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Course 902 - Well Site Preparation and Drilling Safety

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Tripping Out/In

Introduction

Controlling exposures to worksite hazards is the fundamental method of protecting workers on a construction site. Traditionally, the widely-accepted hierarchy of controls has been used as a means of determining how to implement feasible and effective controls.

Tripping refers to the process of removing and/or replacing pipe from the well when it is necessary to change the bit or other piece of the drill string, or when preparing to run certain tests in the well bore.

The activities that comprise “tripping out” are listed below. “Tripping in” essentially comprises the same steps in reverse order.

breakingout

Setting Slip

setting slips

The floor crew sets slips around the drill stem.

Potential Hazards:

  • getting fingers or other body parts pinched between slips or slip handles and rotary table
  • receiving muscle strain from improper lifting technique

Possible Solutions:

  • Use proper hand placement when setting slips.
  • Use proper stance and slip lifting techniques.
  • Slips have three handles and should be lifted jointly by more than one person.

Breaking Out and Setting Back the Kelly

breakingout

In this process, the crew breaks out the kelly and set it into the rathole.

Potential Hazards:

  • release of excess drilling mud resulting in skin contact, loss of footing, etc.
  • being struck by the slip handles if the rotary table is used to spin the drill string
  • being struck by the kelly if the pullback line unhooks when kelly is being pulled toward the rathole

Possible Solutions:

  • Shut down the mud pumps before breaking out the kelly.
  • Close the mud saver valve on the kelly (if present).
  • Use a mud bucket to divert flow of excess mud.
  • Stand clear of the rotary table when it is rotating.
  • Consider other technologies (such as a pipe spinner, kelly spinner, or top drive unit) to eliminate this hazard.
  • Implement an effective pullback line attachment procedure.
  • Ensure workers stand in a safe location away from the pullback line and rathole during this pullback operation.

Latching Elevators to Pipe

drill pipe
Elevators latched to pipe - OSHA

In this process, the floor crew latches the elevators onto the pipe.

Potential Hazards:

  • getting hands or fingers pinched in elevators
  • being struck by elevators not securely latched
  • getting hands or fingers caught between elevators and stump

Possible Solutions:

  • Ensure workers are instructed in proper latching procedure, including the use of handles on elevators as they are descending into place over the stump or tool joint.
  • Inspect and maintain elevators.

Working on the Monkeyboard

climbing

In this process, the derrickman climbs up the derrick to the monkeyboard.

From here he unlatches the elevators and guides the stands of pipe into the fingerboard.

The elevators are then lowered and attached to the next stand of pipe.

Potential Hazards:

  • falling while climbing up or down the ladder
  • falling from monkeyboard or fingerboard
  • slips, trips, and falls
  • falling during an emergency descent
  • being caught between pipe and other objects
  • receiving strains and sprains
  • being struck by dropped objects

Working on the Monkeyboard (Continued)

monkeyboard

Possible Solutions:

  • Use a climb assist device.
  • Wear appropriate fall protection including a full body harness. For Fall Protection guidance, consult:
    • [29 CFR 1910.23(c)(1)], Fall Protection when working from platforms.
    • [29 CFR 1910.66 App (C)], Fall Protection guidelines.
    • [29 CFR 1910 Subpart D], Walking-Working Surfaces.
  • Wear the proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as:
    • hard hat
    • work gloves
    • safety-toed footwear
  • Practice 100% tie-off while working in the derrick.
  • Use slip-resistant coatings or materials on working surfaces.
  • Train personnel in use of emergency escape device.
  • Practice proper hand placement and use of pullback (tail) ropes.
  • Implement a dropped objects program, such as tie-off for all tools.
  • Use extra caution while personnel are working overhead.
  • Do not carry tools while climbing the derrick ladder. Raise tools with a line to any worker above the derrick floor.

Breaking Out Pipe

pipe strands

In this process, the crew uses the tongs and cathead to breakout the pipe.

The rotary table may be used to spin out the pipe after breaking the connection.

Potential Hazards:

  • being struck by swinging tongs if they break free from the pipe
  • being struck by the slip handles if the rotary table is used to spin the drill string
  • being struck by reverse backlash of tongs (backbiting) during breakout operations
  • being struck by the tongs if a snub line breaks or the tongs come unlatched

Possible Solutions:

  • Implement an effective breakout pipe procedure:
    • Personnel other than tong operators stand outside the tong swing radius when breaking pipe.
    • No one should stand in the red zone.
    • Use proper tong latching techniques and use proper hand and finger placement on tong handles.
    • Stand clear of the rotary table when it is rotating.
    • Use special operational procedures when making high torque connections.
  • Inspect tong dies and snub lines each tour.
  • Maintain good communication between floor hands and driller.

Maneuvering Pipe to Racking Area

elevator monkey

In this process, the stand is raised and maneuvered to the pipe racking area.

Potential Hazards:

  • getting hands and fingers pinched between stands of pipe
  • getting feet or toes crushed or amputated under a stand of pipe
  • slips, trips, and falls
  • receiving strains and sprains

Possible Solutions:

  • Keep hands and fingers from between pipe stands.
  • Position feet away from the bottom of the pipe stands.
  • Keep the area free of debris.
  • Use proper lifting, lowering, pushing, pulling techniques.

Tripping in – Latching Elevators to Top of Stand

In this process, the derrickman latches the elevators onto the pipe from the monkeyboard.

Potential Hazards:

  • getting hands or fingers pinched in elevators
  • being struck by elevators not securely latched
  • getting hands or fingers caught between elevators and stump

Possible Solutions:

  • Ensure workers are instructed in proper latching procedure.
  • Do not place hands or fingers between elevator and stump.
  • Inspect and maintain elevators.

Instructions

Before beginning this quiz, we highly recommend you review the module material. This quiz is designed to allow you to self-check your comprehension of the module content, but only focuses on key concepts and ideas.

Read each question carefully. Select the best answer, even if more than one answer seems possible. When done, click on the "Get Quiz Answers" button. If you do not answer all the questions, you will receive an error message.

Good luck!

1. The process of removing and/or replacing pipe from the well when it is necessary to change the bit or other piece of the drill string is called _____.

2. While breaking out and setting back the kelly, the following are possible solutions to prevent injuries, except _____.

3. Hazards encountered while attaching elevators to the elevator links include all of the following, except _____.

4. To prevent injuries while working on the monkeyboard, you can do all of the following, except _____.

5. Hazards encountered while the derrickman latches elevators to the top of stands include all of the following, except _____.


Have a great day!

Important! You will receive an "error" message unless all questions are answered.