The Risk Management Tool Box Blog

Fast Rescue Craft Coxswain

Graham Marshall - Saturday, May 26, 2012

Fast rescue craft are designed to enable rapid deployment in any emergency situation on water such as a "man over board" scenario.

But a question was recently raised on the Marine Safety Forum about what would occur if the Coxswain of a fast rescue craft was to fall overboard whilst the FRC was traveling at a speed?

In such a situation, because the FRC is fitted with a "dead-man" control mechanism, it would cause the engines to cut out due to the use of the “kill cords” attached to Coxswain.

So how would the FRC crew pick up the overboard Coxswain?  Without the “Kill cords” (attached to the Coxswain) it is impossible to re-start the engine(s). That is quite a dilemma!

All vessels should review their Risk Assessments to ensure that this issue is addressed and a secondary means of starting the engine(s) is available.

An obvious starting-point is to supply each FRC with a full spare set of “Kill Cords”.

Funny Safety Sign

Graham Marshall - Friday, May 25, 2012

Lead Paint Risk to Minot Flood Renovators

Graham Marshall - Thursday, May 24, 2012

We are concerned that a rush to renovate flood-damaged homes after the Souris River breached its banks last year in western North Dakota could have exposed hundreds of home-owners, their children, and professional renovators to harmful levels of toxic lead.

Cases of lead poisoning - particularly impacting on children – can easily occur if old paint is stripped or sanded from older flood-damaged homes without taking precautions.

Homes with old paint in good condition or buried under layers of newer paint are not a big risk.

But the risk of lead-poisoning increases dramatically when old paint is damaged by water, and is then scraped off or sanded.

Work on home renovations following the Souris River floods is particularly risky if children are around the home who might eat the paint chips, crawl on the floor and lick their fingers, or inhale the paint dust.

Even low levels of exposure to toxic lead can cause increased risk of brain damage in children.

The Risk Management Tool Box recommends the following safety precautions be implemented by any person involved in the renovation of flood-damaged older homes in Minot and surrounding townships:

  • Establish if the home is painted with lead-based paints (particularly paints which may have been applied up to 1945, but including paints applied into the early 1970s);
  • If the home is over 25-years old, and multiple layers of paint are present, it is safer to assume that lead-based paints are present;
  • If lead-based paints are present, ensure that ALL children (and pets) are removed from the home environment during renovations;
  • Choose wet-sanding methods or stripping with use of chemicals;
  • Dry-sanding is suitable in combination with extractors and appropriate use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE);
  • Avoid the use of blow-torch methods which will generate lead-vapours;
  • Avoid abrasive blasting methods which generates large volumes of uncontrolled dust;
  • If stripping in-door paint, remove curtains, furniture, and carpets before beginning the job.  After paint removal, wet wipe all surfaces to remove dust and then use a commercial vacuum cleaner fitted with a high efficiency dust filter;
  • If stripping outdoor paint, ensure all windows and doors are closed to prevent contamination inside;
  • Both in-doors and outdoors, ensure to use ground sheets which are large enough to contain all the paint debris;
  • Clean the area around the groundsheet with a vacuum cleaner to collect any other paint debris;
  • Wrap up all paint debris securely and, for small amounts, put out with the household refuse collection;
  • Ensure to dispose of the stripped paint immediately;
  • Do not dispose of the paint debris in your garden (e.g., by burying);
  • If in doubt, check with your local authority;
  • Do not burn paint debris, as large volumes of harmful lead vapours will be released;
  • Keep children and pets away from the work area and make sure they don't eat or play with paint debris;
  • Change out of contaminated overalls (especially if dry sanding) as soon as possible after finishing work;
  • Wash your face and hands carefully before eating food, handling children, or smoking;
  • Wash contaminated clothes separately from other laundered items;
  • Wear a hat or cover your hair (especially when dry sanding) to prevent dust accumulating in the hair;
  • Shower as soon as possible after completing each session of the job;
  • Wear a good-quality, properly-fitted, toxic dust respirator when sanding, or stripping lead-based paint;
  • If using a disposable type dust respirator, only those with double head straps are suitable.  Respirators should meet the requirements of the AS/NZ 1716: 2003 (Respiratory Protective Devices) or similar United States Standard; and
  • Do not eat or smoke while removing paint as the hand-to-mouth contact may increase the risk of eating or inhaling lead paint dust.

Use of Dispersants in Oil Spill Response

Graham Marshall - Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Dispersants are used following accidental oil spills into the marine environment to break up any surface oil slicks into smaller droplets.

These smaller droplets become rapidly diluted within the sea-water column and are further bio-degraded by "oil-eating" micro-organisms.

Used appropriately, dispersants can be an effective response to a marine oil spill; and dispersants can prevent or minimize further unwanted environmental impacts.

Today I'm posting a link to another Technical Information Paper (TIP) which gives an overview of the use and limitations of dispersants on oil slicks at sea.

The TIP is particularly useful as one of a range of resources regarding the options available when responding to marine oil spills.

To access the TIP, simply click here.


International Conference on HSE in Oil and Gas Exploration and Production

Graham Marshall - Tuesday, May 22, 2012

It is very exciting to see that the 2012 International Conference on HSE in Oil and Gas Exploration and Production will be held, for the first time, in Australia later this year.

Co-organized by the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) and Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA), the International Conference on HSE will take place in Perth (WA) between 11th and 13th September 2012. 

