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Course 903 - Well Site Completion and Servicing Safety

Safety guides and audits to make your job as a safety professional easier

Well Site Servicing Operations Safety

service rig

Servicing operations assumes that the well has been completed and initial production has begun.

All servicing activity requires specialized equipment. The equipment is transported in and rigged up.

Transporting and Rigging Up

Transporting and rigging up the equipment is the first step in well servicing operations. After these steps, servicing activities commence.

  • transporting rig
  • rigging up service rig
  • set up work area

Transporting Rig

After the drilling rig is removed, the well site is cleaned and re-leveled for the service rig. A workover rig is driven or transported to the site and positioned at the well.

Potential Hazards:

  • working in unstable or slippery conditions on the lease road/drill site
  • striking fixed objects such as power line poles
  • contacting electrical service lines
  • being involved in vehicular accidents
  • getting caught between the rig and the wellhead
  • being struck by a moving rig

Possible Solutions:

  • Inspect the route in advance for adequate vehicle access and satisfactory surface conditions.
  • Ensure adequate driver training.
  • Ensure proper vehicle preventive and corrective maintenance.
  • Establish and follow a specific procedure for positioning the rig.
  • Use a ground guide while backing the rig.
  • Keep all personnel clear of the moving rig.

Rigging Up the Service Rig


Before rigging up, guyline anchors are set into the ground and pull tested. The service rig is then spotted over the well.

The truck- or trailer-mounted rig is stabilized and leveled by manual or hydraulic jacks. All guy lines are uncoiled and laid out to remove kinks or knots.

The mast is readied for raising, then raised and guyed into place. The derrick emergency escape device is rigged up and the work platform is readied for service operations.

Potential Hazards:

  • being electrocuted by overhead power lines
  • slips, trips, and falls as a result of unstable or slippery conditions
  • being caught between the mast and mast cradle or being struck by or caught in guy lines and cables when mast is being raised
  • being struck by a toppling mast if the carrier shifts
  • being sprayed with oil if the hydraulic cylinder or hoses fail as mast is being raised
  • twisting and falling of the mast if a guy line or anchor breaks or fails
  • receiving strains and sprains
  • getting hand, finger, and foot injuries during rig up
  • getting the climbing assist counterweight tangled in the mast

In the next tab, we will take a look at the possible solutions to the hazards that are involved in rigging up the service rig.

Rigging Up the Service Rig (Continued)

oil rig

Possible Solutions:

  • Identify all electrical hazards and maintain adequate clearances. [29 CFR 1910.303 Table S3]
  • Take appropriate precautions to mitigate slip, trip, and fall hazards.
  • Stay clear of the unit while the mast is being raised, lowered, or telescoped.
  • Uncoil and visually inspect all cables before starting to raise the mast. Stand to the side of lines and cables as the mast is being raised.
  • Inspect the well pad and set additional foundation materials as appropriate.
  • Inspect all high-pressure hoses and fittings.
  • Ensure that the unit operator assesses the wind speed and direction to determine if the mast can be raised safely.
  • Allow no personnel on the unit, other than the operator working at the controls, when raising or lowering the mast. All others stand clear.
  • Inspect all anchors before rigging up the mast. Anchors should meet American Petroleum Institute (API) specifications for loads and guying patterns. [2004 Publications, Programs, and Services. American Petroleum Institute (API), (2004)]
  • Use proper lifting techniques.
  • Use proper hand and foot placement.
  • Control the position of the counterweight by maintaining tension on the guywire to keep the weight away from the mast.

Set Up Work Area

The work area is prepared by setting up all relevant equipment for the job, including the derrick emergency escape device.

Potential Hazards:

  • being struck by or caught between equipment
  • receiving strains and sprains
  • getting hand, finger, and foot injuries
  • slips, trips, and falls
  • failing to properly install derrick emergency escape device when personnel may be expected to work in the derrick
  • getting burned or exposed to respiratory hazards due to ignition of flammable liquids, vapors, and gases

Possible Solutions:

  • Install guardrails as required. [29 CFR 1910.23]
  • Inspect equipment integrity such as slings, tongs, and hand tools. [29 CFR 1910.184]
  • Train crew to select and use the proper tools for the job.
  • Instruct workers to stand clear of suspended loads.
  • Use a tag line to guide equipment into position.
  • Inspect hoses and connections before and after attaching to the tongs.
  • Connect hoses after the tongs have been positioned.
  • Properly install derrick emergency escape device in accordance with manufacturer's recommendations.
  • Proper equipment type and placement.



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 hazards encountered associated with transporting the rig during servicing operations include all of the following, except _____.

2. The hazards encountered rigging up the service rig include all of the following, except _____.

3. To overcome the serious hazards associated rigging up the service rig, you can do all of the following, except _____.

4. The hazards associated with setting up the work area for well servicing include all of the following, except _____.

5. To overcome the serious hazards associated setting up the work area on the service rig, you can do all of the following, except _____.

Have a great day!

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