Drill Pipe Tong Safety-Red Zone Danger
The entire area around the pipe tongs can be a dangerous place. Here are some safety tips
- If your not operating the tongs, you don't need to be in this area at all! If you are the worker operating the tongs you need to be aware of the point where each snub-line limits the tongs movement
- When your tongs are "BIT" its always best to step back a foot or so in case they slip on the tool joint.This is a danger you always need to be aware of
- Resting your body against the lever of the tongs while they work is just asking for trouble. It's common to see hands ride the tongs when tired. Don't do it
The greatest danger area is the red "Hazardous Area"
In this area the motorman normally assists the floorhands in pulling their tongs back
A pull back rope needs to be attached to each set of tongs so the motorman is clear of this area when assisting.
The entire process is simple and safe if you just remember one thing
MAKE 'EM BITE THEN GET OUT OF THE WAY!
It really is that simple.
Always be aware of where you are in relationship to the tongs.
A few more important thoughts to remember that are actually just common sense
- Keep your body, hands and fingers away from pinch points
- Don't get caught between the tongs and the stump
- If your responsible for latching the elevators and the tongs are swinging in towards you, let go and get your hands out of there. Save your fingers to latch another day!