This safety alert highlights the hazards associated with drilling rigs and the action required to manage these hazards.
A 35-year-old worker died after his clothing was tangled on the rotating auger of the drilling rig he was operating.
Drilling rigs present many hazards, including:
- clothing getting tangled on rotating parts
- drilling rigs retracting to the travelling position without warning
- leaks from a hydraulic hose projecting liquid under pressure
- hot hydraulic hoses inflicting burn injuries.
- Where you can, provide interlocked guards that prevent access to the rotating auger.
- Use hold-to-run controls (machine stops if you let go of the control lever).
- Locate control levers away from the auger, far enough to prevent the operator from reaching the dangerous parts.
- Never bypass, weigh or tie down hold-to-run controls to operate the rig.
- Mechanically lock the rig in its vertical position as soon as you raise it.
- Never operate the rig if another person is near the auger.
- Do not wear loose clothing, or loose jewellery.
- Cover long hair.
- Inspect and maintain the rig in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations.
- AS 4024.1-2006 Series Safety of machinery
- Managing risks of plant in the workplace; Code of practice
- Guide for the safe design of plant by SafeWork Australia
- Information sheet for plant designers, manufacturers, importers and suppliers by SafeWork Australia.