The Risk Management Tool Box Blog

Working Under Suspended Loads

Graham Marshall - Tuesday, February 14, 2012

When it comes to working around cranes and hoists, there is one golden safety rule that stands high above all other safety considerations.

That rule is - never to work directly under, or within the potential fall radius of a suspended load.

As the picture below shows - taken on a recent field trip by one of our employees - the golden rule to avoid working under suspended loads is being broken in a most dangerous manner by these two workmen.

The header motor being lifted here weighs in excess of five tons and would have killed both men instantly had it fallen on them.

To purchase a Job Safety Analysis (JSA) for helping to manage the hazards associated with suspended loads, simply click here.


You can't fix stupid!

Graham Marshall - Friday, January 27, 2012

Thank God it's Friday!  But it never ceases to amaze me the chances that people will take to get a job done.

Maybe the saying that "you can't fix stupid" is true...


The use of ladder like this is just asking for trouble.

To review a JSA with adequate controls for the use of ladders, simply click here.




Dangerous Excavation

Graham Marshall - Sunday, January 15, 2012

Enclosed today is a picture taken by Lyndon Pousson down in Louisiana. 

Can you identify the hazards involved in this job?

What about the triggers?  Can you also identify the potential incidents and their associated consequences?

And what about the controls these guys should be using to stay safe?

Feel free to let me know what you come up with.

And don't forget to check out our JSA for "excavation work"; you'll find the details by clicking here, and it will answer all those questions listed above - and more besides.


Kiken Yochi

Graham Marshall - Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Now I know we've all heard of the standard risk management tools for operational activites, the JSA, JHA, TRA, PRA, HazID, HazOP, LOPA Study, erc, etc.

It's a long list of acronyms for the average safety guy to remember!

Well, now there is a new one - well, new to me anyway!

KYT.  I must admit that I'd never heard of it before.  But it stands for "Kiken Yochi Training", which in Japan equates roughly to what we would call a cross between a JSA and a tool-box meeting. 

K= Kiken = "hazard".

Y = Yochi = "prediction".

T = training.

Like a typical JSA, the objective of KYT is to identify hazards, identify and predict incident and consequence potential and identify and select appropriate controls. 

Sounds good to me.




Always report every incident

Graham Marshall - Monday, December 05, 2011

Incident reporting is one of the most important safety-related behaviours that anyone can take.  Always remember, your workplace can’t learn anything from an incident or near-hit which is never reported!

So, the important issues for each employee are knowing how to recognize incidents and near-hits; and how to report them so they can be investigated.

Once an incident is reported into the management system, there is nearly always more than one thing to learn from what went wrong.

For any given incident, there are nearly always multiple triggering mechanisms which caused the incident to occur or the seriousness of the incident to multiply.

Listed below are some examples of contributing triggering mechanisms:

+   People triggers - inadequate training or competency for management of the hazards in the work scope;

Plant and equipment triggers - including safety equipment or shutdown systems which didn’t work or a failure of control systems;

Place triggers - uncontrolled ignition sources, slippery surfaces, or high (or low) ambient temperatures; and

Planning triggers - including a a lack of procedures to control a plant disturbance, lack of emergency response capability, and a lack of adequate use of the Think 6, Look 6 hazard and risk management (HARM) process.

If you are involved in an incident investigation, ensure you identify all of the triggering mechanisms which contributed to the incident so you can learn as much as possible.

When you read an incident report, look for all of the lessons learned and think about how they apply to your plant.

It may also be a good idea to look for more information about a similar types of incidents.


Get your free Job Hazard Analysis

Graham Marshall - Thursday, November 10, 2011

As posted on 1st November, don't forget that this month we're having a buy-one and get one free JHA sale.

To check out the wide range of JHAs on offer, simply click here.

How many Vicars does it take to change a light globe?

Graham Marshall - Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Question: How many Vicars does it take to replace a light globe.  Answer: None - according to the UK HSE.

It's a very old joke, but not particularly funny for Rector Father Paul Smith of St Mary's Church in Cottingham, Humberside (UK).

Father Smith reckons that UK health and safety rules mean he can no longer use a ladder to change light bulbs in the 30 foot tall ceiling of St Mary's; but must, instead hire-in a temporary scaffold each time a globe blows.

