The Risk Management Tool Box Blog

Supervisors Role for HSE

Graham Marshall - Tuesday, April 30, 2013

It is a self-evident truth that Supervisors perform a vital role in the identification and control of hazards, and minimization of risk.

The supervisor's role is critical in showing "the public face" of the organisation; representing the organisation’s HSE values, HSE priorities and HSE expectations. 

And employees will typically  look to their supervisors’ actions to identify those behaviours and attitudes which are likely to be viewed favourably or otherwise by the organisation. 

As such, supervisor language and behaviour has a direct impact on employee HSE behaviour. 

From a risk management perspective, effective supervision requires time spent coaching employees in identifying, understanding and controlling hazards.

This approach to supervision not only educates employees in the how and why of hazard identification and management, but also demonstrates that it is the top priority for the organisation. 

Furthermore, direct feedback is one of the most effective tools that supervisors can use to improve employee HSE performance.

There are a broad variety of strategies that can and should be used to improve supervisor performance in promoting and reinforcing appropriate hazard management behaviour. 

From a personnel resourcing perspective, the following strategies may be beneficial:

   Maintain a low employee to supervisor ratio for teams where hazard management is a critical part of their function;

   Provide supervisors with training and coaching in understanding human error mechanisms and fatigue and time pressure issues. 

   Develop Procedures that support supervisors in implementing this knowledge;

   Encourage supervisors to provide feedback to planners in relation to actual vs. planned time for task completion, and build this feedback into future man-hour estimates;

   Provide supervisors with an opportunity to challenge or question plans and schedules; and

   Exercise caution when adding to the workload or responsibilities of supervisors. 

Research shows that, as their workload increases, supervisors spend less time engaged in one-on-one coaching with their employees. 

But this one-on-one coaching is precisely the most effective leadership tools used by supervisors, particularly in relation to promoting and encouraging hazard management behaviour.

Risk Tool Box Holiday

Graham Marshall - Monday, April 29, 2013

I'm having a well-earned holiday in Bali for the next week so there will be no blog posts until Monday May 6th 2013.

ILO World Day for Safety and Health

Graham Marshall - Sunday, April 28, 2013

Today, Sunday April 28th 2013 marks the International Labour Organisation (ILO) World Day for Safety and Health at Work.

The ILO safety day is designated to promote the prevention of occupational accidents and diseases globally.

The focus this in 2013 is on emerging trends in the field of OSH and on the magnitude of work-related injuries, diseases and fatalities worldwide.

The ILO estimates that out of 2.34 million occupational fatalities every year, only 321,000 are due to accidents.

The remaining workplace fatalities are due to occupational diseases which are by far the leading cause of work-related deaths worldwide.

In Australia the Risk Management Tool Box is highlighting the dual need to reduce workplace harm, while promoting a safe and speedy rehabilitation for workers injured on the job.

 

 

Risk Tool Box Sustainability Policy

Graham Marshall - Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Risk Management Tool Box is a sustainable business. 

Our sustainability is achieved by:

 Complying with our economic, social, and environmental responsibilities;

 Maintaining the health, safety and well-being of our employees;

 Minimizing our impact on the environment;

 Respecting the legal rights of people we come into contact with – employees, contractors, customers, suppliers and others;

 Meeting our business’ obligations to third party stakeholders;

 Maximizing our commercial success; and

 Sharing our success through pro-bono work and charitable donations.

As part of our ongoing commitment to sharing the success of our business, we've made a further donation of $698 to the victims of the Queensland flood disaster.

Controlling for Human Error During Maintenance

Graham Marshall - Friday, April 26, 2013
Maintaining equipment is one of the most critical risk control measures available to any work place.

And  a lack of maintenance, or errors during maintenance activities can create underlying triggers which may contribute to accidental hazard release later on. 

For example, when servicing an elevating work platform, a maintenance technician could forget to install the appropriate counter-balance water within the tyres of the EWP. 

This error may go undetected until the EWP is raised into position for use, with potentially disastrous consequences for the operator if the EWP tips over.

There are a number of solutions that can eliminate or minimize the potential for maintenance error. 

For example, the development of appropriate maintenance procedures; alongside a program to ensure that the actual procedures are read and applied by those responsible for the work can go along way to minimizing risk.

Adequate personnel resourcing is also important to ensure that there are enough people to undertake maintenance work.

