The Risk Management Tool Box Blog

Safely Operating Extendible Equipment Under Powerlines

Graham Marshall - Thursday, August 02, 2012

Working with mobile equipment below powerlines can be inherently hazardous and requires very good planning.

A Job Safety Analysis (JSA) should always be prepared whenever mobile equipment is to be used below overhead powerlines.

Enclosed here is a free example JSA for use in helping to plan work with extendible mobile equipment. 

The JSA is a "printer-proof" example of the types of JSA which are available in our award-winning JSA Manual.

The manual has an additional 46 JSAs for a range of higher-risk jobs and is ideal for supervisors and managers working in mining, construction, transportation, utilities, shipping, manufacturing and oil and gas.

To find out further information about the JSA Manual, simply click this link.

Safety Checklist for Petrol Station Operators

Graham Marshall - Monday, July 30, 2012

Petrol filling stations are potentially dangerous places because the general public with little or no training actively handles a range of classified dangerous goods.  These hazardous substances included flammable liquids like petrol, liquefied petroleum gas and combustible liquids like diesel.

But refilling a vehicle on a garage forecourt is so routine that it may be thought to be an entirely safe process.

And although it is true that very few incidents occur at petrol stations, the accidents that do occur can have very serious consequences.

Many people are injured and some are killed each year resulting from incidents when refueling vehicles.

The risk potential can, however, be minimized by implementing simple controls that prevent incidents or assist in responding to them should they occur.

To start with, petrol station operators must ensure that their employees are not complacent about the hazards at work.

Employees must be well trained in emergency response procedures so they can react immediately and appropriately to incidents.

To assist operators ensure that good controls are in place, this free self-check guide will assist in the safe operation of supervised self-service petrol stations.

The free checklist identifies key elements that an individual without extensive knowledge or training can check.

Attending to these key elements can significantly minimize the risk from dangerous goods at petrol stations.

Managing Risk When Working Alone

Graham Marshall - Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Because Western Australia covers such a big area, there are many times each day where a person could work alone in a remote or relatively isolated location.

Some examples are:

• Farm workers and foresters; 

• Local or State Government employees;

• Vermin and pest controllers;

• Geologists; and

• Hunters.

Workers may also do their jobs alone in a Perth-metropolitan area. For example, a worker is alone when he or she: 

• Works in a depot or business when there are no other workers;

• Works in a workplace when everyone else has gone home;

• Examines large structures, such as cranes, when there is no-one else in the vicinity;

• Undertakes maintenance or construction work in vacant premises;

• Cleans offices in high rise buildings when there is no-one else in the area being cleaned;

• Is called out at night to check on security alarms or faults in a business premises that is closed;

• Works on his or her own as a ranger in parkland and reserves; and

• Inspects vacant  land  for the presence of noxious weeds when landowners are not present.

In most cases the risk associated with solo-work is increased because of emergency situations which may arise due to the sudden onset of a medical condition, accidental work-related injury or disease, attack by an animal, exposure to the elements, or by becoming stranded without food or water.

The consequences may be very serious and the injury or disease may be fatal.

In response to the heightened risk, the Government of WA has developed this Guidance Note which explains the OSH laws that apply to people who work alone.

It covers general requirements in the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 and specific regulatory requirements where they exist.

Included here, you will also find a completed JSA that addresses the risk associated with working in remote locations.


Drivers need to slow down in Black Gold Boom

Graham Marshall - Saturday, June 09, 2012

With the black gold boom taking place in Western North Dakota has come a huge increase in the number of trucks on the local roads.

We're appealing to all Bakken drivers to just take a little more time and slow down, pay attention, and avoid paying the ultimate price.

No amount of rushing is worth being killed at work, so please just slow down and take your time!

Transporting Flammable Gas Cylinders

Graham Marshall - Monday, June 04, 2012

Thousands of workers are unnecessarily placing themselves, and members of the public, at risk by carrying flammable gas cylinders in vehicles in an unsafe manner.

Flammable gas cylinders include those containing oxygen, acetylene, liquefied petroleum gas and propane or butane throwaway-style cylinders.

A recent "blitz" of businesses in the Northern Territory of Australia by the safety regulator found that 60% of trades businesses surveyed were not compliant with the law.

