The Risk Management Tool Box Blog

Compressed Air Testing Bad Idea

Graham Marshall - Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Whenever possible, pressure test equipment using water (hydrostatic test) or another non-hazardous liquid.

Water is a non-compressible fluid, and water at a given pressure contains a lot less energy than a compressed gas such as air. 

Think about the difference in the sound of bursting a balloon filled with water compared to one filled with air. 

The air filled balloon “pops”, but the water filled balloon does not make much noise.

Before you start a pressure test, think about the consequences if a failure occurs. 

Take precautions so that people are not at risk during the test. 

Remember that it is a test – what happens if the equipment fails the test?

Do not rely on valves only to isolate equipment being tested from other equipment that is not strong enough to withstand the test pressure. 

Provide positive isolation with blinds or physical disconnection of piping.

Use an approved written pressure testing procedure, and follow it rigorously.

Post warning signs and restrict access to places where pressure testing is being done.

Make sure that people who are not directly involved in the test are not allowed in the area for any reason.

If you must use pressurized gas for a test, do a thorough safety review before conducting the test.

Water Pump Explosions

Graham Marshall - Friday, September 06, 2013

UK Pressure Safety Regulations, 2000

Graham Marshall - Sunday, March 31, 2013

In the United Kingdom, the Pressure Systems Safety Regulations (2000) deal with the safe operation of a pressure system and the Pressure Equipment Regulations 1999 deal with the design, manufacture and supply of pressure systems.

The laws for pressure systems are comprehensive because many types of pressure equipment can be hazardous.

Pressurized equipment include steam boilers and associated pipework, pressurized hot-water boilers, air compressors, air receivers and associated pipework, autoclaves, gas (eg LPG) storage tanks and chemical reaction vessels.

If not properly controlled, pressurized equipment which fails can explode and cause serious injuries and lead to fatalities.

But putting proper controls in place will minimize the chances of any unwanted pressure releases occurring.

As with all safety management, the key to good control of pressurized equipment is to assess the risk associated with the specific equipment in the workplace and to use the hierarchy of control to develop the appropriate safeguards.

The risk associated with a the failure in pressurized  equipment depends on a number of factors including:

+  The operating pressure in the system;
 
+  The type of liquid or gas under pressure and its properties;

+  The suitability of the equipment and pipework that contains the pressure;

+  The age and condition of the equipment;

+  The complexity and control of its operation;

+  The other applicable conditions (e.g., operating temperature of equipment); and

+  The expertise of the people who maintain, test and operate the pressurized equipment.

To reduce the risk associated with pressurized systems, Managers need to know (and act on) some basic precautions:

+  Ensure the system can be operated safely;

+  Be careful when repairing or modifying a pressure system;

+  Following any major repair or modification, have the whole system re-examined before start-up;

+  Ensure there is a set of operating procedures for all of the equipment in the system, including in emergencies;

+  Ensure that there is a maintenance program for the system;

+  The maintenance program should account for the age, use and the environment in which the system is used.

In addition to those controls, a written scheme of examination is required for most pressure systems:

+  This should be certified as suitable by a competent person;

+  It should address all protective devices, every pressure vessel and those parts of pipelines that could be dangerous;
 
+  The written scheme must specify the nature and frequency of examinations, and include any special measures that may be needed to prepare a system for a safe examination.

Remember, a statutory examination carried out in line with a written scheme is designed to ensure your pressure system is suitable for your intended use. It is not a substitute for regular and routine maintenance.

And finally...

+  Ensure that pressure equipment complies with the relevant regulations;

+  Before using pressure equipment, ensure that you have a written scheme of examination if one is required.

+  Make sure that inspections have been completed by a competent person, and that the results have been recorded;.

+  Always operate the equipment within the safe operating limits;

+  Provide instruction and relevant training for the workers who are going to operate the pressure equipment;

+  Ensure to have an effective maintenance plan in place, which is carried out by appropriately trained people; and

+  Make sure that any modifications are planned, recorded and do not lead to danger.

Do you have a good MOC process?

Graham Marshall - Friday, February 08, 2013

When introducing new machinery or ways of working, employers should ensure they fully consider the implications of the changes they're making.

