The Risk Management Tool Box Blog

Define Housekeeping

Graham Marshall - Monday, April 09, 2012

Here's a funny thing; I've been working up a Housekeeping Procedure for one of my clients, and I thought it would be a good idea to start with a definition of housekeeping.

I thought this would be straightforward enough since everyone knows what housekeeping is.  Right? 


Housekeeping is not just keeping a work place tidy. It's not just about hygiene and cleanliness either.

As I thought about it a little more, it occurred to me that "housekeeping" is much more than these things. 

So here is the definition I came up with.  What do you think?

"Housekeeping is a systematic process for reducing the risk off accidents.  It achieves this objective by ensuring that:

+  Areas of work are laid out to a specific plan, taking account of necessary EHS considerations;

+  Due consideration is given to the "hierarchy of control" when designing a given work space;

+  Equipment, tools and other items are placed, used and/or stored appropriately;

+  Chemicals are stored, used and disposed of correctly;

+  Safety signage, barriers and barricade areas  are installed and used appropriately; and

+  The location is continuously monitored and kept in a fit and tidy state."

Snagging Threats for Crane Lifts

Graham Marshall - Sunday, April 08, 2012

Highlighted today is another safety alert from the Marine Safety Forum.

The alert highlights the risk involved in heavy lifts on offshore platforms.

In this example, several new crane boom sections were loaded and transported offshore as part of a crane refurbishment program.

There was a lift plan for the boom sections but this only covered the operation of swinging the boom sections over the installation deck and landing them in their designated positions.

The plan did not consider the operation of lifting the boom sections from the vessel deck.

The load-out of the vessel focussed on the vulnerability of the lights on the boom sections and how best to load the boom sections to avoid damage to these during transit.

There was no consideration given to the snagging hazards presented by the walkway on the boom sections.

As a consequence the boom sections were loaded close to the crash barriers on the vessel.

During the hoisting of one of the crane boom sections, the walkway on the boom section snagged on the vessel crash barrier, damaging the walkway.

The MSF safety alert highlights the issues and provides pictures.

To access the safety alert, simply click here.

Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum

Graham Marshall - Saturday, April 07, 2012

The Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum’s 2012 Conference & Exhibition takes place in Edmonton, Alberta, next month between May 6-9, 2012.

According to the organizer, CIM's 29th Exhibition will feature the latest equipment, technology, processes and services.

Buyers, planners, engineers, researchers, technical experts, managers and directors can meet the best equipment and service suppliers focused on serving the needs of the mining and minerals industry in Canada.

 Further details about the Conference from Attendance Marketing by telephone on 888-682-7770 ext 104.

Power Station Turbine Accident

Graham Marshall - Friday, April 06, 2012

A UK reader of the blog has forwarded to me this slide pack showing photographs of the damaged sustained at the Duhva power station in South Africa.

As the photographs show, the power station was extensively damaged in a major accident last month. 

The accident apparently occurred when one of the turbine units that was undergoing routine tests malfunctioned, causing it to fly apart and sparking a fire.

 The pictures of damage shown in slides 11 to 15, and from number 22 onwards are particularly striking images of the kinetic energy hazard potential!

Australian Drinking Water Guidelines

Graham Marshall - Thursday, April 05, 2012

In order to provide an improved framework for good management of drinking water, the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) has released a new Australian Drinking Water Guideline (ADWG).

The new guideline applies particularly to small water supplies such as those found in remote communities, mine sites and offshore oil and gas installations.

The purpose of the new NHMRC guideline is to ensure the water is safe to drink.

The guideline addresses both the health and aesthetic aspects of good quality drinking water.

The advantage of the ADWG guideline is that it places emphasis on a preventive approach to managing water quality, with less reliance on water testing - which can be problematic for remote camps.

Thus the focus, in relation to small water supplies, should be on regular inspection of the system to check for any sources of contamination, and the use of a clean, unpolluted water source.

The new NHMRC Australian Drinking Water Guidelines can be found by clicking here (note PDF document is a little over 5 MEG so may take a few moments to upload).

Electrical Line Strike Procedure

Graham Marshall - Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Between 2001 and 2011, there were approximately 80 cases of mobile equipment coming into contact with live overhead power lines in Western Australia.

