The Risk Management Tool Box Blog

UK Pressure Safety Regulations, 2000

Graham Marshall - Sunday, March 31, 2013

In the United Kingdom, the Pressure Systems Safety Regulations (2000) deal with the safe operation of a pressure system and the Pressure Equipment Regulations 1999 deal with the design, manufacture and supply of pressure systems.

The laws for pressure systems are comprehensive because many types of pressure equipment can be hazardous.

Pressurized equipment include steam boilers and associated pipework, pressurized hot-water boilers, air compressors, air receivers and associated pipework, autoclaves, gas (eg LPG) storage tanks and chemical reaction vessels.

If not properly controlled, pressurized equipment which fails can explode and cause serious injuries and lead to fatalities.

But putting proper controls in place will minimize the chances of any unwanted pressure releases occurring.

As with all safety management, the key to good control of pressurized equipment is to assess the risk associated with the specific equipment in the workplace and to use the hierarchy of control to develop the appropriate safeguards.

The risk associated with a the failure in pressurized  equipment depends on a number of factors including:

+  The operating pressure in the system;
 
+  The type of liquid or gas under pressure and its properties;

+  The suitability of the equipment and pipework that contains the pressure;

+  The age and condition of the equipment;

+  The complexity and control of its operation;

+  The other applicable conditions (e.g., operating temperature of equipment); and

+  The expertise of the people who maintain, test and operate the pressurized equipment.

To reduce the risk associated with pressurized systems, Managers need to know (and act on) some basic precautions:

+  Ensure the system can be operated safely;

+  Be careful when repairing or modifying a pressure system;

+  Following any major repair or modification, have the whole system re-examined before start-up;

+  Ensure there is a set of operating procedures for all of the equipment in the system, including in emergencies;

+  Ensure that there is a maintenance program for the system;

+  The maintenance program should account for the age, use and the environment in which the system is used.

In addition to those controls, a written scheme of examination is required for most pressure systems:

+  This should be certified as suitable by a competent person;

+  It should address all protective devices, every pressure vessel and those parts of pipelines that could be dangerous;
 
+  The written scheme must specify the nature and frequency of examinations, and include any special measures that may be needed to prepare a system for a safe examination.

Remember, a statutory examination carried out in line with a written scheme is designed to ensure your pressure system is suitable for your intended use. It is not a substitute for regular and routine maintenance.

And finally...

+  Ensure that pressure equipment complies with the relevant regulations;

+  Before using pressure equipment, ensure that you have a written scheme of examination if one is required.

+  Make sure that inspections have been completed by a competent person, and that the results have been recorded;.

+  Always operate the equipment within the safe operating limits;

+  Provide instruction and relevant training for the workers who are going to operate the pressure equipment;

+  Ensure to have an effective maintenance plan in place, which is carried out by appropriately trained people; and

+  Make sure that any modifications are planned, recorded and do not lead to danger.

Violent Incidents in UK Workplaces for 2012

Graham Marshall - Saturday, March 30, 2013

The UK Health and Safety Executive (UK HSE) report on the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) that the number of violent incidents occurring at work shows a downward trend over the last decade.

But the number of violent incidents has remained fairly constant over the last four years.

Findings from the CSEW illustrate that in 2011 - 12 there were 643,000 incidents of work related violence estimated in England and Wales.

Of these incidents, 324,000 were classified as assaults and 319,000 were classified as threats.

The CSEW demonstrates that the risk of being a victim of work related violence are low for both men and women.

But 41 per cent of victims were assaulted or threatened twice or more in 2011 -12.

The occupations with the highest risks of experiencing work related violence were those involved in protective services, health and education.

A substantial proportion (40%) of offenders were known to victims of violence in the workplace.

Alcohol and drug use remain a factor in many incidents.

And whilst in the majority of cases no injuries are sustained, in 12 per cent of cases, physical trauma is indicated with possibly serious physical and psychological consequences for the individual involved.

WA Chamber of Minerals and Energy Safety and Health Conference 2013

Graham Marshall - Friday, March 29, 2013

Western Australia’s Chamber of Minerals And Energy (CME) is holding its annual CME Safety and Health Conference on the 8th to 9th April 2013.

The Conference champions workplace safety and health initiatives through presentations, workshops and the annual Safety & Health Innovation Awards.

The CME Health and Safety Conference is one of Australia’s most important and multi-faceted national conferences on Workplace Health and Safety in the resources sector.