It is only by using a thorough "management of change" (MOC) process that the hazards and risk involved with the change can be identified, assessed, and then managed using  appropriate control measures that reduce the risk to the ALARP level.

Any failure to properly assess the use of new equipment or new methods of work will typically increase the risk and often lead to a wholesale failure by the employer to fulfil their duties relating to safe systems of work, training, supervision and PPE requirements.

A recent example of the failure by an employer to use an adequate MOC process when introducing new technology is that of a glass-making company in Leeds (UK) that was prosecuted when a worker was injured using an high-pressure jet washer.  The jet washer had just been introduced to the work place.

The worker suffered a severe cut to his hand when the lance of the 1500-bar jet washer fell from his grip.

The court in Leeds were told that Allied Glass Containers Ltd bought the jet washer to clean dirt and oils where previously the cleaning had been done manually.

The court heard the firm had not provided the worker with adequate training, information or instruction, that he was given unsuitable PPE, and despite not having used the jet washer before, he was not adequately supervised.

Plastic sheeting used to protect other workers from the water jetting was also found to be inadequate to withstand the water pressure, and there was no warning signage informing workers of the danger of entering the water-jetting area.

In this case of a failure to use an appropriate MOC process, Allied Glass Containers was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay full costs of £2,623 after pleading guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

UK Courts highlight the need for conveyor guarding

Graham Marshall - Sunday, January 20, 2013

The importance of appropriate guarding of moving and rotating parts on equipment has again been highlighted by the UK courts following a successful prosecution of a Deeside company.

Mainetti (UK) Ltd has been fined £60,000 and ordered to pay costs of £21,668 after a worker had her hair ripped out by a poorly guarded conveyor belt.

Kelly Nield, 25, was working on a conveyor when her scarf and hair became caught in the chain and sprocket drive of the belt as she bent over to remove accumulated clothes hangers.

She sustained serious throat injuries, lost a substantial part of her hair and fractured a finger in the incident on 11 April 2009 at Mainetti (UK) Ltd in Deeside Industrial Park.

Miss Nield needed a number of operations and was in hospital for three months.

The incident was investigated by the UK HSE which prosecuted the company for serious safety failings at Mold Crown Court.

Mainetti (UK) Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching three regulations under the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (1998) and one breach under Regulation 3 of the Management of Health at Safety at Work Regulations (1999).

Although Mainetti had fitted a guard to the conveyor, it did not fully enclose the dangerous moving parts.

And there was no emergency stop button on the conveyor.

The company's risk assessment also failed to identify the dangers of entanglement in conveyors, and the need to keep hair and loose clothing secure when near the machinery was poorly enforced.

HSE Inspector David Wynne, speaking after the hearing, said: "These horrific, life-changing injuries sustained by Ms Nield could easily have been avoided if the right safeguarding measures had been taken by Mainetti (UK) Ltd.  There are well-known risks associated with working with conveyor belts. It is vital, therefore, that the risks are fully assessed and guarding provided to prevent access to moving parts. Where appropriate, emergency stop controls should be installed in readily accessible places.  Employers must also ensure that workers are properly monitored, supervised and trained when working with this sort of equipment."

 

Confined Space Entry Standard

Graham Marshall - Thursday, December 27, 2012

The importance of organizations having a good Confined Space Entry Standard for employee use within confined spaces cannot be understated.

Confined spaces are either partially or completely enclosed working environments.

They are only meant for short-term worker occupancy.

And entering confined spaces is always "high-risk" because of many factors like space-design, previous storage history, and atmosphere.

When implementing an appropriate Confined Space Standard of control, the risk to workers who perform in confined spaces and the hazards and dangers they face can be substantially reduced to the ALARP level.

Employers can keep workers safe by reducing accidents and also save money when they present their workers with a planned and safe working environment.

The picture below gives four key characteristics of confined spaces and then goes on to provide clear explanation and illustration for safety.

• Lack of oxygen results in 50% of confined space worker fatalities.

• Four important steps when working in a confined space.

• One quarter of confined spaces have toxic air environments.