The following additional strategies can also assist in minimizing and mitigating maintenance error:

   Allow enough time for maintenance task completion;

   Scheduling should allow for effective diagnosis and problem-solving, and reduce the likelihood of corner-cutting or memory lapses;

   Eliminate mid-task interruptions of maintenance technicians. Mid-task interruptions can cause maintenance technicians to forget their location in the Procedure, and consequently to miss critical steps;

   Avoid ‘bumping’ maintenance personnel in favour of production-related project personnel;

   Increased maintenance backlog is likely to lead to real or perceived time pressure, increasing the likelihood of error;

   Further, this practice may lead to a workforce perception of an overriding production priority, which may then negatively influence workforce risk management behaviour;

   Develop a quality assurance process within each Procedure to be implemented for all maintenance tasks;

   These processes should allow for a detailed review and audit of all work completed within the maintenance task, including steps completed, equipment used/installed, and checks conducted by the original technician. At Risk Tool Box, we always include an audit protocol for each Procedure we develop;

   Assign such quality assurance tasks to more experienced technicians, and prioritize these tasks over others; and

   Allow extra time for the Audit program to promote thorough and detailed procedure review.

Dangerous Vehicle Recovery

Graham Marshall - Thursday, April 25, 2013
The danger's of recovering vehicle's are highlighted in this safety alert from Santos and APPEA.

In the incident, a chain hook parted resulting in a chain "whipping" through the windscreen of the vehicle and narrowly missing the driver.

The alert highlights once again the critical need to follow appropriate Procedures for higher-risk jobs and to ensure that a real-time assessment is made which highlights the necessary controls to be used.


Warning on Dropped Objects

Graham Marshall - Wednesday, April 24, 2013

I've recieved a safety alert email today from NOPSEMA warning about the number of dropped objects being recorded in 2013.

NOPSEMA has identified a concerning increase in dropped object events since the beginning of 2013. 

Nine dropped object notifications have been received by the authority in the first quarter of 2013. 

All of these dropped object events have occurred on mobile offshore drilling units (MODUs). 

As a comparison, one dropped object was reported on MODUs for the same period in 2012 and a total of 13 for the entire year.

Overall, a total of 31 dropped object events were reported in 2012 from the following facility types: 

+  13 MODUs;

+  11 platforms;

+  Five floating production storage & offloading facilities; and 

+  Two pipelay/accommodation/construction vessels.

The current spate of dropped objects is a cause for concern and should be addressed by Operators revisiting their lifting procedures.


Marine Safety Forum Elects New Joint Chairmen

Graham Marshall - Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Marine Safety Forum has announced the election of Euan Simpson, ASCO Marine, and Steve Ferguson of Maersk Oil North Sea UK Limited as joint Vice-Chairman. 

Euan and Steve have for many years been heavily involved with the Marine Safety Forum and will continue to guide the Marine Industry in working together to share safety information and good practice.
 
As part of the on-going improvement initiatives we have decided to have two Vice-Chairmen to support the increasing work load and commitments, and to ensure that the Marine Safety Forum is represented within the industry.
  
In keeping with tradition Eddie Perkins will hand over his role to a Vice-Chairman at the end of 2013 after 2 years as Chairman and serve a further year as Vice-Chairman.

Dropped Pipe Bundle on Rig

Graham Marshall - Monday, April 22, 2013

This safety alert from Vermillion Energy and APPEA highlights how a bundle of 5-inch 19.5 lb/ft drill pipe tipped and was dropped onto the deck during a lifting operation.

This could have been a very nasty accident, so lessons need to be learned and disseminated across the marine drilling industry to avoid a repetition.

Human Factors Information Paper

Graham Marshall - Sunday, April 21, 2013

Enclosed here is a Human Factors Information Paper produced by NOPSEMA in Australia and addressing issues around personnel resourcing on offshore platforms. 

It makes for interesting reading.

It makes the following key messages:

  Appropriate personnel resourcing processes contribute to effective risk management;

  An understanding of the impact of time pressure and fatigue on human reliability should be applied to resourcing activities;

  Emergency response positions should be well resourced at all times;

  Maintenance activities should be designed and scheduled to reduce the likelihood of error, particularly in relation to interruptions and time pressure;

  Maintenance activities should be subject to independent checks to mitigate any errors that may have occurred prior to task closeout;

  Supervisors should develop a working knowledge of human error and performance shaping factors, and should apply that knowledge in their daily activities;

  Organisational systems and structures should be in place to support supervisors in managing relevant performance shaping factors; and

  Supervisors should not be overburdened with administrative tasks; rather their priority should be to spend sufficient time coaching their employees.


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