Conference workshops will be made up of ‘streams’ that are to be relevant to CME’s Industry Vision, which aims to ensure ‘everyone in the industry understands and is trained to manage the inherent risks and hazards’.

For the 2013 conference, the workshop streams are – Health, Technical, and Roles & Accountability.

For further information, contact Jasmin Slingsby,  Manager, Events and Communications on + 61 8 9220 8509.

Piper 25 Conference in Aberdeen, 18-20 June 2013

Graham Marshall - Thursday, March 28, 2013

Oil and Gas UK are holding a major offshore safety conference to mark the 25th anniversary of the Piper Alpha disaster.

Lord Cullen - who chaired the public inquiry into the disaster - has been confirmed as the keynote speaker, and HSE's Judith Hackitt and Steve Walker will also participate.

The Piper 25 Conference is designed to reflect, review, reinforce and re-energize safety efforts in the oil industry.

The three-day event is to be held at Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre from 18 to 20 June 2013.

It is aimed at bringing together people from across the oil and gas industry to reflect on the lessons learnt from the tragedy, review how far offshore safety has evolved since and to reinforce industry commitment to continuous improvement.

With Piper Alpha as a central theme, the conference will also explore broader safety issues and will feature high profile international speakers from a diverse range of backgrounds.

The full conference agenda will be announced in due course with the three days comprising of both plenary and parallel sessions allowing delegates to tailor their individual programmes to their own areas of expertise and interest.

Lord Cullen's report made 106 recommendations which have since transformed the way safety is managed offshore - to the point where the UK regime is now regarded as a global exemplar.

One Fifth of UK Constructions Sites Fail Basic Safety Requirements

Graham Marshall - Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Almost 20 per cent of UK construction sites visited by the Health and Safety Executive have been subject to enforcement action after failing safety checks.

In a month long initiative, UK HSE inspectors visited  2,363 sites where refurbishment or repair work was taking place and saw 2976 contractors.

In total, 631 enforcement notices were served across 433 sites for poor practices that could put workers at risk.

451 of the notices ordered that work stop immediately until the construction site was corrected.

Inspectors encountered numerous examples of poor practice, from lack of edge protection on stairwells and scaffolding to unsafe storage of flammable materials and inadequate personal protective equipment.

These types of unsafe conditions are acceptable on any construction site.

The UK HSE has put building contractors on notice that it will not hesitate to use its enforcement powers against reckless employers.

Unsafe "bridge" made to barrow debris.

 

 

Rosedale Abbey in the North York Moors

Graham Marshall - Tuesday, March 26, 2013

I love to travel and see new places; and I've been blessed in that my job takes me around the Globe.

But I've never been to anywhere as nice as Rosedale Abbey in the North York Moors National Park in England.

I've worked or visited every state of Australia; from Perth in the South-west corner to Cooktown in far-North Queensland.  And from Wadeye in the NT Kimberly to Hobart in Tasmania.

I've visited Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Darwin, the Alice and lots of places beside.

I've worked in Sakhalin and Moscow in Russia; Equatorial Guinea in West Africa and in the Sahara in Algeria. 

I've completed projects in Jakarta, Surabaya and Bali in Indonesia.

I've travelled to Borneo, KL, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Bangkok. 

I've travelled throughout Thailand and also worked in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

In Europe, I've completed jobs in London and Aberdeen, Copenhagen, Paris, Teeside, and Stavanger.

I've also holidayed in Spain, Italy, Malta, England, Wales, Scotland, the French Alps, Holland and Denmark.

In the USA, I've worked in Houston and the Permian basin in Texas; and in Lake Charles and New Iberia along the Gulf coast in Louisiana. 

And more recently I've been working across the Bakken in North Dakota.

I've also holidayed in California from San Diego in the South to San Francisco in the North.

But in all those travels, I've never come across anywhere as nice as Rosedale in Yorkshire.

I'd recommend it for a holiday to anyone, and www.rosellacottage.co.uk is a super website that highlights some of the touristy things on offer across the North York Moors.







Traffic Management Risk Assessment

Graham Marshall - Monday, March 25, 2013

Accidents involving vehicles and mobile plant are common in workplaces and some of these events result in people being killed.

Pedestrians are knocked down, run over, or crushed against fixed parts by vehicles or mobile plant.

Falls from vehicles are also relatively common events – whether getting on or off, working from a tray or truck-bed, or when loading or unloading.

So all employers and employees need to think about whether there is an easier, safer way of doing the job.

