The Risk Management Tool Box Blog

Common Safety Training Program for Experienced Workers

Graham Marshall - Sunday, September 30, 2012

The APPEA industry forum on Tuesday 14th August 2012 identified that experienced workers (those with more than one year's industry experience) can have their Recognized Prior Learning ("RPL") status confirmed within the Common Safety Training Program (CSTP) if they have previously completed the Hazard and Risk Management Training Program offered by the Risk Tool Box.

According to the CSTP Independent Reviewer, the Risk Tool Box training program meets the Recognized Prior Learning status for the CSTP module "Identify Hazards and Assess Risk".

The confirmation of our RPL status by APPEA and the CSTP means that company's with offshore workers could save themselves thousands of dollars in future additional training costs.

That is because the Risk Tool Box training program already addresses the Step-back, Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) and Qualitative Risk Assessment RPL requirements within the CSTP framework.

The confirmation of RPL status for our training course is applicable to more than 10,000 employees and contractors who have completed our Stepback and JHA training. 

HSE Managers and/or Training Managers in the following company's should now check their records for evidence of their workers attending our hazard awareness and JHA training:

+   TK Shipping;
+   BHP Billiton;

+   Hess;

+   Santos;

+   ENI;

+   Transfield Worley;+   Shell Development Australia;

+   Chevron;

+   Woodside; and

+   Other smaller contractors and suppliers who work in offshore production and/or drilling facilities.

We will also continue to assist any company with its Hazard Awareness, Stepback, JHA, Risk Assessment and HazOp Training requirements using our industry-leading program. 

And unlike certain other organizations that have come to WA from Aberdeen, NSW, or elsewhere to make some quick cash from our boom, we're a proudly Australian business with a WA-developed program from the start back in 1998!

Don't jump in to help

Graham Marshall - Saturday, September 29, 2012

Shown below is a really good Safety Alert from Easternwell which highlights the issue that many incidents occur when people "jump in to help" without taking the time, slowing down, and running through the Think 6, Look 6 hazard management process in their heads before they apply their hands.


I really like this Safety Alert and congratulate Eastern Well for rasing concern about rushing-in, which we also see as a very big problem on sites where we're visiting.

As we always argue, the key to all incident prevention is to slow-down or temporarily stop, take a breather and apply the mental Think 6, Look 6 process to the task in order to identify the energy-hazards, potential triggers and the required controls.  That way everyone can get to go home safe.

Maybe Easternwell will start to promote this within their rig crews....


North Sea Structural Integrity Conference

Graham Marshall - Friday, September 28, 2012

The 2012 Structural Integrity Management Conference (North Sea) will take place this coming 27-28 November, 2012.

Occurring at the Mercure Aberdeen Ardoe House Hotel and Spa in Scotland, the conference looks to cover a range of topics related to structural integrity.

For further information, contact Adam Minkley, Senior Industry Analyst, phone: +44 (0) 207 375 7239.

Risk Assessment Methods for Flammable Liquids Storage Depots

Graham Marshall - Thursday, September 27, 2012

Enclosed here is a benchmark study into the outcomes of two risk assessment methods which are used by regulators in Holland and France to make risk-management decisions for land use planning in and around storage depots containing flammable liquids.

 The study will be of particular interest to any person with control over tank farms and such like.

The area where vulnerable objects are undesirable and where future vulnerable objects should be avoided is largely the same in the two risk assessments. The area where severe consequences from a potential accident have to be considered is comparable as well.


Hand Injury Prevention

Graham Marshall - Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Shown below is a good safety alert from QGC covering hand-injury topics.

The safety alert shows that most hand injuries result from so-called "line-of-fire" incidents in which the hands are placed within the danger zone presented by an uncontrolled energy release.

As always, hand injuries can be prevented if you take the time and use the Think 6, Look 6 hazard and risk managmeent process to mentally plan the job.

Understanding and using  Think 6, Look 6 is the key to minimising the incidents leading to hand injuries. 

Maybe QGC will cotton on to this soon.


In-door potted plants promote healthy air quality

Graham Marshall - Tuesday, September 25, 2012

It has long been known that house plants assist in purifying air and improving in-door air quality.

But which one's are best at the job?  Below is a list of in-door pot plants that NASA studies show to be ideal for assisting in keeping your office or home air quality up to scratch.

They're all easy-to-grow and easy-to-care for; and I've shown some of the toxins they reduce:

●   Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii, reed palm).  It absorbs benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene (TCE). Grows well in medium light or bright, indirect light. Keep away from direct sunlight. Keep the soil uniformly moist between watering, and water when soil is half dry.

●   English Ivy (Hedera helix).  Sucks up benzene, formaldehyde, toluene, octane, and terpene.  It is the most effective plant against benzene according to NASA. Be careful as its leaves are poisonous. The English Ivy is suitable for patients with asthma and allergic conditions. Easy to grow in bright sunlight, the plant can remove off-gassing various chemicals released by synthetic materials.

●   Rubber Plant (Ficus robusta).  Adsorbs benzene, formaldehyde, TCE, octane, and terpene. It grows well in semi-full sunlight. Avoid direct light and keep the soil moist between watering. The roots are lateral so repotting is necessary. Wear gloves when pruning, as the milky sap may irritate the skin.

●   Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata Bostoniensis, sword fern). Controls for formaldehyde, and xylene. This classic indoor plant is best displayed as a hanging plant. It prefers bright, indirect sunlight. Keep the soil barely moist and mist frequently with warm water. Keep spider mites and whitefly away with a soapy spray.

