The Risk Management Tool Box Blog

Safety for Industrial Hoses

Graham Marshall - Monday, October 31, 2011

The incorrect storage and use of industrial hoses creates many triggers leading to hose failure incidents and the subsequent loss of containment of process hazards.  The triggering mechanisms for hoses include:

#  High frequency connection and disconnection of hoses gives more scope for problems to develop;

#  Improper storage leading to chemical or mechanical breakdown of hose materials;

#  Higher frequency of flexing leading to mechanical breakdown of hose materials;

#  Using a hose for multiple purposes which increase the scope for chemical contamination;

#  Inadequate or incorrect labeling of hoses;

#  Internal blockage of hoses leading to over-pressurization failures; and

#  Incorrect selection of a hose for a given process condition (eg, temperature, pressure).

In response to the common problems when using industrial hoses, below are listed some suggested controls that should be implemented:

Always inspect hoses before using them.  Check the outside for corrosion or signs of leakage.  Be sure that you are able to see the entire outside of the hose when you inspect it.  Is part of the hose covered by something which keeps you from seeing damage?

If practical and safe to do so, also look inside the hose to ensure the hose is clean and unblocked.

Check that gaskets or O-rings seals are in good condition.  Also check that the fittings are undamaged.

Ensure that hoses are inspected or replaced as required in the hose management maintenance schedule.

Metal braided hoses which have frayed or corroded braids should always be immediately replaced.

Review the procedure for ensuring that the material of hose construction is correct for the process condition.

Make sure to only use the correct hose – particularly that it is the correct material of construction and pressure rating.

Make sure hoses are properly and securely connected to piping, and properly supported. Use "whip-checks" when necessary.

Properly clean and store hoses to prevent contamination or damage.

Protect hoses from vehicle impact damage.

Qantas Dispute

Graham Marshall - Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Risk Tool Box wishes to apologize to our customers who are being negatively impacted by our inability to travel to work locations due to Qantas CEO Alan Joyce's decision to suspend all flights out of Australia.

Due to the lack of workplace participation and any sign of obvious good leadership within Qantas - the cornerstone of good safety practices - we have also lost faith in the Senior Management Team of Qantas to deliver a safe and reliable service.

In response to Alan Joyce's inadequate management of his airline and our safety and reliability concerns about Qantas, the Risk Tool Box is now instructing our employees to make Qantas the last airline of choice when booking flights for business purposes.

We are also making urgent arrangements with other carriers to re-book and mobilize employees as soon as possible.

Once again, we apologize for the problems that Alan Joyce is causing to our customers.


Graham Marshall - Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Australian Senate has passed legislation which establishes a single nation-wide regulator for the offshore energy sector covering exploration and production.  The new regulator will be called the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) and there will also be a new National Offshore Petroleum Titles Administrator brought into being.

NOPSEMA will replace the existing Australian National Offshore Petroleum Safety Authority (NOPSA), which a report into the Montara oil spill on the NW shelf of Western Australia in 2009 partly blamed for the accident. 

The Government aims to have the new NOPSEMA regulator fully operational by January 1 2012, Resources Minister Martin Ferguson said in a statement recently.

Improving Safety in the Bakken

Graham Marshall - Friday, October 28, 2011
I feel privileged to have been able to spend a great 15-week work stint with the best team of EHS professionals I've come across in a long time.

The "A" Team Safety Crew - the best in the business!
Front Row - Ruben Aguilar, Jo Pipps, Jose Zenito.
Back Row - Graham Marshall, Andrew Agnew, Matt Muntz, Will McDonagh, Ronny Walker and Wes Frisco.

The Construction EHS Specialists have made a significant difference to a number of construction projects and sites across Western North Dakota over the previous six-months.

The JSAs we've seen getting developed by the guys on the tools have improved out-of-sight as a result of the hard work in coaching, mentoring and training being done by the EHS team above.

Thank you all for the help you've given me on my JSA improvement project in ND and best regards to you all.

Carbon Dioxide Fatality at McDonalds Restaurant

Graham Marshall - Thursday, October 27, 2011

An 80-year-old lady was overcome by carbon dioxide gas and died last month in the bathroom of a McDonald's restaurant in South Georgia (USA).  Nine other people were made unwell by the leaking gas, including three fire fighters who were responding to the emergency call.

The carbon dioxide leak occurred at McDonald's in Pooler, Georgia.  

Pooler Fire Chief Wade Simmons said that the gas escaped from plastic piping that connected the restaurants carbon dioxide cylinder to the fizzy drinks machines.

