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Investigation report after fatal accident on Maersk Interceptor

The PSA has completed its investigation of the fatal accident on 7 December 2017 on Maersk Interceptor, where one person was killed and another seriously injured. Several breaches of the regulations have been identified.


A serious lifting accident occurred on 7 December 2017 on the Maersk Interceptor jack-up facility operated by Maersk Drilling AS (Maersk), which was then working for Aker BP on the Tambar field in the Norwegian North Sea.

This incident occurred in connection with lifting and installing a seawater pump. Four people took part in the work, which involved the use of a steel sling. The latter parted, and the pump fell down.

A power cable attached to the pump was pulled along in the fall and hit two people who were in the vicinity. One of them fell into the sea and died, while the other was seriously injured. Under slightly different circumstances, several lives could have been lost.

The incident also had material and financial consequences.

Direct and underlying causes
The direct cause of the incident was that the lifting sling broke because it was overloaded.

Underlying causes were multiple and complex, and can be related to design weaknesses and inadequacies in following these up, failure to identify risk at several levels, training, and planning and work practice.

Nonconformities
The investigation has identified a number of regulatory breaches. These relate to:

  • planning the work process
  • design of lifting equipment
  • use of information and continuous improvement
  • education and training
  • use of lifting facilities and equipment
  • follow-up of enterprise of competence
  • barriers and cordons.

Maersk has been given until 31 May 2018 to explain to the PSA how these nonconformities will be dealt with.

On the basis of the preliminary findings from the investigation, the PSA issued an order to Maersk in January 2018. The latter applied to systems for follow-up and use of portable lifting equipment and to a requirement to identify and review all operations related to the materials handling process for the installation of seawater pumps.

Read more at: Order to Maersk Drilling Norge

Øyvind Midttun, press contact
Email: oyvind.midttun@ptil.no | +47 51 87 34 77