The blitz followed the deaths of two tradesmen in Australia late last year.

The first fatality involved a 24-year old tradesman who died after his work vehicle exploded in Darwin.

The second fatality occurred in Melbourne when a 25-year old tradesman was killed in a similar explosion.

Both explosions were caused because gas was leaking from portable flammable gas cylinders and ignited inside their vehicles.

There have been other reported cases of explosions and in many cases, the ignition source was the vehicle’s electrical system.

So what can you do if you're transporting flammable gas in cylinders?

 Gas cylinders should be stored and transported in vehicles with cargo areas open to the air;

 Gas cylinders should not be stored inside closed type vehicles;

 Ensure the main cylinder valves are tightly closed;

 Check that there is no leakage from the main valve area (eg using a gas detector or soapy water test);

 Confirm that cylinders are secured in an upright position to prevent them tipping or falling over;

 Ensure that cylinders cannot be struck by other objects (eg loose tools and materials);

 Ensure that cylinders are always removed from the vehicle before the gas is used; and

 Carry at least one 10B dry-powder fire extinguisher in the driver’s cabin.

The best option is to carry cylinders in Open-type vehicles which have cargo areas that are open to the air with unrestricted ventilation.

If the cargo area of your open-type vehicle is fitted with sides (eg utility vehicles), it may retain escaped gas.

Some types of escaped gas will flow and accumulate in low, enclosed, and poorly ventilated areas.

If you are not sure if your cargo area may allow gas to accumulate, assume it can and consider installing vents in these areas.

Flammable gas cylinders should not be carried inside closed-type vehicles including vans or other vehicles that have cargo areas with restricted natural air movement and ventilation.

Flammable gas cylinders should also not be carried in vehicles under canopies, inside service bodies or toolboxes, and vehicles where cylinders are covered by tarps or tonneau covers.

If you cannot avoid using a closed-type vehicle, it should be fitted with a separate gas storage cabinet that is vapour-tight from the rest of the vehicle.

The gas cabinet must be secured to the vehicle and be big enough to store all cylinders carried in the vehicle, including empty cylinders.

It must be designed to ensure gas from leaking cylinders cannot accumulate inside the cabinet but is vented to the atmosphere outside the vehicle.

The cabinet door must be securely sealed whenever cylinders are stored in the cabinet.

27th Annual Dangerous Goods Seminar

Graham Marshall - Sunday, June 03, 2012

The Vehicle Certification Agency's (VCA) Dangerous Goods Office  is the UK authority for the certification of packaging and intermediate bulk containers used for the transport of dangerous goods, in accordance with national and international regulations.

The VCA is co-ordinating its 27th annual Dangerous Goods Seminar, to take place on July 11th-12th at the Hinckley Island Hotel (formerly the Barceló Hotel), Leicestershire.

if you're involved with a UK transport business, good reasons for attending the VCAs Dangerous Goods Seminar include:

1. Understand how forthcoming legislation changes may affect your business;

2. Get face to face access to UK regulators;

3. Expert speakers; and

4. Networking opportunities.

Further information about this event is available from Paul Cooke, Tel: +44 (0)117 9524126.

Traffic Light Speed Camera's in WA

Graham Marshall - Monday, May 21, 2012

Enclosed below is the list of all existing (May 2012) combination traffic light / fixed speed camera locations in Western Australia (WA).

Applecross                     Canning Highway and Riseley Street
Balcatta                           Reid Highway and Balcatta Road
Balga                               Beach Road and Mirrabooka Avenue
Bayswater                      Guildford Road & Garratt Road
Bayswater                      Guildford Road & Tonkin Highway
Bayswater                      Tonkin Highway & Collier Road
Bentley                            Albany Highway and Leach Highway
Booragoon                     Riseley and Marmion Street
Canningvale                  Bannister Road and Willeri Avenue
Canningvale                  South Street and Roe Highway
Cottesloe                       Stirling Highway and Eric Street
Dianella                         Alexander Drive & Grand Promenade
Dianella                         Morley and Alexander Drive
East Rockingham        Mandurah Road and Dixon Road
Hamersley                    Wanneroo and Beach Road
Hamilton Hill                Winterfold and Stock Road
Hazelmere                    Great Eastern Highway Bypass & Stirling Crescent
High Wycombe            Roe Highway and Kalamunda Road
Joondalup                    Joondalup Drive and Shenton Avenue
Madeley                        Wanneroo Road & Hepburn Avenue
Malaga                          Reid Highway & Malaga Drive  
Mirrabooka                   Mirrabooka Ave and Ravenswood Drive
Morley                            Beechboro Road North and Morley Drive
Padbury                        Hepburn Avenue and Marmion Avenue
Perth                             Riverside Drive and Barrack Street
Piara Waters               Armadale Road and Nicholson Road
South Perth                 Canning Highway and Douglas Avenue
Victoria Park               Great Eastern Highway and Shepperton Road
Welshpool                  Orrong Road & Pilbara Street
Wilson                         Leach Highway and Bungaree Road