• A loss in just 5% oxygen in the air causes impaired judgement as well as problems breathing.

Employers who develop proper Confined Space Entry Standards and provide training and education to workers can reduce fatalities and accidents.

Identifying and controlling the hazards, and understanding what to do in an emergency are critical.

There is no reason why anyone needs to lose their life working in a confined space.



 

Importance of Isolation Procedures

Graham Marshall - Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Continuing on from yesterday's post, here is another excellent safety alert from the good folks at APPEA in Australia.

The alert highlights how a 1 ton diverter plate was allowed to uncontrollably fall, narrowly missing a worker, when the support mechanisms for the plate were inadequate.

As with many such types of incidents, the safety alert notes that a significant causal factor related to inadequate procedures for what was, a significant risk activity.  The weakness in procedural control was highlighted in relation to required isolation processes to control the kinetic energy in the plate.

 

 

 

Woodside Loss of Containment Incident Investigation

Graham Marshall - Monday, December 03, 2012

The importance of good procedural steps which avoid ambiguity in procedural instructions so that the intended impact of each step is fully understood before execution is highlighted in the this incident alert from APPEA.

The incident occurred to a Woodside operator when they were preparing a loading pump for maintenance.

During the process of purging condensate from the pump into the drain vessel using gaseous nitrogen, a mist of condensate of no more than 150L was released to the atmosphere via the atmospheric vent on the drain vessel.

The operator immediately stopped the activity and contained the leak.

There was no injury of personnel or damage to assets caused by the incident.

But the procedure in use instructed the operator to simply “crack open” the nitrogen valve.

Once again, this is an example of an inadequately written procedure which does not clarify the sequence of steps, and the criticality of certain safety aspects of the job.

There is also no apparent "audit" checklist in use at Woodside to confirm the validity of the steps outlined in the procedure.

These are routine aspects which we at the Risk Tool Box build-in when preparing proper procedures for our clients in higher-risk operating environments.

We'd suggest the folks at Woodside and other Australian operators take a good hard look at the way they go about developing procedures to ensure they avoid ambiguity, capture all critical steps, highlight safety critical steps, and provide an audit verification tool and a training tool for the job to be performed.

 

Control Pinch-point Risk

Graham Marshall - Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Pinch-point incidents are common across workshops, in the field, and in office environments. 

So workers should always take care, even if an environment seems safe and hazard-free.

Typical examples of pinch-point incidents include situations where people trap their fingers in door-jams, in desk draws, in car doors, or inside equipment.

Pinch-points are produced when either two moving parts come together (e.g., when rotating gear cogs turn) or when a single moving part comes in close proximity to something solid (e.g., when a moving door slams against a door frame).

In either case, it is the kinetic energy involved with the movement potential of the object in motion that causes harm when a person gets a body part in the way!  Ouch.

Pinch-points most usually impact onto fingers or hands, but any part of the body can be impacted.

This can be particularly dangerous wherever the space between the moving parts is just sufficient to allow a larger body part to be present when the moving parts come together.

The injury resulting from contact with kinetic energy in a pinch-point can be as minor as a small cut to as severe as having your head pulled off! 

So take care around all pinch points.

The common causes of pinch-point incidents include:

●  Putting a body part in the "line of fire" of the energy source;

●  Not paying attention to hand or finger placement;

●  Wearing loose clothing, long hair or jewelry which can be caught in rotating equipment;

●  Failure to use a machine's guard mechanism;

●  Poor hand placement when lifting or moving materials during manual handling;

●  Improper use of a tool; and

●  Failing to de-energize and isolate a machine before performing some kind of inspection or maintenance task.

Because of the risk associated with pinch-points, make sure you use the following controls to stay safe:

●  Always use the Think 6, Look 6 hazard management process to identify and control pinch points in every task;

●  Use handles when opening drawers;

●  Keep fingers out of "line of fire";

●  Verify that guards are in place and used on equipment that requires guarding;

●  For some jobs, ensure you're wearing gloves (of the correct type);

●  Identify pinch-point risks and the correct controls for these on your JSA;

●  Apply lock-out, tag-out procedure for energy isolation before working on the internals of any machine; and

●  Never remove equipment safety devices.