The conference theme is “Protecting People and the Environment – Evolving Challenges.”

For additional information and registration requirements (including Australian entry visa requirements) visit the SPE or APPEA website.


Traffic Light Speed Camera's in WA

Graham Marshall - Monday, May 21, 2012

Enclosed below is the list of all existing (May 2012) combination traffic light / fixed speed camera locations in Western Australia (WA).

Applecross                     Canning Highway and Riseley Street
Balcatta                           Reid Highway and Balcatta Road
Balga                               Beach Road and Mirrabooka Avenue
Bayswater                      Guildford Road & Garratt Road
Bayswater                      Guildford Road & Tonkin Highway
Bayswater                      Tonkin Highway & Collier Road
Bentley                            Albany Highway and Leach Highway
Booragoon                     Riseley and Marmion Street
Canningvale                  Bannister Road and Willeri Avenue
Canningvale                  South Street and Roe Highway
Cottesloe                       Stirling Highway and Eric Street
Dianella                         Alexander Drive & Grand Promenade
Dianella                         Morley and Alexander Drive
East Rockingham        Mandurah Road and Dixon Road
Hamersley                    Wanneroo and Beach Road
Hamilton Hill                Winterfold and Stock Road
Hazelmere                    Great Eastern Highway Bypass & Stirling Crescent
High Wycombe            Roe Highway and Kalamunda Road
Joondalup                    Joondalup Drive and Shenton Avenue
Madeley                        Wanneroo Road & Hepburn Avenue
Malaga                          Reid Highway & Malaga Drive  
Mirrabooka                   Mirrabooka Ave and Ravenswood Drive
Morley                            Beechboro Road North and Morley Drive
Padbury                        Hepburn Avenue and Marmion Avenue
Perth                             Riverside Drive and Barrack Street
Piara Waters               Armadale Road and Nicholson Road
South Perth                 Canning Highway and Douglas Avenue
Victoria Park               Great Eastern Highway and Shepperton Road
Welshpool                  Orrong Road & Pilbara Street
Wilson                         Leach Highway and Bungaree Road

There is also one fixed speed camera on the Mitchell Freeway (southbound lanes) in Innaloo. 

Please drive safely today and avoid paying the extra road tax (speed fine) to the Government of WA.

ALARP and Risk Management Planning

Graham Marshall - Sunday, May 20, 2012

In developing any HSE Risk Management Plan (RMP), the organization must show that there are reasonable grounds for believing that the RMP demonstrates that the  risk associated with the business venture is being reduced to "as low as reasonably practicable" (ALARP).

So ALARP is a very powerful concept because it allows - and demands - outcomes that are reasonable under the given circumstances.

For that reason, the principle of ALARP has long been applied in the oil patch.  So what does ALARP mean?

The legal definition for ALARP was defined in an English courtroom in 1949.

In a legal case heard by Lord Justice Asquith (Edwards v National Coal Board, 1949), Asquith said:

Reasonably practicable is a narrower term than ‘physically possible’ and seems to me to imply that a computation must be made by the owner, in which the quantum of risk is placed on one scale and the sacrifice involved in the measures necessary for averting the risk (whether in money, time or trouble) is placed in the other; and that if it be shown that there is a gross disproportion between them — the risk being insignificant in relation to the sacrifice — the defendants discharge the onus on them.” 

Using that definition, any Risk Management Plan must demonstrate that any additional "costs" (time, money, resources, etc) that are required to reduce the risk of the business venture further would be grossly disproportionate to the risk reduction being made.

So the ALARP test is for organizations to demonstrate in their RMPs that the options chosen to reduce risks are those which are reasonably practicable.

Conversely, they may need to demonstrate that other options - which may be "physically possible" - but which have not been selected are not reasonably practicable.

When planning any oil field activity, organizations should ask themselves:

“Can we reasonably be expected to implement a better risk management option than the one we've chosen?”

If the answer to that question is "yes"; then your business is almost certainly NOT at the ALARP level. 


Mechanical Integrity of Small Diameter Tubing

Graham Marshall - Saturday, May 19, 2012

Enclosed here is this months Process Safety Beacon with an interesting feature regarding the mechanical integrity of small-bore tubing.

The beacon highlights that the proper installation, maintenance, and inspection of metal tubing is important in preventing fires and toxic material releases in major hazard facilities.

It warns that you shouldn't forget about tubing just because it is of a small diameter.

Even a small leak from tubing can cause a fire which can grow much larger, and small releases of toxic materials also can be dangerous.



Use of Skimmers to Clear Oil Spills

Graham Marshall - Friday, May 18, 2012

Following along on my post yesterday on the use of booms to contain oil spills, today I'm posting a link to this Technical Information Paper (TIP) on the use of skimmers to selectively recover spilled oil from the water's surface.

The mechanical recovery of spilled oil using booms for containment and concentration, and skimmers to pump oil back to storage is the primary method used in clearing marine oil spills.

The TIP describes the different types of skimmers which are available, and then goes on to describe the requirements for successful use of skimmers.


Use of Booms in Oil Spill Response

Graham Marshall - Thursday, May 17, 2012

Booms are floating barriers which are used during oil-spill response in three ways: 1) Oil containment and concentration;  2) Oil deflection; and 3)  Protection of sensitive areas.

This Technical Information Paper (TIP) prepared by the ITOPF sets out the principles behind boom design and the main modes of boom operation during oil spill response.

To access the TIP, simply click this link.




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