There is also one fixed speed camera on the Mitchell Freeway (southbound lanes) in Innaloo. 

Please drive safely today and avoid paying the extra road tax (speed fine) to the Government of WA.

Water Truck Roll-over

Graham Marshall - Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) requires its membership to report high-potential incidents as part of the safety performance reporting process.

High-potential incidents (HiPOs) are defined by APPEA as any "accident, event, or happening of a serious nature that: results in a Major Accident Event (MAE) performance standard not being met; results in a loss of containment; or could cause a fatality or multiple fatalities".

APPEA distributes HIPO Alerts for the Australian oil and gas industry to highlight learnings from HIPO incidents.

The HIPO Alert found here, highlights an incident in which a water-carting truck rolled-over when going around a corner too quickly. 

The alert offers some important "lessons learned" for future consideration.

Driver fatigue in heavy haulage vehicles

Graham Marshall - Saturday, May 12, 2012

An Australian road safety study recently published by the Journal of Sleep found that 41 pr cent of Australia's truck drivers suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA).

The study found that road safety is seriously impacted, increasing the drivers’ risk of crashing by up to seven-fold.

The research team surveyed 517 commercial truck drivers in NSW and Western Australian over 20 months.

Of the 517 drivers surveyed, only 12 per cent reported feeling tiredness using the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS), the only self diagnosing questionnaire currently used for assessing sleep patterns during drivers' medical tests.

But the research went on to indicate that 16 per cent of the drivers surveyed were categorized as having severe cases of OSA.

The researchers concluded that the questionnaires alone were not sufficient to assess drivers’ crash risk during medical examinations.

Professor Mark Stevenson, the director of Melbourne’s Monash University Accident Research Centre, said the current licensing requirements would not identify those with sleep disorders.

We know there is an elevated risk of crashing in drivers with untreated OSA, therefore it is important that truck drivers – behind the wheels of the largest vehicles on the road network, at times with combustible freight – should be tested with a diagnostic tool that does not rely on self reporting”.

Industry body - the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) fully reported the study’s conclusions.

ATA Communications manager Bill McKinley said the association in 2009 recommended diagnostic testing for truck drivers to the National Transport Commission (NTC) which develops licensing guidelines.

He said, however, the recommendation from the ATA was ignored in the most recent guidelines, in place since March 1st 2012.

The Risk Management Toolbox fully agrees that there should be a diagnostic tool for sleep apnoea included in the medical standards for truck drivers.

Child deaths in USA down 30 per cent

Graham Marshall - Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Over the nine year period from 2000 - 2009, child deaths resulting from accidental causes have fallen almost 30 per cent in the United States.

That result is estimated to equate to 11,000 children being saved from accidental death.

But accidental death still remains the major killer of children aged one-year to nineteen in the USA, with around 9,000 youths being killed each year in motor-vehicle accidents, fires, poisoning, drowning, falls and other accidents.

The major reduction in accidents over the last ten-years, has, however, come about due to reductions in traffic-related deaths.

Among the reasons for the fall (according to the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention) are improvements in the installation and use of child booster seats and the introduction of graduated drivers' licensing systems for teenage and learner drivers.

Even so, the youth accident figures for 2009 make sobering reading:

+   9,000 deaths;

+   225,000 hospitalizations;

+   8.4 million visits to hospital emergency departments; and

+   $11.5 Billion in medical costs.



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