My Close Call on the Jobsite

Thought I would share a close call I had on the jobsite. I am a rig
welder of about 24 yrs in Canada and was working at a refinery ... At the
present I was welding a 6 inch sched 40 pipe flange to a 90* elbow. I set up
the flange and elbow on the back of my welding truck on a "spinner" so that
I could roll weld the joint. I had a coffee going on the deck of my truck
that morning , I had laid the bead and hot pass and was minding my own
buisness working away.
Meanwhile, aproximately 150 yards from me there was another outfit
doing a hydrostatic test of a 8 inch pipeline we had "welded out" (finished)
a few days prior. The test was completed and they were about to "Dewater"
the pipeline (Drain it of the water used for the test).
An engineer asked what the testers were going to do with the water used
for the test and they said they normally just let it run on the gound
etc..... as it was just local well water. The engineer said in no way would
he have a bunch of water laying about for a few days around the refinery and
he wanted the water trucked out with water trucks. They said no problem and
brought in water trucks to load and haul the water away.
The pipeline the trucks hooked up to was comming down a very long (1/4
to half a mile) sloping hill so the "head pressure" of an 8 inch pipeline
must have been pretty high. One truck in question had hooked to the pipeline
and was taking a load. Then the pipeline gave the truck a burst of air that
was in the line followed by a rush of water combined with the head pressure.
The top of the truck was blown off. I must admit I did hear a low sounding
whoosh but wasn't about to stop a weld as I was laying a cap with a 3/16 X
7018 welding rod and wanted the weld to look uniform. I figured I would take
a look after finishing the weld.
What I didn't see or know about was that a sched #40 -4 inch pipe
about 14 feet in length had been blown off the top of the truck and was a
very "small stick" in the air as they told me later it probably went 300
feet in the air. What I didn't know was that it was comming down in the
vacinity of my welding truck and I was welding off the back of it!. They
started screaming and yelling at me. I forgot to mention that I was using a
Lincoln Classic 3D ........with the "D" meaning deisel. I wouldn't have
heard anybody yelling that far away.
So I am welding away and am about three quarters away around the 6
inch pipe and "KERBANG" .....The pipe landed on my truck cab and welding
machine. The impact of the pipe conecting with the truck broke the arc I was
welding and thank God , because as I lifted my helmet in shock I was hit
with a wave of deisel fuel....The missle had ruptured the fuel tank on my
welding machine.
I looked down at my hot weld and saw it starting to smoke like crazy so
I ran like hell in case it ignited and I would have gone up with it. Luckily
it didn't ignite and my truck and equipment was saved.
The whole outcome of that was about ten thousand dollars worth of
damage to my welding rig and nerve damage to me as I now lift my helmet when
I hear funny noises.
The oil Company was very good about the incident. They just said
'Whatever it takes to fix that truck...send us the bill and we'll look after
it"....and they did...
I just thought I would share this close call I had...
Reply to
Jim & Lil
Loading thread data ...
That _was_ close. Thanks for sharing with us.
Don W.
Jim & Lil wrote:
Reply to
Don W
That was a close one. Thank the good Lord you're still with us without a scratch. Maybe it's time to go out and buy a lottery ticket???
Reply to
And a completely soiled pair of pants, no doubt.
-- And if you wish to avoid crushing social embarrassment, it's red wine with dwarf, white with fetus.
Semolina Pilchard
Reply to
Holy shnighky your not kidding!! That was one close call.
I assume that the oil company/ refinery did a accident investigation after that and set in place procedures to prevent that from ever happening again! Was the engineer found to be at-fault for ordering the dewatering of the pipe in that manner? or is that common practice? I know WCB here in BC would be all over an incident such as that.
Thanks for sharing that with us! every little bit helps if we all can work safer and go home after a job well done.
Reply to
onsite welding
Yes 'Onsite welding" They certainly did an investigation into what happened. I do know that their head office in Calgary treated it like a death. They took it very seriously. What happened to the engineer in question is anyones guess as he was a dinosaur with the company and no one ever saw him after that day. regards...Jim
Reply to
Jim & Lil
Did you walk funny after that with the load in your pants. I would have. Wow, what a story.
Reply to
Man, you better buy a Lottery Ticket!
I think I'd have stopped at every Church, Synagogue, Mosque, Temple, Tent Revival, and underwear emporium all the way home!
That was _way_ too close.
Reply to
John Husvar
- "Jim & Lil" - spluttered in news:
Reply to
Greg M
WOW a routine day at work ! Who would have thought of the possibility of that acuring , my thought would have been that thier was no air in the line . I wounder how many people that could have happened to . As far as how close your "near miss" was . Did you use up all your bad luck or maybe you don't have any good luck left ??? In the pittsburgh area were I work our pipeing is within 50' in elevation and they drain the water in a pan then the water truck sucks it up . These places have thier own septic system and if thier is going to be more water then they can handle they have to wait for the clorine level to drop in the water before they drain it so they can pipe it with , fire hose , to the "Rain water run-off" system.
Reply to
Lewis Edwards
You are fortunate! People just don't realize what a water head can do. A classic told to nme by an operating engineer was a cooling tower on the roof of a twenty story plus building in downtown Vancouver. They plumbed the water directly into the oil heat exchangers for the gensets in the basement. The pressure ruptured the heat exchangers and flooded the crankcases. Randy
Reply to
Randy Zimmerman
Hi Jim - that close call sounds closer than any experience one would chose. There is this school of thought. After a close call it is sometimes better to immediately get back to what you do / were doing. I've had nothing worse happen to me than a machine-tool self-destruct while I was using it, but a skilled machinist immediately invited me into his workshop and I got on with an intricate job in requiring some careful lining-up between different pieces. Stops you thinking about it too much and reading things into it that just aren't there, beyond the fact that you happened to be in a certain place at a certain time, and you are still here. I think this is the sort of thing an aeroplane pilot has to do after surviving a crash. Hope this not overly simplistic speaking to someone of obviously great experience and knowledge. Best wishes
Randy Zimmerman wrote:
Reply to
Richard Smith

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