The Risk Management Tool Box Blog

Asset Integrity Summit: Human Factors Focus Day

Graham Marshall - Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Asset Integrity Summit: Human Factors Focus Day

02 October, 2013

Venue to be Confirmed, Aberdeen, Scotland, UK

The human factors focus day is set aside for considering human factors in correlation with asset integrity management and process safety. 

Topics to be addressed include:

Why human factors is  a crucial management aid in preventing human failures;

Understand the nature of human factors and how this is impacted by cultural norms;
Identifying human factors that lead to errors and failures;

Strategies in determining human factors threats and assessment of risk; and 

Monitoring behavioural safety effectively.

Annual Report for the Risk Management Tool Box

Graham Marshall - Saturday, December 29, 2012

The shareholders of the Risk Management Tool Box Pty Ltd are pleased to publish the Business' Performance Results for 2012.

We know that open and honest talking with our stake-holders is important to building trust and earning respect.

We therefore openly provide information about our business, including reporting our performance against our annual targets.

2012 was another excellent year for our business.

Although there has been a gloomy global economic climate, our continued focus on the core business needs of our cornerstone customers ensured we've weathered the storm. 

In 2012 we benefited from our business' continued presence in the economic powerhouse of Western Australia, and our recognition of the future role of "unconventionals".

Our strategic focus on the needs of our key customers in "unconventionals" in the three "boom" areas of WA, coal-seam gas around Roma in the Surat Basin in Queensland, and in the "black-gold" boom in the Bakken in North Dakota, USA has kept us 100% busy throughout 2012.

Key accomplishments for the Risk Tool Box in 2012 include:

•  Co-winning with Hess Corporation, the Society of Petroleum Engineers' (SPE) and APPEAs Global Safety Innovation Award for 2012;

•  Broadening our knowledge and understanding about risk management requirements in unconventional oil and gas - particularly around "completion operations" and "frac";

•  Exceeding cash-flow and profitability targets;

•  Continuing to run a debt-free and cash-flow positive business for another straight year;

•  Meeting our tax obligations to the ATO;

•  Developing and commercialising our Hazard Observation Program with field-based trials with Eni (Australia);

•  Continuing our program of charitable donations throughout 2012;

•  Not recording any lost-time injuries;

•  Continuing to publish our Risk Tool Box safety blog as a free industry resource on a daily basis; and

•  Having a lot of fun along the way!

Unfortunately, we did not meet all of our targets. Performance was not as good as we had hoped in the following areas:

•  Our 49% shareholding in Eveleigh Consulting Pty Ltd (formerly trading as An Mea WA) has once again proved a great disapointment - with $0 delivered against our investment by Steve Williams and Sean O'Donnell, the management team of that business; and

•  We have not been successful in recruiting the people we need to grow the training-arm of our business;

But, despite those minor setbacks, we will continue to focus on our strong relationships with existing clients in Santos, Hess, Shell Development Australia and Fremantle Ports.

We will also continue to leverage the strengths of our staff in delivering high quality work from our offices in Perth to:

•  Consolidate and grow relationships with existing clients; and

•  Diversify our client base in our target industry sectors of oil and gas, particularly those involved in "unconventional" hydrocarbons.

Growth will be delivered by maintaining our office in Perth, and enhancing our training program with new customers.

Our strategy for 2012 has delivered value to our shareholders. It’s great to continue to return strong profitability and to reward the hard work of our staff by once again paying profit-based bonuses in 2012.

We are very confident that our continued presence in Perth, Roma (QLD), and in the Bakken, and our current focus on "unconventional" hydrocarbons means we're on the leading edge of the breaking wave in energy supply.

We are excited about our future and our growth plans are realistic and sustainable.

Human Factors in Health and Safety

Graham Marshall - Tuesday, December 18, 2012

At the Risk Tool Box, we've noticed over the previous 15-years or so that there is an increasing emphasis on the type of work we do and the importance of managing ‘human factors’ to achieve improved safety and business performance in high-reliability industries.

It is now established that human, rather than technical failures represent the greatest threat to complex and potentially hazardous systems.

Commencing in 2013, the IChemE will offer a one-year programme leading to a recognized Certificate in Human Factors.  The programme will comprise four intensive two-day events supported by course reading and will take place at the Mercure Hotel in Perth, Western Australia.

The programme will be of particular interest to:

•   Human factors advisors;

•   Operations managers;

•   HSE advisors and specialists; and

•   Industry regulators.

The two-day events include the following modules on the associated dates:

Module 1 - An introduction to Human Factors (6-7 February 2013);

Module 2 - Human reliability and failure (29-30 May 2013);

Module 3 - Organisational issues (4-5 September 2013); and

Module 4 - Human factors and design (5-6 February 2014).

This basic structure of the course for two audiences, specifically:

•  Those who want to complete the whole programme, who would complete the initial consultancy skills pre-reading, and all four two-day events, leading to an IChemE and Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors Certificate of Course Completion; and

•  Those who wish to attend single events (subject to availability).

