Which Is It?

Which Is It?



For many years, we have used the term “Lost-Time Accidents” to refer to injuries received in an accident which caused the injured person to lose time from work. We have also used the term “No-Lost-Time Accidents” to refer to injuries that did not cause a loss of time from the job.

There is a very distinct difference between an accident and an injury.

The dictionary defines an accident as: “an event that takes place without one’s foresight or expectation.” The definition of an injury is: “damage or hurt done or suffered; detriment to, or violation of person.” Very often we have a combination of a lost-time accident and a disabling injury such as the damage to a rig and one of the crewmen severely injured. The downtime for repairs or loss of the rig would constitute a lost-time accident while the crewman’s injuries would cause him to lose time from work. However damage to a rig can happen without injury to any personnel, and we would still have a loss of time while the rig is down.

If a snub line breaks and no one is injured, we still have an accident which could come under the heading of a no-lost-time or “near-miss” accident. If the snub line breaks and a floorman receives a small scratch on his hand but does not lose any time from work, we would have a no-lost-time accident which caused a minor injury.

How many times do you recall a spinning chain breaking, a snub line failure, bolt falling out of the derrick, a person falling down and many other similar accidents, without an injury to anyone? According to authoritative sources, throughout industry as a whole, information has been gathered which indicates that for every accident which results in a disabling injury, there are 33 accidents resulting in minor injuries and over 300 accidents in which no injuries occurred.

An accident may also occur without damage to equipment or personnel. A sub may be “jarred” from the floor without damage to the sub or any personnel. This is an accident since it was not a planned or routine work procedure. Thus, we have many accidents around a rig which the majority of people tend to overlook or do not actually recognize as an accident. Most people are under the impression that they are being safe as long as they do not lose any time from work.

The next time you stumble or slip, stop and think about the difference in the definitions of an accident and an injury. When you stumbled or slipped, you had an accident and the difference between it and an injury was a split second of time or a fraction of an inch of space. In less than a second or in less than an inch, it might have been a disabling injury.

Think it over and remember the odds!