Although we at the Risk Tool Box admit to not having been to St Mary's Church, we'd be surprised if an appropriate risk assessment did not find that at least some of the globes in question could not be accessed by ladder using basic controls to reduce the risk to as low as reasonably practical (ALARP).  A generic Job Safety Analysis (JSA) on the use of ladders and trestles can be found here.

We do know that UK HSE Rules do not proscribe the use of ladders and that ladders are considered to be a perfectly adequate and acceptable method of accessing and working in higher-areas - provided that adequate types and numbers of controls are in place.

Maybe Father Smith should contact a local safety specialist to conduct a pro-bono comparative risk assessment on the use of ladders vs temporary scaffolding for changing light globes and we'd be confident that both methods for work at height can be shown to be done safely at the ALARP risk level.  


Free Job Safety Analysis

Graham Marshall - Tuesday, November 01, 2011

We don't care if your workplace calls it JSA, JHA, JRA, JSEA, or even TRA; but we do care that for any non-routine and higher risk job, you have a formal mechanism of planning to control the hazards and manage the risk to the ALARP level.

With that thought in mind and to mark the beginning of November, we're having a special one-off sale on our Job Safety Analysis catalogue throughout the month with a buy-one and get-one free offer.

To take advantage of the this free JSA offer, just visit our selection of JSAs and make a purchase of any applicable JSA and we'll include a free JSA with each purchase.

Simply click here to visit our JSA catalogue.


Improving Safety in the Bakken

Graham Marshall - Friday, October 28, 2011
I feel privileged to have been able to spend a great 15-week work stint with the best team of EHS professionals I've come across in a long time.

The "A" Team Safety Crew - the best in the business!
Front Row - Ruben Aguilar, Jo Pipps, Jose Zenito.
Back Row - Graham Marshall, Andrew Agnew, Matt Muntz, Will McDonagh, Ronny Walker and Wes Frisco.

The Construction EHS Specialists have made a significant difference to a number of construction projects and sites across Western North Dakota over the previous six-months.

The JSAs we've seen getting developed by the guys on the tools have improved out-of-sight as a result of the hard work in coaching, mentoring and training being done by the EHS team above.

Thank you all for the help you've given me on my JSA improvement project in ND and best regards to you all.

Hot Work on Tanks and Containers

Graham Marshall - Saturday, September 10, 2011

Hot working involves all jobs that create ignition sources and these include flames, sparks, welding flash, and electrical arcs.

History demonstrates that there is a particularly high risk of uncontrolled fire or explosion when undertaking hot work on vessels, tanks or containers that contain, or have contained, flammable or combustible hazardous substances.

Such hazardous substances include petrol or diesel, thinners, engine oil, anti-freeze, and solvents.

These hazardous substances are in common use in many industries including manufacturing, mining, engineering, vehicle servicing, energy and utilities and farming.

In all cases, although tanks or containers may appear to be empty, sufficient residue may exist in seams, creases or rust-scale within the container leading to vapours at explosive levels.

Hot work may ignite the vapour contents leading to high-energy explosive releases.

In order to prevent these types of incidents, managers and workers should always ensure that hot work on vessels, tanks, or containers is undertaken using the most appropriate hazard and risk management controls.

These controls include:

1. Eliminating hot work which may not actually be necessary;

2. Substitution of safer alternatives to hot work, including disposal of containers rather than their repair;

3. The use of cold-cutting or cold repair methods;

4. Using specialist contractors who know how to manage the risks involved in hot work;

5. Using engineered controls involving cleaning, purging and inerting prior to hot working;

6. Isolating tanks being worked on from other tanks or vessels that may still contain vapour at the LEL;

7. Ensuring that employees performing hot work are competent to undertake the job safely;

8. Ensuring that an appropriate gas testing and monitoring regime is in place prior to any hot work; and

9. Ensuring that appropriate administrative controls are in place prior to undertaking hot work on tanks which may include a risk assessment, a permit to work and/or a Job Safety Analysis.

A JSA for generic "hot work" can be found by clicking here.

More detailed information is contained in the the UK HSE Code of Practice  entitled  Safe Maintenance, Repair and Cleaning Procedures, Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations (2002).

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