The Mousehole

Production Breakdown


The tragic and true story of a horrific death onboard an oil rig. A man is being hoisted in a harness towards the ‘Mousehole’, a trapdoor in the deck of the rig. His harness slips and instead of hanging vertically, he is dangling horizontally. A radio fails, a crane operator operates blindly, and a man dies. We start after the incident has happened and go back in time to uncover the attitudes and behaviours, which contributed to a fatality. The Mousehole is one of the UK’s most frequently performed safety plays.


John-Paul: I called to the winchman to let Stevie through the mouse hole and I watched him go down the platform. That was fine. About twenty minutes or so later and he waved to come up. I called ‘Up’ for the winch to bring him back. Fine. And then it went……. HE BREATHES DEEPLY

Sue: Do you need to………?

John-Paul: No. No. Stevie was almost at the hatch when his harness slipped. He should have been coming up vertically but he’d slipped so that he was horizontal to the hole. I shouted ‘Stop’ into my radio, but nothing happened. The winch kept pulling Stevie towards the hole. I yelled but the radio…. the bloody radio was dead! It wasn’t charged or something but……. I ran to the PA and punched the button, screaming for the winch to stop, but it records what you say! So it took seconds – not many but it took seconds and before the winchman heard me screaming to stop, Stevie had been pulled through the hole. (PAUSE – SLOWLY) I saw it. His spine was pulled through his body. I killed him



Target Audience

Operatives, Supervisors and Managers.

Key Themes
  • Culture
  • Personal responsibility
  • Risk-taking and rule breaking
  • Intervention/safety conversations
  • Consequences