THE RATE of injuries requiring more than three days off work in 2013 was at its lowest level since 2005, according to the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA).

The regulator’s Annual Offshore Performance Report recorded 71 injuries in 2013 – which based on a total of 13.2 million hours worked offshore, saw the rate of all recordable injuries reduced to 5.2 per million hours.

Of the 371 occupational health and safety incidents reported in 2013, 13 were classified as accidents resulting in an injury requiring more than three days off work, and the remaining 358 as dangerous occurrences.

Rates of both were down on the 2012 total of 19 accidents and 358 dangerous occurrences, with the rate of reported fires or explosions offshore also down, from a rate of 0.57 per million hours worked in 2012 to 0.3 in 2013.

Of the two accidents which occurred, only one was investigated by NOPSEMA – a serious foot injury to a floorman working on the monkey board level of the Noble Clyde Boudreaux MODU.

During a tripping operation using the pipe racking system onboard the MODU, a floorman was sent to the fingerboard to monitor the function of the finger latches, which were not working properly and required manual intervention.

The floorman’s foot was trapped between the tubular and the fingerboard after the drillpipe stand sprung back as he attempted to kick the latch open, NOPSEMA said.

Of all injuries reported, 28 were recorded on mobile offshore drilling units, with another 23 on platforms and 15 on floating production and storage vessels or floating, storage and offloading unit.

The report said MODUs had typically accounted for the highest number of injuries every year since 2006, while the rates recorded against FPSOs and vessels were the lowest recorded since 2005 – at 6.13 and 2.34 respectively.

The report found 31 per cent of all reported injuries were caused by workers being hit by moving objects, while 19% were caused by workers hitting stationary objects – the cause of another 27% of injuries was not specified.

Injuries to joints, ligaments, muscles and tendons were the most prevalent – making up 29% of all reported cases, followed by injuries involving wounds, lacerations, amputations or internal organ damage at 21%.

NOPSEMA chief executive Jane Cutler said the reduced rate of injury was something in which the industry could take pride.

“Lower injury rates represent actual harm avoided and should be commended as it demonstrates continuing endeavours by organisations to prevent further fatalities and injuries,” she said.

That said, she called on industry to implement comprehensive processes to identify and manage safety and environmental risks to levels that are as low as reasonably practical.

“Closer attention needs to be given to the factors like the nature of the task, timing, facility design, and location, in determining which procedures and processes are best suited to protect the offshore workforce and control environmental impacts,” she said.