The aim of the dropped objects audit is to prevent injuries caused by falling objects and materials handling, which form a large proportion of the total number of accidents sustained.

A programme of inspection and systematic management, evaluation and control can help reduce these accidents.

On drilling units, Rigtech believe it is more effective to utilise an experienced rig surveyor to conduct dropped object inspections from accessible areas and consider the whole environment and drilling operation rather than use semi skilled technicians.

We have conducted numerous surveys and rig condition evaluations and too often have found that although dropped object inspections have been carried out through rope access there have still been a number of other deficiencies ranging from things like secondary retention being installed which would be unsuitable in the event of a failure, to seriously corroded structural members.

Using one skilled and experienced surveyor is usually more effective and cheaper than employing rope access personnel.

The Rigtech Dropped Objects manual was released over fifteen years ago and is still as relevant today

Dropped objects audits can consist of inspections of specific areas of interest, or, an investigation of the management systems in place.

A full evaluation of the workplace to determine effective action is undertaken and involves inspection and assessment relating to the following areas:

  • Moonpool or cantilever areas
  • Derrick
  • Cranes
  • Drilling operations, pipehandling, elevators, lifting subs, power tongs, Vee door operations, etc.
  • Rig to rig crane operations, Rig to/from boat crane operations
  • Elevated work areas and Storage areas, (jack houses, bulkhead storage, sub racks etc.)

A full evaluation of the management system to determine effective action is undertaken and would involve inspection and assessment relating to the following areas:

  • Management systems.
  • Standard procedures,
  • Maintenance tasks and schedules,
  • Scheduling of lifting equipment inspections,
  • Shore office procedures, reviews and participation,
  • Communications and dissemination of information to/from Shore office and operating unit/fleet.

This is a cracked derrick beam found during a survey. A pipe-racking arm had been added with supports welded to the flange of the beam. Failure could have resulted in the 2 ton assembly falling 15ft. to the drill floor.


These tongs are stored over an open deck area. They are hanging on the handrails, unsecured and crane operations could dislodge them by accident. In addition to this, handrails are not suitable hang-off points, have no load rating, and are not designed for this purpose.


Walkways around a moonpool corroded to such an extent that sections fell off the bulkhead.