The Risk Management Tool Box Blog

Stowaway Risk to Shipping

Graham Marshall - Monday, September 01, 2014

Here is a link to a Marine Safety Forum Safety Alert highlighting the risk of stowaway incidents on ships in port.

New Job for Gulf of Mexico

Graham Marshall - Wednesday, December 04, 2013

We're pleased to have won a contract to develop around 120 Standard Operating Procedures for the Baldplate Platform in the Gulf of Mexico.

The job involves ensuring the SOPS are written in line with the requirements of the SEMS firmly embedded.

We've been chosen for the job following our success in developing a suite of Procedures for completion operation in the Bakken oilfield in North Dakota.

ATSB Hot Work Safety Video

Graham Marshall - Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is urging all maritime workers and boat owners to watch a short online safety video that features an accident involving a crew member on board a ship who was tragically killed by an explosion while cutting a used 200 litre drum with an angle grinder.

The ATSB has investigated several accidents involving "hot-work" cutting of used fuel drums in the marine industry.

In all cases, the  accidents could have been prevented if the workers had just given some time to think about the hazards involved and followed proper "hot-work" procedures.

The video provides a powerful reminder to all seafarers of the need to take make sure that hazards involved in "hot-work" are appropriately managed.

To view the video, click this link.

2nd Offshore Process Safety Conference in Houston

Graham Marshall - Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Six oil and gas operators and over 200 renowned industry experts  from leading firms will gather at the 2nd Offshore Process Safety Conference in Houston, 11-12 Sep 2013.

This is a major collaborative effort to enhance process safety and HSE risk management for drilling and  production operations; making this conference the largest and most important meeting places for offshore senior decision-makers in 2013.

Critical reasons to attend this year's premier process safety conference include:

+  Regulatory updates from COS and USCG about new developments in the GoM;

+  Six Operators and over 25 of the industry's leading experts will be sharing exclusive strategies for implementing successful SEMS programs and audits, along with the tools you need to build a robust safety culture;

+  Enhance Process Safety for Drilling Operations to ensure safe, reliable and compliant operations; and

+  Networking with  senior delegates form operators and contractors.

November 15th 2013 is a major deadline for operators and thousands of contractors to complete audits of their Safety and Environmental Management Systems. By attending you will receive the latest strategies for enhanced SEMS compliance, safety culture, leadership, drilling process safety and contractor management.

Limited speaking and sponsorship/exhibition opportunities are available. To register your interests please contact:

 Adam Minkley
 Project Director
 Tel: +44 (0)207 375 7239

Hydrocarbon Releases in the North Sea for 2012

Graham Marshall - Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Hydrocarbon releases in the UK sector of the North Sea reached a record low last year according to new figures from the Health and Safety Executive (UK HSE).

There were 97 incidents reported to the UK HSE in 2012.

This is down from 133 reported incidents in 2011 and continuing a long-term downward trend.

The figures reveal a 48 per cent reduction in the number of hydrocarbon releases over the last three years – just short of the target the industry set itself in 2010 to halve releases.

The target was set following pressure from the UK HSE to improve performance.

In 2009 there were 187 hydrocarbon releases, of which 86 were classified as significant or major (84 significant and two major).

Piper Alpha Workplace Involvement Day

Graham Marshall - Monday, June 03, 2013

To mark the 25th anniversary of the Piper Alpha disaster, Step Change in Safety and the UK HSE are jointly running a Workforce Involvement Day at the Aberdeen AECC on the 19th June 2013.

The event is free of charge.

The day will be driven by the workforce for the workforce and bring together 500 delegates to reflect on the tragedy, share the lessons learned and review how far offshore safety has evolved in the 25 years since Piper Alpha.

In particular it will focus on the industry’s commitment to workforce engagement and consider what each of us can do to play our part in the drive towards continuous improvement in offshore safety.

The full agenda for this event will be available on the Step Change website.

Take Care With Ship Gangways

Graham Marshall - Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Kinetic Energy in Crane Wire Rope

Graham Marshall - Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The safety alert (below) produced by the Marine Safety Forum highlights how the stored kinetic energy hazard within wire-rope used in slings and rigging should be understood before working on changing out such types of wire-rope.

The alert also highlights the need for: 1) Document Procedure for the task; 2)  JSA to be completed highlighting the kinetic energy hazard; and 3) No one to stand in "line of fire" when removing spooled wire-rope.

Offshore Oilwork Work Seven Times More Dangerous

Graham Marshall - Sunday, May 19, 2013
The chance of getting killed while working in the offshore oil and gas industry is seven times higher than for all workers in the United States, according to a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of offshore fatal injuries between 2003 and 2010. 

