The Risk Management Tool Box Blog

Loss of Containment Safety Alert

Graham Marshall - Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Feature today is another APPEA safety alert which highlights a loss of containment incident at Woodside.  The alert highlights the ever-present need to ensure that good procedures are in place and being followed whenever safety critical operations - such as valve pressure testing - are being undertaken.

Risk Tool Box Website Milestone

Graham Marshall - Tuesday, October 30, 2012

It has taken 22 months - since we started the Risk Management Tool Box safety blog in January 2011 - but we've finally cracked a record number of visitors to the site last week.

We've seen seven consecutive days (one whole week) with in excess of 1,000 visitors per day to the Risk Tool Box safety blog.

So if you're reading this post, you're in good company!

Over the previous 22 months we've hit a number of milestones we set for ourselves when creating the safety blog.  First records to fall were 50 visits in a day.  We then aimed for a 100 visits in a day and then 1,000 visits in a week.

After about six months, we were regularly hitting 10,000 visits per month.

For quite some time we've been getting between 800 and 1,000 visits per day but we were really looking to hit a consistent number with in excess of 1,000 readers per day for a whole week.  We've now achieved that milestone.

Our next milestone, which may take a little while to reach is to sustain the rate of readers at 1,000 per day for a whole month.




Insurance Costs Set to Rise for Fuel Tanker Drivers

Graham Marshall - Monday, October 29, 2012

Lumley Insurance has called for increased risk management in the fuel transportation industry in the wake of damning accident statistics over the past two years.

The number of major crashes involving the fuel tankers in Australia has increase by 30 per cent compared to the previous two years while the cost of these crashes to insurers has increased by over 90 per cent  in the same period.

Over 40 per cent of insurance claims relating to fuel tankers are due to rollovers at roundabouts.

While there are valid arguments about roundabout engineering and road cambers not being conducive to truck stability, legitimate questions need to be asked about the training and skills required to drive fuel tankers.

The fuel industry needs to implement effective risk management training not just to reduce the amount of accidents or even to reduce their insurance premiums but to increase the safety of our roads for everyone who uses them.

Lumley have been liaising with brokers and the industry on this issue, and recommend:

 Improved driver safety training – mandated to multiple times per year with a focus on operating heavy vehicles with care and consideration;

 Driver attitude training to deal with the frustration that comes with driving long distances;

 Safety placed before time constraints with incentives provided for driver safety record;

 On-board cameras to monitor the road and the driver, with the footage captured, used to educate drivers;

 GPS tracking of trucks so that companies can monitor the speed of their drivers;

 ‘How’s my driving?’ stickers on the back of vehicles for the public to report poor driving behaviour; and

 Rosters similar to that of the airline industry where drivers aren’t allowed to drive unless they have had a certain amount of rest.

The tanker truck industry needs to acknowledge that if safety standards don’t change, insurers will have little choice but to increase prices and deductibles significantly to cover the cost of these accidents.

Furthermore, the capacity of insurers to underwrite fuel risks may also be limited to writing risks that can demonstrate good risk management processes.

The cost of accidents caused by fuel tanker rollovers isn’t just a financial one. It’s now time for the fuel industry to do more to ensure that they are improving the safety of our roads for ALL road users.

ADG7 takes Effect in Victoria

Graham Marshall - Sunday, October 28, 2012

The State of Victoria's law is now consistent with an updated national framework for transporting dangerous goods by road or rail.

The framework, which is the responsibility of the National Transport Commission (NTC), closely aligns with international standards for the safe transport and storage of dangerous goods.

Victoria’s Dangerous Goods Act (1985) has been amended to adopt the national framework and introduce new regulations for the safe transport of dangerous goods.

For consistency, minor amendments have also been made to other Victorian regulations.

Importantly, the law now references the 7th edition of the Australian Dangerous Goods Code (ADG7).

ADG7 includes updated technical requirements for classifying, packing, labeling, consigning and transporting dangerous goods.

If you are already compliant with dangerous goods laws you’re well positioned to meet the new requirements.

For many workplaces and duty holders, responsibilities will not significantly change with the transition to ADG7.

All businesses must comply with ADG7.

The new requirements include:

 Some changes to labeling and marking requirements for a number of dangerous goods;

 New documentation requirements for transporting dangerous goods;

 Some new and clarified supply chain responsibilities for consignors, packers, people loading vehicles, drivers, prime contractors and rail operators;

 New word definitions and terms that align with international and intermodal practice;

 Concessions for transporting small quantities of dangerous goods, such as very small consignments and goods for personal or trade use;

 Issuing of dangerous goods licences raised from three to five years;

 Changes to eligibility for Victorian dangerous goods drivers and vehicle licences; and

 A minimum requirement for $5 million of insurance for placard loads.


Professor Murray Lampard

Graham Marshall - Saturday, October 27, 2012

Western Australia's new top road safety advisor, Professor Murray Lampard, is off to a great start in blaming the Western Australian public for its apathy over road-deaths in the State.  It breaks "Rule Number 1" of any safety promotion program - "don't blame the victims".

I think it would be fairer to say that the public of WA is more apathetic over the failures of the WA Government to curb the road fatality rate over the previous 20 years or more.  They're the real problem here, not the WA drivers who desperately need a new program and a new approach to help them reduce fatal accidents.

Since 2001 the road fatality rate has dropped 32 per cent across Australia but just 3 per cent in WA, making the State the worst in the Country.

But that statistic is not the fault of the WA public. 