Lines strikes occur on average about eight time per year and a quarter of all workplace electrical fatalities are due to line strikes.

Excavators are the most common pieces of equipment to cause line strikes, followed by trucks, drill-rigs and cranes.

The following actions are recommended should contact be made with a live overhead power line or a flash-over occurs with mobile plant.

+    Stop all work in the vicinity of the incident and summon help to have the power line isolated.

+    Keep all personnel away from the mobile plant, as the equipment and ground could be energized.

+    If assistance is unavailable, attempt to break the machinery’s contact with the live overhead power line.

+   Jumping from affected plant while the power line is still energized is not recommended.

+   However, where there is a risk of imminent danger, such as fire, jumping may be a necessary option.

+   Leap clear of the plant and specifically avoid simultaneous physical contact between the plant and ground.

+   Report the incident to management, any network authority and Resources Safety.

+   An exclusion zone of 300 metres should be maintained around rubber-tyred mobile plant for at least 24 hours.

+   The exclusion zone is to ensure that no-one is put at risk in the event of a tyre explosion.

+   The operator should be sent to have a precautionary electrocardiogram (ECG).

+  Mobile plant that has been in contact with a live overhead power line must be checked for damage.

+  Any necessary repairs must be completed before the mobile plant is returned to service.

Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations (DSEAR)

Graham Marshall - Tuesday, April 03, 2012

The Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations (DSEAR) came into force on 9 December 2002 and implement the Explosive Atmospheres (ATEX 137) Directive and safety requirements of the Chemical Agents Directive (CAD).

DSEAR are concerned with preventing or limiting the harmful effects of fires, explosions and similar energy-releasing events.

The DSEA Regulations are goal-setting regulations and they replaced much specific legislation on flammable and explosive substances.

They are supported by a set of Approved Code of Practice and Guidance (ACoPs) reflecting good practices in controlling risk associated with management of hazardous substances.

The DSEA Regulations apply whenever the following conditions have been satisfied:

•   There is work being carried out by an employer or self-employed person;

•   A dangerous substance is present or is liable to be present at the workplace;

•   Tthe dangerous substance presents a risk to the safety of persons (as opposed to a risk to health).

The main requirements of these Regulations are that employers and the self employed must:

•   Carry out a risk assessment of any work activities involving dangerous substances;

•   Provide technical and organisational measures to eliminate or reduce the identified risks as to ALARP;

•   Provide equipment and procedures to deal with accidents and emergencies; and

•   Provide information and training to employees.

Enclosed here is a document providing advice to inspectors on the interpretation and enforcement of the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations.

Process Safety Presentation

Graham Marshall - Monday, April 02, 2012

In high-reliability organizations, process safety is everyone's business.

However, safety managers and engineers often have a much better understanding of its importance and how it is affected by strategic management decisions than the top-level managers and directors making these decisions.

It is therefore up to engineers at all levels to educate their bosses.

This online presentation, by the Health and Safety Executive's Ian Travers - a leading expert on chemical industry safety - shows how management decisions impact major hazard risks - and shares practical strategies on getting the message across to senior management.

Sustainable business success rests on safe operation - and the process of getting that right starts in the boardroom.

Make sure those in the boardroom understand the importance and impact of their decisions.

To access the PowerPoint slideshow, simply click here.



Perth City Traffic Plan

Graham Marshall - Sunday, April 01, 2012

In a radical move to cut traffic accidents in Perth, the Barnett Government today announced its plan to remove all traffic lights in the city and replace them with roundabouts.

This radical idea comes after a three year trial in Aprilograd - a Russian city with a population roughly the same size as Perth - in which offset and side-impact crashes were reduced by 75% following the removal of that city's traffic lights.

Speaking at the press announcement today, Main Roads WA spokesperson Youva Bin Had told Journalists "Ever since we put in the first traffic light in 1952 at the East Perth subway, experts have known we'd make a big mistake.  It might have taken 60 years to correct the mistake, but the Barnett Government is to be commended for taking this hard decision".

Work on ripping out Perth's traffic light system is expected to start on April 1st 2013 and take about 4 years and 3 billion dollars to complete.

At the Risk Tool Box, we're all in favour of anything that makes the roads safer. 


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