The Risk Management Tool Box Blog

Risk Associated with 240 Volt Hand Tools

Graham Marshall - Thursday, April 19, 2012

In the past three years from April 2009 to April 2012, NOPSEMA has received 39 notifications of electric shock

Fortunately, there have been no deaths associated with these electric shock incidents, but they are, nonetheless, high-potential incidents.

We all need to ensure we take advantage of the “lessons learnt” from these incidents because more personnel are being exposed to the potential for serious injury or death due to electric shock.

According to NOPSEMA, Of the 39 notifications:

+   Nineteen involved the use of Hand Tools, Temporary Lighting, Extension Cables etc;

+   Thirteen involved fixed equipment (Lighting, Switches, General Power Outlets); and

+   Seven were related to welding activities (5 of which involved Earth Clamps condition / application).

Schedule 3 of the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006 places duties on the operator
of a facility to take all reasonably practicable steps to ensure that:

A.  The facility is safe and without risk to the health of any person at or near the facility; and

B.  All work and other activities carried out on the facility are carried out in a manner that is safe and
without risk to the health of any person at or near the facility.

Good practice demands that the layers of control are being used to reduce risk to ALARP, taking account of:

+   Elimination of the hazard;

+   Substitution (for a less hazardous alternative);

+   Engineering – redesign or use isolation and LOTO;

+   Administrative controls are in place including PTW, Procedures, JSA, tool box talks and such like; and

+   PPE is being used.

To take advantage of our JSA covering the safe use of powered hand-held tools, which highlights the hierarchy of controls to be used, simply click here.

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