Energy Isolation and Lock-out, Tag-out for Pumping Units

Graham Marshall - Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Yesterday evening at the SPE/APPEA Innovation Awards Dinner, held as part of the 2012 SPE/APPEA International Conference on Health, Safety and Environment in Perth, the SPE/APPEA organizing committee presented the 2012 Safety Innovation Award to Hess Corporation and the Risk Management Tool Box.

The Risk Tool Box and Hess Corp were selected by APPEA/SPE to receive the Safety Innovation Award from nearly 50 applicants and then from six short-listed finalists including Woodside Energy, Chevron and Schlumberger.

Our innovative application, in which we developed and applied a new method of energy isolation and then lock-out, tag-out (LOTO) to oil well pumping units was chosen by SPE as being worthy of the Safety Innovation Award, and for that honour, we are truly very grateful to all concerned.

In making the application, Hess and the Risk Management Tool Box notified APPEA and SPE that we would make details of the energy isolation and LOTO safety device freely available to other business's in the E&P sector.

 

Listed below you will find the following Procedures and Procedure Audit Checklists which can be used to control the energy found in oil well pumping units, and can then lock-out, and tag-out the energy so it cannot be accidentally re-energized:

1.  A Procedure for installing the Pumping Unit safety device.  Click here;

2.  A Procedure for applying the PU safety device, once installed.  Click here;

3.  A Procedure Audit Checklist for the installation process.  Click here;

4.  A Procedure Audit Checklist for the application of the the PU safety device.  Click here; and

5.  Schematic diagrams for the energy control and lock-out, tag-out (LOTO) device.  Click here and here.

In order to promote safety across the oil patch, the documents listed above are provided with approval of, and courtesy of Hess Corporation.

 


Recent Posts


Tags

Safe at Home Situational Awareness Best bars in the oil patch Driving Safety Hazardous Substances Contract Risk Management Call Centers APPEA Management of Change Procedures NOPSEMA Process Hazard Management Safety Alert Fatigue Management Toolbox talk ENI Australia Safety Information Posters WorkSafe WA Salute to Our Hero's Oil Spill Response Occupational Overuse Syndrome Fire Prevention Marine Safety Pollution prevention Unconventional Hydrocarbons Thank God it's Friday Rosedale Abbey US OSHA one per center Work in Confined Spaces Save our Seafarers Campaign Australian OSH Codes of Practice Woodside NORM Supervision Hazard Spotting Hydraulic Fracturing ("fracking") HSE Leadership Electrical hazards Unconventional Gas Bio-hazards Health Farm safety Emergency Response Isolation Control Hierarchy of Safety Control Ladder Safety Safety Culture Survey Nanotechnology Global Harmonized System Working at height Slips, trips and falls Safety Management Program SPE HSE Innovation Award Safety Awards Water Corporation Railway Safety Workplace bullying Total WMC Resources Customer Testimonial Behaviour-based Safety (BBS) Excavations Road Transport Risk Management Construction Safety Radiation Sources PPE WA Resources Safety Energy Model of Hazards IFAP Drilling Shell Nautronix BP Hess NOPSA Safety "one per-center's" Crane lifts Newfield Risk Tool Box Office Safety BHP Billiton Walking Coal Seam Gas Risk Assessment TK Shipping Sakhalin Energy Manual handling Aviation Safety Hospital Safety Catostrophic Disaster Kinetic Energy Psycho-social Hazards UK HSE Incident Investigation Job Safety Analysis Rail Safety Santos MSDS Hazard Awareness Manufacturing Social Responsibility Safety Video Raspberry Ketones Scam Hot work Safe Operating Procedure (SOP) Mining Kellogg Joint Venture Chevron Procedure Training Course OSHA Shale Gas CSB Safety PowerPoint Presentation Safety Conference Natural Hazard LOTO Working with explosives ALARP Unconventional Oil OHS Law Safety Moment

Archive

Blog / Terms of Use / Site Map / Disclaimer / Risk Management Tool Box 2009. All rights reserved. Web design by Luminosity. E-Commerce by JStores.