The Risk Management Tool Box Blog

World Day for Safety and Health at Work

Graham Marshall - Monday, March 31, 2014

Monday the 28th April will mark the International Labour Organizations' (ILOs) World Day for Safety and Health at Work which is an integral part of the Global Strategy on Occupational Safety and Health of the ILO.

The ILO campaign promotes the creation of a global preventative safety and health culture.

The day is designed to promote the global prevention of workplace accidents and diseases.

Also on the 28th April, the world's Trade Union movement holds its International Commemoration Day for Dead and Injured Workers.

So the 28th April is also is designed  to honour the memory of victims of workplace accidents and diseases.

The World Day for Safety and Health at Work and the International Commemoration Day for Dead and Injured Workers serve to raise attention on the impact of work-related injuries, diseases and fatalities worldwide.

At the Risk Management Toolbox, we encourage all businesses - big and small - to contribute to global efforts to reduce occupational injuries and fatalities.

The ILO theme for World Day for Safety and Health at Work 2014 is "safety and health in the use of hazardous substances at work".

Research shows that somewhere between two and eight per cent of all cancers experienced in the population result from workplace exposure to harmful chemicals.

So on the World Day for Safety and Health at Work - 28th April 2014 - why not organize a specific chemical safety event?

Here are some suggestions:

+   Conduct an audit of the use of hazardous substances in your workplace;

+   Review your chemical register;

+   Check that your Safety Data Sheets (SDS) are in current date for all chemicals on site; or

+   Select a hazardous substance and run a tool-box talk on the possible health effects it may have.

New Regulation for NSW Tanker Trailers

Graham Marshall - Thursday, March 27, 2014

Heavy-goods vehicle tank trailers constructed after July 1st 2014 will need to have an approved roll-over protection device installed to drive on NSW roads.

The new ruling is part of a revision to the Dangerous Good (Road & Rail Transport) Regulation (2009).

The new rules apply to everyone who owns, operates or uses tank trailers for carriage of dangerous goods.

The new rules come int effect following the 2011 Coronial recommendation that heavy-vehicles transporting dangerous goods be fitted with the new technology available to prevent roll-overs.

The requirements relate to all trailers greater than 4.5 tonnes and includes semi-trailers, B-doubles, and dog-trailers.

 

CCPS Middle EastRegional Meeting April 2014

Graham Marshall - Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Delegates from the Middle-east are now able to register for the 2nd CCPS regional meeting to be held in Abu Dhabi on Monday April 28th.

This regional meeting will occur at the University of Abu Dhabi and there will also be a networking dinner prior to the event on Sunday, April 27th..

The aim of the regional meeting is to provide a platform to PSM leaders and professionals to share their knowledge and experience among other CCPS member companies, CCPS worldwide activities, trigger new PSM initiatives and understand the perspectives on future CCPS meetings and conferences.

The meeting registration cost US$100 for CPS members and US$200 for non-members.

The networking Dinner is an additional US$50.

For further information, please visit the CCPS Website.

Well done to Santos

Graham Marshall - Friday, March 14, 2014

The Greenies reaction to the news of aquifer contamination - which actually occurred several years ago - at a location recently purchased by Santos in NSW shows how these people try to create a climate of fear around low-risk and low-impact events.

In response to the leak, NSW Labor put out a press release stating that: “The O’Farrell Government’s Memorandum of Understanding with Santos to fast track the approval process for Coal Seam Gas mining in the Pilliga forest should be torn up in light of revelations of contamination of the water aquifer.”

And the Greens exclaimed that this event meant it was "game over for coal seam gas”.

Which is, of course, their ultimate aim to achieve.

Many environmental groups have also leapt on the bandwagon to justify their opposition to Coal Seam Gas (CSG).

But what actually happened - and more importantly - what is the risk?

Several years ago a retaining dam was constructed in the Pilliga Forest, near Narrabri, to hold produced water extracted from wells drilled in the search for CSG.

The dam was not lined properly and it leaked.

The leaking water then entered an aquifer.

According to the NSW EPA, the contaminated aquifer - being inside the Pilliga forest - was not used for livestock, crop irrigation or human consumption.

But the leaking water contained NORM - Naturally-occurring Radioactive Materials - and other naturally-occurring minerals found in bedrock through which the drill-string passed (e.g., lead, arsenic and barium).

Fast forward to a couple of years ago - when Santos purchased the legacy asset from the original owners.

In looking over the asset as part of its due-diligence process (a good way to identify environmental issues so they can be managed properly), Santos themselves discovered the problem with the dam.