For further details contact: IChemE in Australia, Level 7, 455 Bourke Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000, +61 (0)3 9642 4495 or

Managing Hazards During Construction

Graham Marshall - Wednesday, July 25, 2012

According to the WA Department of Mines and Petroleum, there is more than AUD $180 billion worth of resource projects in development in Western Australia.

These mega-projects are expected to create more than 50,000 new construction jobs.

But the construction phase is a dangerous time for workers.

Accident statistics for the minerals sector have shown a consistently high proportion of fatalities and injuries associated with construction activities.

This is mainly because construction workers undertake such a high-number of potentially higher-risk tasks and jobs.  Examples of these higher-risk jobs include:

• Lots of driving of light-vehicles and heavier mobile-equipment;

• Scaffolding;

• Tilt up or precast construction;

• Electrical work;

• Working at height;

• Using cranes;

• Work in excavations;

• Working with hazardous substances; and

• Using elevated work platforms (EWPs).

The requirement to perform such a high number of potentially higher-risk jobs is also then compounded by other management issues.  These include:

• Tight deadlines for project completion;

• An inexperienced workforce;

• Large numbers of workers concentrated in relatively small area's; and

• The potential for poor contractor management systems.

Risk management during the construction phase of project development has always been a priority target for  the Risk Management Tool Box.

For almost 15-years we've been reviewing and revising customer management systems to improve compliance capacity and capabilities, and add value by raising awareness of the hazard and risk management process.

Our experience and expertise during the construction phase is focused on the following:

• Improving the internal systems and processes deployed to manage risk by our customers, especially focussed on procedures, job safety analysis and appropriate risk assessments and planning;

• Empowering construction workers with the required safety competency needed to effectively promote OHS requirements during construction;

• Helping workers, supervisors and managers to identify and manage common construction hazards; and

• Providing behaviour-based hazard observation programs to ensure everyone is involved in managing the hazards they face at work.

Feel free to get in touch if it sounds like we have anything to offer!

Safety Leadership Checklist

Graham Marshall - Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Enclosed here is a simple one page site safety checklist that can be used by managers and business leaders to check on safety, environmental, health and reliability issues when visiting locations.

It's free to use so help yourself.

Graham Marshall

Graham Marshall - Friday, September 09, 2011

Hello, and welcome to my blog.  I've been asked a few times by visitors to the risk tool box to introduce myself.  Being a reserved Yorkshireman I've always been reluctant to do so, but since I'm a bit low on information to post this Friday, here is a bit of fluff about me.

At work introducing a HSE Intervention Program.

In the field - but not the oilfield!

So, here goes.  I'm 47 and the Managing Director of the Risk Management Tool Box Pty Ltd.

I've been working as a EHS Consultant for the past 15 or so years and mainly worked in the oil-field, mining and ports and shipping.

I've been lucky to get to travel and see and experience a wide range of ways of doing business across the World and this has helped me to formulate a number of, what I think, are unique "best practice" EHS programs.

In essence, I'll admit that I've cherry-picked the best bits of the safety practices I've seen in the oil-patch and I've integrated these practices into the programs I mainly work with.

I specialize in four main areas of EHS but all with a risk management focus.  These being:

One - safety culture surveys (where are you today?) and culture improvement initiatives that reduce risk (how do you get to where you want to be?) ;

Two - Risk management coaching and mentoring.  This is where my groundbreaking Think 6, Look 6 program has really come into its own.

Using the concepts embedded within Think 6, Look 6, I coach and mentor managers and workers to use the basic tool-kit of Hazard Spotting, Job Safety Analysis (JSA) and Preliminary Risk Assessment for managing everyday routine and non-routine activities as well as HazID and HazOp Analysis tools for managing process hazards.

This stuff is the bread and butter of my business which is putting my kids through school.  I'm lucky that my existing customers usually sell my program by word of mouth, so it keeps me pretty busy each year.

Three - my HSE Observation and Intervention Program.  I get a lot of pride from being able to get reluctant workers to recognize the need for good hazard spotting, helping develop their ability and confidence to correctly see EHS problems and then foster a culture of intervention where people stop turning a blind-eye to the little things that build-up into big entrenched EHS problems.

Four - a bit boring, and not glamorous but essential none-the-less - I work in EHS Management System design, document writing and such like. 

Outside of work, I'm a family-man with my wife and two daughters living down in Perth, WA. I think we're pretty close-knit and we have a good, honest life.

Like all gents from Yorkshire, I enjoy watching cricket and listening to it on the radio.  I especially enjoy it now that England are ranked as the number one test side and we've beaten the Aussie convicts twice in a row.  Fantastic and I can die a happy man.

For my sins, I've also been a life-long Middlesbrough FC fan ("c'mon the Boro") but you can't help where you're born. 

Also like Northeners everywhere, I tend to call a spade a spade so I'm not much good at dressing up the truth about EHS problems I see in PC overtones.  Some people like that attribute, others don't. 