Rather, it is totally a result of the inept focus of the WA road safety council on "speeding" and the widespread understanding of the population that the Government is simply interested in revenue raising by way of traffic fines.

Not a single safety professional in any industry in any country in the World would run a safety campaign that involved having "observers" hide in the workplace and jump out when they "catch" a worker doing something unsafe.

But that premise is the basis of the WA road safety campaign which sees police officers hiding in the bushes and ambushing drivers who are traveling a few kms over the posted speed limit.

Even worse that that is the use of speed cameras to snap pictures of "offenders" who don't even get the opportunity for some human-interaction with the "observer".  They just get a fine in the mail about a  month later. 

No safety campaign in reputable organizations such as Shell, BHP Billiton, BP or Woodside would ever take this approach to promoting safer behaviour.  And they have workers doing potentially high-risk jobs such as driving.

So it's no wonder that the WA public has grown apathetic to the advice of Government on this matter. We all know it's a con-trick that needs to be changed - and soon if road fatalities in WA are to be reduced.

Spam sandwich contest

Graham Marshall - Saturday, October 27, 2012

Congratulations to the winners of our spam sanwich eating contest.

Control Temporary Changes to Process Conditions.

Graham Marshall - Friday, October 26, 2012

Whenever changes to process equipment; or changes to the operating parameters of a process are made, there needs to be adequate "Management of Change" ("MOC") undertaken to ensure that risk introduced by the changes is reduced to as low as reasonably practicable.  In ensuring that risk is ALARP, the following controls should be considered:

+   Follow a Management of Change procedure for all modifications to an existing design or changes to the use of equipment operating parameters;

+   Ensure that temporary modifications have a thorough "risk" analysis as permanent changes;

+   Never make changes to process equipment without review by qualified experts to assure that the change follows engineering standards and good practice;

+   Follow recommendations from the manufacturer of your equipment;

+   If “temporary” modifications are made to a plant, they should have an “expiration date”, and be removed before that date;

+    You should do another management of change review for removal of the temporary installation;

+   Don’t let a temporary change become permanent without a "risk" review; and

+   If you see equipment in your plant which is no longer used or needed, suggest that it be removed!


UK set to resume fracking - good thing too!

Graham Marshall - Thursday, October 25, 2012

A survey of nearly 3,000 respondents published in the UK Daily Telegraph newspaper on Tuesday 16th October shows that over 76 per cent of the UK population are in favour of the Government over-turning the moratorium on hydraulic fracturing and allowing companies such as Cuadrilla, which used the controversial technique near Blackpool, to renew its drilling activities.

A number of independent reports recommend resuming fracking - which sees liquids pumped into rocks to force gas out – and the UK Government looks set to give the go-ahead in November.   The Risk Management Tool Box welcomes the news of the resumption of hydraulic fracturing within the UK.

Ed Davey, the Energy Secretary said: “We will make an announcement around the time of the gas strategy.”

The gas strategy - setting out the Government’s plans to encourage construction of gas-fired power plants - is expected in within the next two weeks alongside the Energy Bill, which is intended to bring forward investment in new low-carbon power plants.

Mr Davey has said that he hopes to give the green light to shale gas extraction.

The Chancellor George Osborne, has also said the Government was considering new tax breaks for shale gas “so that Britain is not left behind as gas prices tumble on the other side of the Atlantic”.

Drilling for shale reserves could create 35,000 jobs in the UK and provide a tenth of the country's gas supply for a century, claims the Institute of Directors (IoD).

The IoD has released a new report on the process with an upward revision in the estimate of the size of the UK's shale gas reserves; up from 5.3 trillion cubic feet. There will also be huge environmental benefits to using shale gas over coal-fired power plants.

Dan Lewis, chief energy adviser to the IoD said: "we have a massive reserve of shale gas sitting right beneath our feet and we must take advantage of it.  We cannot afford to pass up this opportunity".

We agree!

USA Fire Safety Month

Graham Marshall - Wednesday, October 24, 2012

More people die from fires in the USA than from hurricanes, earthquakes, floods and all other natural disasters combined. 

That's why October is the national fire safety month in the USA and the campaign to educate people about the dangers of fire and how to react in an emergency.

Following these fire safety rules can help you prevent fires in your home:

●  Develop a fire safety evacuation plan and teach your family, children and grand kids about the plan;

●  Be sure to install smoke detectors in your home (to it today);

●  If you already have smoke detectors fitted, check the batteries;

●  Push the test button on your smoke detector so your kids know the sound and practice your evacuation with your family members;

●  Never place heaters or candles near to curtains;

●  Never store flammable or combustible materials near to a heat source; and

●  Install a fire-extinguisher and/or fire blanket in your home.

In the event that a fire breaks out in your home, make sure you use the following controls:

●  If there is thick smoke in the home, get low and crawl on the floor to the exit;

●  Touch any closed door with the back of your hand to test for heat.  Never enter through a hot door;

●  Stop, drop and roll if your clothing catches fire; and

●  Don't delay in calling the Fire Department for help.


Magnetic Lifting Device Safety Alert

Graham Marshall - Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Featured below is another of the latest safety alerts from APPEA showing information on a dropped object resulting from a failure to adopt a robust procedure when using a magnetic lifting device.

As with any lifting operation, it is imperative that crane operators and/or load riggers check and verify the status of slinging and rigging equipment; and that attachment methods are sound.  Furthermore, as always with any lift, no person should ever enter the "fall zone" in line-of-fire of the load which is why tag-lines of adequate length should be in use.  Read the alert for further information on this specific incident and for more information on the key learnings.

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