The Risk Management Tool Box Blog

Outback Journey Management

Graham Marshall - Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The death of a WA truck driver who walked 50 kilometers in + 100F heat in the remote West Australian outback when his truck became bogged highlights once again the need for careful journey management planning when making longer road trips in the Australian summer.
 
The 35-year-old driver, a subbie working for Toll Transport had no hat and was wearing only a singlet and shorts. 

He died after walking for up to eight hours and he was still 20km from the town of Wiluna, where he was headed.

As is so often the case with these types of tragic events, a few simple risk management strategies could almost certainly have reduced the risk to ALARP.

At the Risk Tool Box, we make the following suggestions when you're planning any major road trip in outback Australia:

1.  Check the basics - enough fuel, state of tyres including the spare, radiator and cooling system;

2.  Plan to drive during the coolest part of the day;

3.  Keep the vehicle cool when parked - use a windscreen heat shield;

4.  Ensure to have enough drinking water for the trip;

5.  Take an emergency tool box and key spare parts (hoses, fan belts, tyre repair kit, etc);

6.  Carry a mobile phone, satellite phone or CB radio;

7.  Register your trip plan - route, estimated journey time, expected time of arrival - with someone you trust to raise help in an emergency (this can be done at a local Police Station); and

8.  Unless you're absolutely certain of your ability to walk to a close-by rescue point (e.g., a farm you can see or a town within a mile or two) in almost all cases, it is best to stay with the vehicle to await rescue than to set off in search of rescue.

 

 

 

Strategies to Prevent Pollution

Graham Marshall - Monday, January 30, 2012

The UK Environmental Agency has produced an excellent guide titled Pollution Prevention Pays.

The guide addresses the risk management issues surrounding 11 pollution prevention strategies.

The issues are highlighted below and covered in the Pollution Prevention Pays Guide. 

1.   Site Drainage;
2.   Deliveries and Materials Handling;
3.   Above ground storage of hazardous substances;
4.   Underground storage;
5.   Waste Management;
6.   Managing Trade Effluent;
7.   Cleaning;
8.   De-watering;
9    Groundwater Protection;
10.  Training; and
11.  Emergency response.

To access the free Pollution Prevention Pays guide, simply click here.

 

 

 

 

 

Maintaining Small Oil Storage Tanks

Graham Marshall - Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Oil Fire Technical Association and the Federation of Petroleum Suppliers, together with the UK Environment Agency have released a Pollution Prevention Guide to assist small to medium size enterprizes and homeowners to mange the risk associated with above-ground oil storage tanks.

At the Risk Tool Box, we recommend you review the PPG if you’ve installed a new tank at your home or business or if you’ve moved into premises with an existing tank.

The guide gives useful information and advice about above-ground oil storage tanks and how to look after them.

A free copy of the PPG is available by simply clicking here.

Fatal Shark Attacks in WA

Graham Marshall - Saturday, January 28, 2012

We're now at the height of summer in Western Australia and the 40+ degree days keep rolling on.  With the hot weather comes the West Aussie urge to hit the beach.  But with three fatal shark attacks in WA waters already this summer, some folks are nervous about getting into the water.

So what can you do to manage the bio-hazard posed by sharks?  A few simple risk-management actions can lower the risk of shark attack considerably.

But lets start with a simple fact to address the fear - the chance of being killed by a shark is already an extremely low probability event.  As my nine-year old daughter (and budding surf life saver) reminds me - more people are killed when coca-cola vending machines topple over on them!

So what can you do to reduce the risk of shark-attack to ALARP?

+  Avoid swimming in the presence of large schools of bait fish;

+  Swim at patrolled beaches or with large groups of other people;

+  Sharks are not put off by crowds but there is more chance someone will notice the shark;

+  Avoid swimming at night;  and

+  Try to swim in clear water and stay close to shore (where you're able to stand).

Lastly, if visiting the beach, tell someone responsible where you're going and when you'll return and don't forget to be sun-smart. 

 

You can't fix stupid!

Graham Marshall - Friday, January 27, 2012

Thank God it's Friday!  But it never ceases to amaze me the chances that people will take to get a job done.

Maybe the saying that "you can't fix stupid" is true...

 

The use of ladder like this is just asking for trouble.

To review a JSA with adequate controls for the use of ladders, simply click here.

 

 

 

Happy Australia Day

Graham Marshall - Thursday, January 26, 2012

Today, Thursday 26th January 2012 marks the 224th anniversary of the founding of modern Australia with the arrival of the 11 convict ships in Port Jackson - now Sydney - in 1788.

Happy Australia Day to all of our Australian readers.

Preventing Pollution During De-watering

Graham Marshall - Wednesday, January 25, 2012

It is often necessary for some organizations, such as power and utility companies, and their contractors to de-water underground ducts and chambers prior to access for maintenance or other works.

The de-watering requirements in such cases tend to be of low volume but they occur widely.

Unfortunately, water that has accumulated within a duct or chamber may often be contaminated with substances such as oil, silt and dissolved chemicals.

 All of those hazardous substances can adversely affect water quality if they are not disposed of appropriately.

In order to protect rivers and groundwater, it is therefore essential to exercise good risk-management when de-watering any location.

The UK Environment Agency has produced an excellent Pollution Prevention Guide (PPG-20) in order to assist those engaged in the de-watering of underground ducts and inspection chambers.

To access a free copy of the PPG, simply click here.

Risk Assessment Descriptors for Catastrophic Consequences

Graham Marshall - Tuesday, January 24, 2012
In qualitative risk assessment, risk is a subjective description of the likelihood of a hazard being uncontrollably released together with the magnitude of resulting consequences.

Risk consequences are typically assigned a value along a scale running from "minor", through "severe", "major" and ending in "catastrophic" outcomes. 

Catastrophic consequences are typically described as including multiple fatalities or multiple persons with permanent disabling injuries.

Catastrophic consequences also include extensive damage to equipment and assets with costs exceeding many millions of dollars, environmental harm with a relatively long-term impacts and reputation impacts with  long term damage to "brand" and a possibility of business closer.

Catastrophic consequences may also result in legal proceedings, and the loss of licence to operate.

Risk Assessment Descriptors for Major Consequences

Graham Marshall - Monday, January 23, 2012
In qualitative risk assessment, risk is a subjective description of the likelihood of a hazard being uncontrollably released together with the magnitude of resulting consequences.

Risk consequences are typically assigned a value along a scale running from "minor", through "severe", "major" and ending in "catastrophic" outcomes. 

Major consequences are typically described as including single fatalities or permanent disabling injuries.

Major consequences also include major damage to equipment with costs exceeding $1  Million, environmental harm with a relatively longer-term impact and/or reputation impacts with  a significant nationwide impact on business.

Major consequences may also result in legal proceedings, and restrictions in the ability to trade.

Risk Assessment Descriptors for Severe Consequences

Graham Marshall - Sunday, January 22, 2012
In qualitative risk assessment, risk is a subjective description of the likelihood of a hazard being uncontrollably released together with the magnitude of resulting consequences.

Risk consequences are typically assigned a value along a scale running from "minor", through "severe", "major" and ending in "catastrophic" outcomes. 

Severe consequences are typically described as major injuries resulting in lost-time of greater than four days duration.

Severe consequences also include significant damage to equipment, environmental harm with a relatively longer-term impact and/or reputation impacts with  significant impacts on business.



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