You'll recall that the dam was constructed by the prior owner of the operation before Santos acquired it.

Being a good corporate citizen, however, Santos then reported the leaking dam to the EPA.

For whatever legal reason, the NSW EPA fined Santos $1,500 because the dam leak (which occurred prior to Santos' ownership) had contaminated the aquifer.

Maybe fair enough I guess.

But the Greenies jumped on the story and the minor fine to beef-up the talk and transform the issue of NORM into "Uranium" poisoning in drinking water and lead, arsenic, and barium toxicity.

The Greenies know that "Uranium" holds a special place of fear in the human psyche due to its association atomic bombs.

So they'll stoop to any level of fear-mongering in their desperate attempt to convince the Australian population that Santos and the search for CSG is evil.

The reality, in this case, is that a small and relatively low consequence spill, with absolutely low-risk consequence to animal or public health should not be allowed to stand in the way of a billion-dollar industry that creates tens of thousands of jobs for Australians.

And Santos should be congratulated for its environmental practices; firstly discovering the leak, secondly reporting it to the EPA, and finally, in remediating it!

Well done Santos!

Emergency Vehicle Safety Initiative

Graham Marshall - Monday, March 10, 2014

The US FA report, Emergency Vehicle Safety Initiative (2014), provides best practices and recommendations for safer emergency vehicle and roadway incident response. Topics covered include common crash causes and crash prevention, internal and external factors for improving response and roadway safety, vehicle design and maintenance, and regulating emergency vehicle response and roadway scene safety.

Summary and Recommendations;

In analyzing all the information that is contained in the report, please note the following list of recommendations relative to improving emergency vehicle and roadway incident safety:

·       There must be continued effort at the local, state and federal levels to support research and provide new information on this topic to emergency responders.

·       Agencies that operate emergency vehicles and/or operate at roadway incident scenes shall use the information contained in these various research reports to strengthen their SOPs, training programs and incident operations.

·       Design all new emergency vehicles to meet, as a minimum, the appropriate national consensus standards for that type of vehicle. Use the information contained in the various research reports regarding enhanced emergency vehicle visibility, conspicuity and lighting as a guide to exceed minimum standards and improve vehicle and scene safety, where applicable.

·       Fully train all emergency vehicle drivers for each type of vehicle that they are expected or assigned to drive.

·       All agencies within a given jurisdiction must work together to ensure that roadway incident response roles, policies and procedures among the agencies are defined, consistent, applied and enforced. Interagency training sessions are useful for ensuring appropriate handling of emergency incidents.

·       Train all personnel who operate at roadway incident scenes to perform their roles according to local SOPs; mutual-aid agreements; and applicable local, state and federal laws and national standards.

·       Ensure that all personnel wear appropriate personal protective clothing and retroreflective vests or garments when operating at incidents on or adjacent to a roadway. The only exceptions to wearing retroreflective vests or garments are when personnel are required to wear chemical protective suits or SCBA during the course of their duties.

·       Thoroughly investigate all emergency vehicle response and roadway scene incidents to determine the circumstances and causal factors that played a role in the incident. This should include all near-miss, injury, fatal or otherwise unusual incidents. Use this information to amend policies and procedures, if necessary.

·       Use the NIMS-ICS at all roadway incident scenes, and ensure that all agencies and personnel operate within the command structure.

·       Develop departmental regulations that require that all emergency vehicles operate at a safe and controllable speed and that all members be seated and belted when the vehicle is in motion.

·       Ensure that all vehicles that respond to roadway incidents are equipped with the appropriate types and amounts of traffic control equipment and at least one retroreflective vest for each person riding on the vehicle.

 

International Code Council Launches New Fire Code

Graham Marshall - Thursday, March 06, 2014

Following the death's of six workers at the Kleen Energy Power Generation Facility in Middletown (Connecticut, USA), the International Code Council (ICC) has revised the International Fire Code (IFC) and International Fuel Gas Code (IFGC) to prohibit the unsafe practice of "gas blows"; in which flammable gas is blown under high-pressure down newly-constructed or repaired piping in an effort to clean and remove debris from the pipes prior to start-up.

The process of "gas-blowing" is inherently unsafe.

At the Kleen Energy facility, the high pressure gas blow was used to clean pipes prior to the start up of generator turbines; but the gas found an ignition source; and the six workers were killed in the subsequent huge explosion.

Alternative non-flammable gases are safe to use in "gas blowing" scenario's, including compressed air, so there is no need to use flammable gases.

Over 40 Countries, including the USA subscribe to the ICC codes.


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