Investigators testing the pipe work found "very high levels of carbon dioxide getting into the bathroom, in the walls," Simmons said. The 80-year-old Florida woman died on Thursday 15th September after she was overcome by the gas leak in the bathroom.

The elderly lady was one of two women whom emergency responders discovered in an unconscious condition in the restroom.

Fire Chief Simmons said McDonald's employees had no idea the line was leaking. "The lines go into the walls, and they up go into the ceilings," he said. Similar leaks have occurred at restaurants in other cities, he added.

McDonald's is committed to providing a safe environment for customers, said Lee Renz, chief restaurant officer for McDonald's USA. "We have safety protocols in place for all of our restaurants," Renz said in a statement. "While this was an isolated set of circumstances, we are investigating this situation and reviewing our procedures, as well as those of our suppliers, to ensure the highest safety of our restaurants."



Kinetic Hazards In Mining

Graham Marshall - Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Just plain ridiculous....


Can you spot the hazard?



Managing Outrage at James Price Point

Graham Marshall - Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Over previous days I've been posting about the risk of anti-development public outrage associated with fracking for coal seam gas (CSG). 

But Woodside's proposed Browse LNG hub at James Price Point near Broome is another great example of the risk of eco-activists and other NIMBYs ("not in my backyard") with local vested interests stirring up community outrage about a good project.

The real risk isn't with the Woodside Browse LNG hub at Broome, but rather the risk of a tiny minority of anti-development activists convincing the wider community to become concerned enough to derail yet another sustainable and clean energy source to the detriment of the wider community.

So today I'm posting some more tips on the ways the anti-development and NIMBY activists attempt to stir up community outrage.

 Understanding how extremists work is important if we're to counter their claims.

The eco-activists and NIMBY opponents of any energy-sector project will always be on safe ground when they make wild exaggerated and negative claims about a project.  If Woodside accuses the critics of exaggeration, however, they will appear defensive and dishonest.  Even though Woodside will be right.

Those with an alarmist agenda can make the most outrageous negative claims.   And they instinctively know that Woodside can’t make outrageous positive claims.  In a fight between “perfectly safe” and “incredibly dangerous” - the eco-activists know that messages about the dangers will always win.  All that Woodside can do is to try to stake out the middle ground with messages such as “better than alternatives”, “better than the government requirements”, “best we can make it”, etc.

The eco-activists know that exaggeration of the negatives increases the potential for public outrage.  They also know that exaggeration of the positives by Woodside is also likely to increases outrage.  They know that in polarized debates, "big oil" will always lose!

The eco-activists know that arguments about the scientific "facts" of a project development cannot conquer emotions.  Emotional responses will win every time.  They also know that the complaints of "victims" will always hold the moral high ground over the positive claims of business.

Those activists from the NIMBY side of things will typically look towards an environmental spin in their concerns.  They'll be on safe moral ground talking about risk to the environment; concerns about emissions on the health of their kids; the dangers to the local turtles and such like.  What they're probably concerned about, however, are their fears about falls in local property values or the potential for loss of business revenue. 

They realize, however, that talking about these subjects makes them look like shabby money-grubbers so the topic driving community outrage will usually be dressed up with an environmental tinge.

Pointing this out to project critics is, however, usually not so successful in overcoming their outrage!

10 ways to reduce concerns about fracking

Graham Marshall - Monday, October 24, 2011

If you haven't been following the blog posts over recent days about the outrage potential within the community regarding hydraulic fracturing for coal seam gas (CSG) and other non-conventionals, then it may  be worth going back over the last week and taking a look.

Today, I am going to share 10 tips that work to reduce the outrage potential of any issue such as fracking.  Before doing so,  however, you should understand that we at the Risk Tool Box consider hydraulic fracturing to be a perfectly acceptable hydrocarbon recovery process and without undue risk when managed in accordance with Western standards of oil-field work. 

The problem for us is not with fracking per se, but rather, the negative community perception towards fracking which could pose a significant risk to the CSG industry and this valuable, clean and sustainable energy source.  That's why we're putting forward the tips that work to reduce outrage.

Each of the tips offered today reduce outrage because they work to foster trust and promote honesty.


1.  Tell people any bad news that they already know.  Hearing the facts about bad news from industry is always better than leaving the facts to be exaggerated by the highly involved anti-CSG activists.  You’ll gain credit for your candor, and saying something is always better than saying nothing because it reduces uncertainty in the community.

2.  It sounds odd, but repeat bad news as often as you can.  People want to hear bad news until they’re sick of the topic - not until you’re sick of talking about it.  Wallowing in bad information is the best way to get past it.  People will tire of bad news faster if you raise it rather than them digging for it.