Employers should organize a risk assessment which should consider all workplace transport activities and the locations where they occur.

The risk assessment should consider carefully all the vehicles and people moving round the workplace .

It is a good idea to mark the traffic and pedestrian movements on a plan so you can see where pedestrians and vehicles interact.

The assessment should identify improvement opportunities that will reduce the contact between pedestrians and moving vehicles.

Remember to include less frequent vehicle activity in the assessment and make sure to consider the requirements for delivery drivers.

Below are listed some additional tips for performing the site transport risk assessment:

+   Aim to ensure that pedestrians are safe from moving vehicles;

+   If possible, aim to develop a traffic one-way system;

+   Try to provide separate routes for pedestrians and vehicles;

+   Avoid reversing where possible;

+   Provide appropriate crossing points where pedestrians and traffic meet;

+   Install appropriate signs to indicate vehicle routes, speed limits, and pedestrian crossings;

+   Signs should meet national standards;

+   Make sure lighting is adequate where people and vehicles are working in the dark;

+   Make sure road surfaces are suitable for vehicle movement - especially for fork-lift vehicles;

+   Make sure there are safe areas for loading and unloading;

+   Try to provide separate car parking for visitors as they may not know your site;

+   Ensure you have a training program for lift truck operators;

+   Reassess lift truck operators at regular intervals, or when new risks arise such as changes to working practices;

+   Train drivers of other vehicles to a similar standard;

+   Make sure all drivers are supervised;

+   Ensure company vehicles are suitable for the purpose for which they are used;

+   Service the vehicles to the manufacturers' recommended schedule;

+   Provide gauges and controls that are accessible from ground level in order to eliminate the need for people to climb;

+   Reduce the risk of falling when people have to climb onto a vehicle or trailer by providing well-constructed ladders, non-slip walkways and guard rails;

+   Provide reversing aids such as CCTV where appropriate;

+   Ensure a "spotter" is used when vehicles are required to reverse; and

+   Fit rollover protective structures and ensure seat belts are worn at all times.



Use of Copper as a Biocide on Offshore Facilities

Graham Marshall - Sunday, March 24, 2013

Operators of vessels and offshore facilities should be aware that a new legal requirement under the EU Biocidal Products Directive 98/8/EC came into force in February 2013.

The new ruling prohibits the supply and use of copper as a biocide when used in liquid-cooling and processing systems.

Copper is used as a biocide in a number of offshore systems including sea water lift, fire water systems, injection systems, ballast systems, engine cooling, and HVAC cooling.

This is not an extensive list and you should check all systems/vessels/installations that may use copper antifouling systems, or when used as a biocide in liquid-cooling and processing systems.

Control Poisons in the Home

Graham Marshall - Saturday, March 23, 2013

A poison is any substance that can cause harmful effects to the human body.

Millions of people are unintentionally poisoned each year.  Children are at greatest risk around the home.

So to ensure your family is safe from poisons, implement these simple tips:

+   Keep all potential poisons (e.g., chemicals, medicines) in their original containers and with their original label(s);

+   Place poisons out of sight and out of reach of children (and in a locked cabinet if at all possible);

+   Never leave children alone with household products or medicines (e.g., don't answer the telephone if giving medication to a child);

+   Know which household and garden plants are toxic and keep them away from your home;

+   Take time to teach children some "rules" for poisons; and

+   Keep the number of your local poison control center on or near your telephone.



Preventing the Risk of Falling

Graham Marshall - Friday, March 22, 2013

According to the US National Safety Council, nearly 15,000 deaths in the USA result from falls each year.

So slips, trips and falls are a significant risk at work and at home.

Here are some tips to reduce the risk:

+   Wear shoes that provide good traction for the conditions;

+   Keep floors and stairs clear of debris and spilled liquids;

+   Only carry loads that you can see over;

+   Don't walk into a dark room - use a torch or turn on the lights;

+   Repair or replace broken or uneven flooring, pavement, tiling, carpet or floorboards;

+   Keep at least one hand on the handrail when using steps or stairs;

+   Don't jump from heights (e.g., from trucks or from loading docks);

+   Don't use "home-made" or makeshift ladders or steps to reach up high;

+   When climbing ladders, face to the front and use both hands when climbing;

+   Don't over-reach from a ladder;

+   Make sure only one person uses any ladder at a time;

+   Never approach to the top step of the ladder; and

+   Make sure ladders are "footed" on flat, stable ground and if possible, "tied-off" at the top.


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