It’s getting to work that is the most dangerous part of an offshore worker’s job, the study concluded: 65 of the 128 deaths during the seven-year period studied, or 51 percent, were attributed to transportation accidents.

And 49 of those involved helicopter accidents, all in the Gulf of Mexico. 

Transportation events (specifically helicopter crashes) were the most frequent fatal event in this industry.

The study also points out that since the adoption of new technology in late 2009 that uses satellites to send weather and other emergency information to air traffic controllers and aircraft, no fatal weather-related helicopter crashes have occurred in connection with oil and gas operations. 

The Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast technology supplants the reliance of pilots and air traffic controllers on radar, which does not pick up low-flying aircraft, and traditional radio communications equipment, which have limited capabilities and are not effective in warning pilots of rapidly changing weather conditions.

The report also recommended that the oil and gas industry adopt aircraft operation guidelines developed by the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers that have more stringent safety requirements than Federal Aviation Administration rules.

Those guidelines recommend that pilots and passengers complete helicopter underwater escape training and wear life jackets during all flights over water. 

They also recommend that flotation gear be installed on helicopters that will automatically inflate when the vehicle hits water, and that such flotation gear must be capable of keeping the helicopter on the water’s surface. 

The guidelines also recommend that companies provide locator beams for pilots, passengers and life rafts, and that the rafts be mounted on the outside of the helicopters. 

The study said that the 128 fatalities in the study period represents an average 16 deaths per year, and estimated that the fatality rate was seven times higher than for all U.S. workers, 27.1 deaths per 100,000 offshore workers versus 3.8 deaths per 100,000 workers nationwide. 

Workers directly employed in the oil and gas extraction industry accounted for 87, or two-thirds, of the deaths. 

Of those workers, 43 worked for well-servicing companies, 26 for drilling contractors, and 18 for oil and gas operators. 

The remainder of the deaths involved employees in another industry, including 24 in transportation and warehousing, 10 in construction, and eight in other industries. 

The researchers obtained their fatality data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Census of Fatal Occupational Industries. 

An earlier report found that mechanical failures and bad weather were the most common reasons for helicopter crashes involving offshore operations in the Gulf between 1983 and 2009. 

That study found that aircraft flotation devices either failed to deploy or malfunctioned in 20 percent of nonfatal crashes. 

A separate study of Canadian civilian helicopter crashes into water found that drowning was the primary cause of death, and that use of life jackets by pilots and passengers was inconsistent.

Dropped Objects on MODUs in WA

Graham Marshall - Tuesday, May 14, 2013

There has been a dramatic increase in dropped objects occurring offshore Western Australia in the first quarter of 2013. 

Nine dropped object notifications have been received by NOPSEMA so far this year. 

All of these dropped objects have occurred on mobile offshore drilling units (MODUs). 

As a comparison, one dropped object was reported on a single MODU for the same period in 2012 and a total of 13 for the entire year.

The weights and heights of the dropped objects ranged from a couple of kilo's to over 2 tons and from less than 1 metre to 43 metres. 

The ‘DROPS Calculator’ highlights that a mass of as little as 700 grams falling from a height of 15 metres could result in a fatality. 

Dropped objects have included drill pipe and casing, a spool of wire rope, a navigation light fitting, slip inserts, a hose bundle, an equipment handle and a camera located in the derrick. 

Three members of the workforce have recieved injuries as a result of three separate dropped object events. 

Two workers required a medical evacuation from the offshore facility, while another worker required first aid  treatment. 

In another case, a member of the workforce was standing only 2 metres from where a 28 kilogram object landed having dropped from a height of 19 metres. 

Analysis using the industry supported ‘DROPS Calculator’indicates that six of these dropped object events could have resulted in a fatality.

Analysis of the dropped object events in 2012 highlighted the predominant root causes as being: 

1. Poor design of equipment; 

2.  Work procedures not being followed correctly; 

3.  Wrong procedures used or no procedures used; 

4.  Dropped objects not anticipated and factored into the planning for the work; 

5.  Lack of training, lack of instruction, lack of understanding of the task; and 

6.  Preventive maintenance issues.

Operators and other duty holders need to take urgent action  to arrest this worrying trend.

The Risk Management Tool Box re-iterates the requirement for duty holders in offshore and onshore environments to ensure an appropriate balance of preventative and mitigative control measures are identified and implemented during lifting operations.

There is also a critical need to apply the hierarchy of controls to kinetic energy hazards which are present during lifting operations.

In particular, operators are reminded that the control mechanisms should focus on elimination, substitution and engineering controls before consideration of administrative controls and the use of PPE.

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