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Failures of manually operated side-door elevators

Health and Safety Executive - Safety Notice
Department Name: Offshore Division
Bulletin No: OSD 4-2010
Issue Date: 7 June 2010
Target Audience: Offshore Industry
Key Issues: Unplanned opening of latch mechanism of side-door elevators lifting large diameter well casing from the horizontal position


There have been several serious dropped object incidents in offshore Northern Europe, including a near fatality, involving the use of manually operated side-door elevators to lift large diameter well casing. The incidents involved the unplanned opening of the elevators, during tailing-out or lifting of pipe from a horizontal position, allowing the load to fall. Investigation of the incidents has raised concerns about the safety of the latching mechanism.


The incidents came to our attention through the North Sea Offshore Authorities Forum (NSOAF). The Forum represents the offshore safety regulators of Denmark, the Faroe Islands, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the UK.

In view of the serious nature of the incidents, the Health and Safety Executive is issuing this notice to draw the attention of duty holders in UK waters to the issue, to the recommended actions and to the relevant UK regulations.

Action required:

Users of the equipment should ensure that:-

Users purchasing or renting new manual side-door elevators should verify with the manufactures or suppliers of the equipment that the design and manufacture of the equipment has been reviewed to ensure the safety of the latching mechanism. Users should satisfy themselves that the mechanism is safe and reliable for all foreseeable operations.

Relevant legal documents:


HSE Publication L22 - Safe use of work equipment - Provision and use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 - Approved Code of Practice and guidance - ISBN 978-0-7176-6295

Recommended Procedure API RP 8B/ISO 13534:2000 Inspection, maintenance, repair, and remanufacture of hoisting equipment, 7th edition, March 2002

Specification API Spec 8C/ISO 13535:2000 Specification for drilling and production hoisting equipment, 4th edition - hoisting equipment, 4th edition, February 2003.

Further information:

Any queries relating to this notice should be addressed to:

Head of Discipline Well Engineering & Operations
Health and Safety Executive
Hazardous Installations Directorate
Offshore Division
Lord Cullen House
Fraser Place
Aberdeen AB25 3UB

General note:

This safety notice targets operators of offshore installations, well operators and drilling contractors who may use or procure this type of equipment.

Please pass this information to a colleague who may have this equipment.