●   Mass cane (Dracaena massangeana) It adsorbs benzene, formaldehyde, TCE (the most effective plant against formaldehyde, according to NASA). A hardy plant, with medium-green and yellow leaves that needs little care. Direct sunlight is best. The soil has to be dry between watering. It can also grow in a bowl of water.

●   Golden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum, devil¡¦s ivy or moneyplant) A good plant to control formaldehyde, benzene and xylene. Be careful as the leaves are toxic to children and smaller pets. With evergreen leaves and progressive stems, it is a hardy plant that is easy to grow and care for.

●   Purple heart (Tradescantia pallida).  It reduces benzene, TCE, toluene, and terpene. It is suitable as a hanging ornament. Very shade tolerant, its succulent stems needs some watering.

●   Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum, Chlorophytum elatum).  It sucks up formaldehyde, carbon dioxide, and carbon monoxide. A beautiful house plant with long grassy leaves, the spider plant grows rapidly.

●   Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata, mother-in-law¡¥s tongue) .  It adsorbs formaldehyde, benzene, xylene and trichloroethylene (TCE). This evergreen plant needs irregular watering and less lighting. It blooms too!

●   Broadleaf Lady Palm (Rhapis excelsa).  It reduces formaldehyde, toulene, xylene and ammonia. The soil must not be dry between watering. Keep in direct sun or medium light.

Formaldehyde Re-classed as a Class-2 Carcinogen

Graham Marshall - Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Safe Work Australia, which is the Australia Commonwealth Government responsible agency, has recently reclassified the chemical formaldehyde to a class 2 carcinogen.

Previously a class 3, which meant that there is limited evidence that there is a carcinogenic effect whereas class 2 is that cancer may be caused by inhalation.

All manufacturers and importers now need to update labels and Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) to reflect this change.

What is the Lower Explosive Limit?

Graham Marshall - Monday, September 24, 2012

Chemical storage vessels and drums that have contained flammable liquids, such as fuels, solvents, and paints can ignite or explode when exposed to “hot work” such as sparks from angle grinders, plasma cutters, welding, oxyacetylene burners and electric metal cutting saws.

This is because flammable liquids give off vapour which has an upper and lower explosive limit that works like a range.  That means that vapour can ignite and/or explode when it is below the upper explosive limit (UEL), but above the lower explosive limit (LEL).  When a flammable or combustible liquid is exposed to heat (from direct or indirect flame), the vapours given off can reach into the range between the LEL and the UEL and ignite.  This reaction can cause a fire or an explosion. Such explosions have resulted in many fatalities occurring or severe burns from the resulting fire.

As recently as July 2012, a West Australian worker was killed when a chemical drum that he was cutting with an angle grinder exploded. The drum had previously contained a flammable liquid.

In another recent case, a Queensland high school student was killed when he was using a plasma-arc torch to convert a drum into a feed bin as part of his agricultural studies. The drum had previously contained diesel oil and the oil vapours that remained in the drum exploded.

The first step towards managing the risks associated with the UEL and LEL of any potentially explosive chemicals is to obtain important safety information.

The manufacturer or supplier of the chemicals must provide this information with the chemicals they provide. The information should be provided by a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) that contains information about the hazards associated with the chemical and precautions for the safe use, transport, storage and disposal.

The MSDS should include information such as the temperature that will allow vapours to rise above the LEL and subsequently ignite, and the levels of exposure that are hazardous to humans through The chemicals should also be labeled in a way that can be easily read and understood.

If a drum of chemicals arrives at the workplace without a safety label and an MSDS attached, it should be returned to the supplier.

Once emptied, the storage containers should be stored in a safe location, away from ignition sources, with their labels still attached.

The best way to prevent an injury or fatality is to ban any form of hot work on or near a vessel or drum that contained (or still contains) flammable or toxic materials.

If hot work must be undertaken, then a Permit to Work should be issued following a thorough assessment of the task to be undertaken, and ensuring all appropriate controls are in place.

It is essential that competent, experienced persons who are familiar with the hazards associated with hot works review all hot work prior to issuing approval for the work to proceed.

It is also critical that workers performing any hot-work are provided with adequate training about the hazards associated with conducting hot work on or near drums that contained flammable or toxic substances.

Safety Awards Press Release

Graham Marshall - Sunday, September 23, 2012

Enclosed here, you will find a press release containing information about the Society of Petroleum Engineers 2012 HSE Innovation Award which was awarded to the Risk Management Toolbox and Hess Corporation at the SPE International HSE COnference held in Perth, Western Australia on Tuesday 11th September.


Mining Emergency Response Competition

Graham Marshall - Saturday, September 22, 2012

Teams of emergency and rescue personnel from across Western Australia will be testing their skills next month at the Mining Emergency Response Competition (MERC) to take place on the weekend of 6th to 7th October at the Burswood Casino park grounds in Perth, WA.

The emergency response teams from numerous WA mining operations will compete in a range of simulation real-life emergency situations and rescue demonstrations.

Skills will be tested for first-aid, fire-fighting, SCBA use, vehicle extraction, Hazchem response, confined space and rope rescue.

At last year's MERC event, a total of 96 mining rescue teams took part and raised almost $50,000 for the "Miners Promise" charity.

The event is open to the public for viewing and promises to be an exciting day out.

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