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Rigging Up Operation Precautions

The process of rigging up is placing and assembling various parts of equipment that make up the rig. Then, the rig is prepared for drilling. During assembly of the rig, some of the equipment may be handled and set with a crane, rig-up trucks or forklift.

Process: Setting Up the Substructure


  • Being struck by the crane, load, truck or forklift tipping
  • Pinched fingers when assembling equipment
  • Burns from cutting and welding on the drilling nipple
  • Temporary eye irritation from welding light flash
  • Falling from heights


  • Stand clear of and keep your body parts away from pinch points.
  • Wear long-sleeved clothing to protect your skin from burns.
  • Wear proper welding eye/face protection.
  • Avoid looking directly at the flame or arc when welding.
  • Wear fall protection when working from heights.

Process: Setting Up the Rig Floor and Mast or Derrick


  • Falling or tripping during rigging up, and falling from the rig floor
  • Being struck by swinging equipment or falling tools
  • Being crushed by equipment due to failure or overloading of hoisting equipment
  • Getting entangled in lines during raising of the derrick or mast
  • Failure to properly install the derrick emergency escape device


  • Install, inspect and secure stairs and handrails.
  • Do not use guardrails for anchor points or for lifting or supporting loads.
  • Use fall protection when installing or removing guardrails.
  • Use a tag line to guide equipment, rather than positioning yourself under suspended loads.
  • Check the derrick for unsecured tools before raising it.
  • Only one employee should be on the rig floor when raising the mast.
  • Uncoil all lines so that they are clear of all employees when the mast or derrick is raised.
  • Attach safety lines to all tools hanging from the rig.
  • Keep a safe distance from moving equipment.
  • Install derrick emergency escape devices properly, and in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

Process: Installing Handrails, Guardrails, Stairs, Walkways and Ladders


  • Falls from ladders and stairs due to damage or missing rungs or steps
  • Slips or falls on walkways due to debris or uneven surfaces
  • Falls from heights into the mud pit or mixing tank


  • Use only ladders in good repair that do not have missing rungs.
  • Do not install stairs with missing or damaged steps; repair them before installing them.
  • Keep walkways clean and free of debris and tripping hazards.
  • Use proper fall protection.
  • Put guardrails in place prior to working in elevated areas.

Process: Installing the Power System


  • Tripping on power cords and hoses
  • Slips and falls on slick walking surfaces
  • Getting caught in pinch points
  • Exposure to chemical hazards
  • Being shocked or electrocuted


  • Keep all cords and hoses orderly and clear of walking spaces.
  • Clear and clean all walkways and walking surfaces to prevent slipping hazards.
  • Use caution around chain and belt pinch point areas.
  • Install and maintain machine guards.
  • Use proper personal protective equipment (PPE) when working with chemicals.
  • Use proper lockout/tagout procedures.

Process: Rigging Up the Circulating System


  • Being struck or crushed by equipment being set into place
  • Getting caught in pinch points
  • Being struck by a crane, load, truck or forklift that is tipping
  • Being struck by a hammer when it is connecting mud line unions


  • Keep a safe distance from equipment that is coming together or moving. Also maintain a safe distance from pinch points.
  • Stand clear of employees using hammers.

After production casing is run and cemented, the rig is taken down and moved to another site. The rigging down is the reverse of the rigging up process. Therefore, the hazards and solutions are similar for this process as well.

For informational purposes only. Not intended as legal advice. © 2012, 2015, 2017 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.

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