Even so, that trait has only ever got me run-off a site once in my 15 year safety career and that company then had an 18 hour gas release, a fire in its laundry and a helicopter crash (no injuries thankfully) all within three months of my safety culture concerns being raised to the Company CEO.  I'd like to think that I did my job in raising a warning on that occasion.

Along the way I must have done something right 'cause I managed to pick up a PhD, a Mastery of Psychology degree, a Diploma in OHS Management, an RABQSA certificate in OHS-Management Systems Audit and a few other bits of wallpaper. 

Lastly, I enjoy a good BBQ rib-eye, a cold beer, a nice single-malt and dancing to Northern Soul - "keep the faith"!

Not all at the same time!

If you've bothered to read this far, thanks!

If you want to know more about how I might assist your business build its EHS culture, feel free to get in touch.

Rockin' the Bakken

Graham Marshall - Monday, August 01, 2011
One of our customers who is working the oil-patch in the Bakken (ND) and who is using our HSE Observation Program to enhance worker participation and intervention has sent me a copy of the July Edition of Talkin' the Bakken Magazine.

Our client in ND tells me that he is using the cover of the magazine as a tool-box training aid in order for workers to identify a number of "at-risk" practices shown on the cover photograph.

Take a look at the image below and see how many "at-risk" practices that you can identify. 

We reckon eight issues to observe is a fairly easy target.  Check your answers to the quiz by referencing the PowerPoint slide enclosed here (no cheating now).

You can find out more about our HSE Observation Program by clicking the "Behaviour Safety Tools" button at the top of the page.

Involving Workers in Safety Programs

Graham Marshall - Sunday, July 31, 2011

In Australia, employer-employee consultation on safety matters is emphasized in the legislative codes.

In WA, the Occupational Safety and Health Act (1984) and the Mines Safety and Inspection Act (1994) place a formal obligation on employers to consult employees and safety and health representatives, where they exist, on safety and health at the workplace.

To complement this consultation process, employees also have a duty to cooperate with their employer on safety and health matters.

In country's where no such legal demands for consultation exist, health and safety consultation still makes a lot of sense.

Here are some less formal ways in which any employer can foster a more mature safety culture with high levels of employee participation in the company safety management program:

  • Invite employees to participate in safety incident investigations;
  • Conduct brainstorming sessions on solving identified HSE problems;
  • Introduce hazard spotting and JSA tools to the workplace and encourage participation with these tools;
  • Establish a safety suggestions program (this could be anonymous through the use of a suggestions box);
  • Encourage employees to participate in workplace inspections;
  • Introduce a formal hazard observation program.  Click here for more information;
  • Hold regular tool-box talks; and
  • Encourage workers to trial various types of PPE before selecting a chosen brand.


To review the WA Guidance Note on Workplace Consultation, click here.

Safety Observation Program Data Management

Graham Marshall - Saturday, June 11, 2011

The successful introduction of any Behavioral Based Safety initiative relies on good information management.

You might have the best BBS process for observations but if the information collected during observations is not handled appropriately, the whole program will be fatally weakened.

Leaders, managers, supervisors and workers participating in any BBS program need to be able to input, capture, analyze, access and report on information for easy decision support. 

The information system behind any BBS programm needs to be inherent flexible with a framework providing the most comprehensive information management capabilities.

Below are some features that I would recommend to be essential for data management for any BBS program to stand a chance of success:

  • One centralized database for company-wide BBS information management.
  • Ability for organizational customization for site-specific HSE observations and user security.
  • Ensure consistent BBS information management process across your organization.
  • Information management program should provide real-time tracking of HSE observations.
  • Should provide the ability to identify areas requiring HSE improvement within the organization.
  • The BBS information management system should assist in establishing organization strategic HSE plans, HSE training needs and other long-term HSE commitments.
  • The information management system should allow a wide range of data analysis to be performed. 
  • Should allow for relevent reports to be created for appropriate stakeholders using available BBS information.

Without those features, your BBS program will be compromised. 

Check our BBS tools under the BBS "tab" above.



Behavior-based Safety: Is it a Problem or a Solution?

Graham Marshall - Saturday, June 04, 2011

The appropriate control of hazards and assessment of risk at the level of the individual employee is critical to the prevention of accidents and injuries. 

Yet accidents and injuries are still worryingly commonplace in many industries.

In response, industry has increasingly focused on two approaches to assist in the elimination of harm. 

Firstly, we have seen a growing acceptance and implementation of behaviour-based safety (BBS). 

Secondly, we have seen a formalization of risk management methodologies.

We argue that both the BBS approach and the more general focus on risk management at the level of individual employees and work teams are not wholly un-problematical.

In the enclosed paper, we offer suggested solutions to some of the problems.

This paper was prepared for the Petroleum Society’s 5th Canadian International Petroleum Conference, Calgary, Alberta.

To view the paper, simply click here.

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