In the past month our company has experienced several serious incidents that could be described as a “Driller’s worst nightmare.”
1. Driller miscommunicated with his floorhand who, instead of lining up the proper valves to fill the trip tank, disengaged the dynamatic brake handle. This caused the brakes to get hot, and the driller, unable to stop the downward travel of the blocks, ran the top drive into the rail stops.
2. Driller turns hydromatic water control valve in the wrong direction, choking off the water supply to the hydromatic causing the brakes to overheat. He was unable to stop the descent of the blocks so the drill string and the elevators struck the rotary table, bending the joint of pipe in the elevators.
No injuries resulted from these incidents and each could have been far worse.