ONGC must stop using dangerous food containers

Vol 17, PW 2 (22 Aug 13) Exploration & Production

Picture this: an old dilapidated container used to transport food is loaded onto an ONGC offshore installation on the Mumbai High.

Suddenly the container topples and smashes into the installation, killing workers. Soon there's a raging fire.

Sounds bad It might happen! In the last month alone ONGC has reported five potentially dangerous incidents at the Mumbai High where old containers fell while being loaded onto manned platforms. Luckily there was no damage to equipment and no workers were injured.

These near misses happened while transporting containers onto or from ONGC-owned jack-ups Sagar Vijay and Sagar Pragati, Jindal Drilling-owned jack-up Discovery 1, Shelf Drilling-owned jack-up Trident-II and the BH Platform. On July 16, KB Roy, ONGC general manager (drilling) and head of health, safety and environment (HSE) for the Mumbai region wrote to a general manager at the Nhava supply base in Maharashtra about an incident involving a container at Pragati.

"This incident is of high potential and may lead to serious accidents if corrective measures are not taken at the earliest," writes Roy. Copies of Roy's letter were marked to an ONGC executive director and head of drilling services, a group general manager and head of offshore safety, and to a head of HSE (offshore logistics).

Worryingly, inspections agency Control Union has over the last six months rejected 89 of 99 containers inspected at Nhava. "Just look at those containers," says an industry source.

"You'd be horrified they're used to carry food for ONGC officers."

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