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Petroleum & Gas Inspectorate | Alert | No.107 V v1 | 08 August 2022

Uncontrolled movement of equipment causing a serious eye injury

What happened?

A worker suffered a serious injury to their eye due to an uncontrolled movement of equipment during work activities associated with a rig camp move. The injury required immediate surgery with interim medical advice confirming there will be permanent damage to the eye.

How did it happen?

A truck driver was assisting with dismantling plant and equipment in preparation to relocate a rig camp. This task included storing removed equipment into a tool shack. An earthing rod was placed vertically inside a tool shack where it fell and rebounded, striking the worker in the eye.

Key issues

  • The worker was inexperienced in the activity being carried out
  • There was a lack of supervision and guidance during the work activity
  • There was restricted visibility in the area of the work activity
  • The activity being carried out was an incidental activity on a petroleum lease:
    • risks were considered less due the work activity being an ancillary activity
    • basic risk controls, such as personal protective equipment (PPE), were not being worn by the worker.

Critical controls that failed during this specific work task:

  • Providing guidance and supervision to the worker that had limited experience
  • A specific location to store earth rods
  • Operational lighting in the work area and inside the tool shack
  • Available PPE (eye protection) that may have prevented or mitigated the injury.


  • Operators carrying out similar authorised activities should assess and implement similar risk management controls for ancillary work sites, for example:
    • training, supervision and safety procedures in place at operating plant should also include authorised activities such as rig camps.
  • Although PPE is the lowest level of control, it can be the last line of defence between a person and an interaction with a hazard. This incident reinforces the importance to maintain all critical controls that address both process safety and personal safety.
  • At all times, the complete hierarchy of controls should be applied to manage all risks to as low as reasonably practicable (ALARP).

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: Tony Willis, Manager Investigations , +61 477 395 955

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.
Placement: Place this announcement on noticeboards and ensure all relevant people in your organisation receive a copy, understand the content, findings and recommendations as applicable to their operation. SSEs should validate that recommendations have been implemented.