Marine Safety Forum, MSF, has issued a safety flash regarding rope access following the death of a rope access technician in a fall from the Shell Brent Charlie platform some 120 miles north east of Lerwick in Shetland.
Says MSF: “On June 16th, 2011 a fatal accident happened on the Shell Platform Brent Charlie in the North Sea. The victim was a rope access technician who was working for BIS Salamis.
Although the investigation into this tragic accident is currently in progress the following memorandum from the HSEQ manager of BIS Salamis has been forwarded to us by Shell:
When planning work scopes particular attention should be paid to the selection of anchors to ensure that all anchors selected are suitable and within the requirements of section 2.7.9 (anchors) of the IRATA ICOP.
Where working lines have the potential to come into contact with or be abraded by an edge, thought should be given to the use of rigging techniques such as deviations or re-anchoring (re-belay). Techniques to consider are the use of specific knots to control angles to within safe working limits.
If anchors do not allow for deviation then, both ropes should be suitably protected with the supplied canvas rope protector.
The rope protector should be suitably attached to the backup line using a suitable prusik knot or similar, this is to ensure that the rope protector is securely attached to the backup line and remains in the position intended for the duration of the task.
Both ropes should then be placed into the rope protector and the rope protector closed using the Velcro fastener.
In addition to fitting a rope protector edge protection should be fitted to the structure where the risk assessment identifies an increased risk of damage to the rope, due to the nature or condition of the edge or the ropes moving out of the rope protector.
As soon as more information becomes available we will publish an update.”