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Petroleum & Gas Inspectorate | Alert | No.108 V 1 | 26 August 2022

Finger Crush Injury

What happened?

An experienced Rig Manager conducting a routine rig-up at an unfamiliar site, lost control of the radiator chute and received a finger crush injury. The incident highlights how complacency with routine tasks natural to the working environment have a greater capability to become extremely hazardous.

How did it happen?

The experienced worker was filling in as a Rig Manager, working on a different rig to his normal work environment and conducting a routine rig-up. The setup and layout of the rig was identical to his normal work site, but the equipment used for the task was slightly different.
When lowering the radiator chute, the worker temporarily lost control and attempted to slow the momentum of the chute by placing his right hand above the designated handle. This pinched the end of his right middle finger between the chute stopper tab and the wall of the trailer, causing a crush injury.

Key issues

  • The worker had not identified that the equipment used to conduct the rig-up was different to that of his usual work location.
  • The work conducted was a routine task being undertaken by an experienced worker and no risks had been identified to trigger a change to normal operation.
  • The site induction that was conducted prior to the worker commencing work on the new rig failed to identify the difference in the work environment.


Engineering – Consider adding engineering controls for automatic rig up / rig down process if the chute is too heavy for manual or mechanical aids.
Mechanical – Mechanical aids in the form of a winch system or hydraulic system could be used to eliminate a person being the load barer of weight to rig up / rig down equipment.
Administrative – Ensure repetitive and routine tasks are the subject of a comprehensive risk assessment to identify and control hazards.

Investigations are ongoing and further information may be published as it becomes available. The information in this publication is what is known at the time of writing.

We issue Safety Notices to draw attention to the occurrence of a serious incident, raise awareness of risks, and prompt assessment of your existing controls.

Authorised by Bill Date - Chief Inspector – Petroleum & Gas

Contact: Nathan Wilkins, Principal Inspector, Well Operations , +61 455 069 158

Issued by Resources Safety & Health Queensland

Safety: This information is issued to promote safety through experience. It is not to be taken as a statement of law and must not be construed to waive or modify any legal obligation.