3.  You must demonstrate your concern about the community concerns.  But, do not use the word regret - only to be used by weasel lawyers and snake-eyed politicians.   You'll also get no credit for conditional apologizing - “We’re sorry IF anyone is upset”. Public response - “what do you mean IF?”  Apologizing means knowing what was done and why people find that it is upsetting.  Being sorry DOES NOT have to mean acknowledging liability.

4.  Be up front and tell the community about bad news they will discover.   It’s always better when people hear it straight from industry (i.e., the facts) rather than the exaggerated claims they will hear from anti-CSG activists.
Don’t wait for the exaggerated claims to come from journo’s, activists, etc.

5.  Consider telling bad news that people won’t discover.  Firstly, the information may become public later - which will be worse.  Damaging information is far more damaging when it appears to have been kept secret.  When you reveal damaging information that you didn’t have to reveal, you’ll get a public perception for transparency.   People begin to notice when you do something wrong because you say so.  It follows that when you don’t say so, you didn’t do anything wrong!

6.  Always provide information that isn’t bad but might sound bad to the community.  Benign information that may sound worrying will worry people if they hear it from eco-activists - who will always exaggerate the size, scale or magnitude of the problem to drive their agenda.  The community will be much less outraged to hear about perceived problems from you.

7.  Don’t keep anyone in the dark.  Convey news equally to everyone.  All critics - even those in the anti-CSG camp should be on the “must tell “A” list”.  They’ll be upset and angry to be left off!  Give an early heads up to anyone the media may call.  Anyone not in the know will choose to sound critical rather than ignorant.

8.   Whenever there is bad news, people look to one of four explanations -
A. You were unlucky (act of god),
B. You were the victim (somebody else did it),
C. You made a mistake (you’re stupid),
D. You did it on purpose (you’re evil).
Admitting to your mistakes (you were stupid) stops people believing you’re evil, which is always the worst promoter of outrage and the one that the anti-CSG activists will promote.  

9.  Whenever you tell someone something that you know they will have difficulty believing (usually good news from an oil company), tell them they’re going to have trouble believing it.  In other words, acknowledge incredibility.  Acknowledge that the burden of proof is on you.  “I know, that’s what I thought when I started here and it took weeks for me to be convinced I was wrong”.

10.  Tell people the good news about fracking and the benefits of CSG recovery.  It may not be believed but tell people the good news anyway.


4th Annual GSG Associated Water Conference

Graham Marshall - Sunday, October 23, 2011

Seeing as this week I'm running a series of features on managing risk associated with coal seam gas (CSG), you may be interested in knowing about and registering for the 4th Annual Coal Seam Gas Associated Water Conference, to be held in Brisbane, Queensland in August 2012.

The Conference will include case studies on water management issues associated with CSG; examine the latest technological advances and opportunities for CSG water management; and include panel discussions from major stakeholders in the industry.

Other highlights of the Conference include:

•   A review of recent CSG industry developments as they pertain to water management;
•   A review of the new Queensland Government policy on CSG Projects; and
•   Consider the role of CSG water as a valuable water resource.



Managing the outrage potential of "fracking"

Graham Marshall - Saturday, October 22, 2011

Over the previous days I've been posting about the risk to the coal seam gas (CSG) industry posed by the potential for community outrage surrounding hydraulic fracturing ("fracking").

From a technical - well integrity - standpoint, the level and type of risk associated with fracking is largely insignificant provided standard industry practices are used in well development.  But this fact has not been enough to prevent fracking getting a bad press.  So what can be done by those with CSG resources to manage the potential for community concern?

The level of risk associated with fracking is “objectively small” for organizations working under Australian and UK legal standards, but green activists out there in the wider-World  think it is BIG!

Activists will always exaggerate the “worst case” and still  win support.  Unfortunately, the energy sector cannot exaggerate the “best case” and win support in the same way.

In order to counter the exaggerated claims of green activists, we need to acknowledge the (small) range of the problem with fracking.

We also need to tell people what we're doing to solve any problems with fracking.  We need to demonstrate responsiveness to the concerns of the community.

In order to reduce the potential for outrage, the CSG industry needs to adopt the following strategy:

1.  Openly and honestly share information about the dilemma of costs and benefits of fracking in developing CSG reserves.

2.  Acknowledge the existence of past problems in fracking and any current problems.

3.  Visualize a better future by demonstrating how we're wanting to solve the CSG problems.

4.  Share the problem-solving process with the community through good-quality stakeholder consultation.

In tomorrow's post, I'll highlight some great outrage prevention techniques.



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