specific Safety and Environmental Management System audit should be required when a safety management system gap may have contributed to an operational fatality.

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