The Risk Management Tool Box Blog

Mine Water Management Conference

Graham Marshall - Thursday, July 12, 2012

Enclosed here is the brochure on the upcoming International Mine Water Association (IMWA) 2012 conference to be in held in Bunbury, Western Australia from 30 September 30 - 4 October 2012.

This is the first time this prestigious international industry conference has been in Australia in 25 years, and the first time in Western Australia.

The conference themes are within a broader theme of "Reducing the impact and making the most of mine water" as a broader addressing of mining industry sustainability through wise and care use of water.

Sub-sea First Response Toolkit (SFRT)

Graham Marshall - Saturday, July 07, 2012

Twelve of the World's largest oil and gas companies have committed $25.2 million towards an Australian industry program to deal with the potential for uncontrolled oil and gas leaks.

Woodside Petroleum is joined by Royal Dutch Shell, Apache, Chevron, BHP Billiton, ConocoPhillips, Eni, INPEX, Santos, ExxonMobil, PTTP, and BP.  Each partner has committed $2.1 million to the new program.

The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) will co-ordinate the program and the 12 companies will commit the funds over five years to ensure access to a sub-sea first response toolkit (SFRT).

The SFRT is designed to address the risk of any uncontrolled discharge from offshore sub-sea oil and gas wells.

The specialized equipment will be located in Australia and contracted through the industry-funded Australian Marine Oil Spill Center (AMOSC) for immediate mobilization if there is an sub-sea blow-out.

The SFRT contains all equipment needed to clean the area around the wellhead, enable intervention and prepare for relief well drilling and safe installation of a capping device.

All Australian offshore operators will be able to access the SFRT on an affordable basis.

Speaking at the launch of the program, APPEA chief executive David Byers said "The continued development of offshore oil and gas is essential for Australia's prosperity and energy security, but the industry must ensure we have access to the latest systems, technology and expertise to achieve the highest standards for our environment and safety performance."

Mr Byers said the Montara and Macondo offshore oil spill disasters, and subsequent inquiry recommendations, had highlighted the need for the international offshore petroleum exploration and production industry to create a capability for fast and effective response to uncontrolled hydrocarbons releases.


Mechanical Integrity of Small Diameter Tubing

Graham Marshall - Saturday, May 19, 2012

Enclosed here is this months Process Safety Beacon with an interesting feature regarding the mechanical integrity of small-bore tubing.

The beacon highlights that the proper installation, maintenance, and inspection of metal tubing is important in preventing fires and toxic material releases in major hazard facilities.

It warns that you shouldn't forget about tubing just because it is of a small diameter.

Even a small leak from tubing can cause a fire which can grow much larger, and small releases of toxic materials also can be dangerous.



European's Agree on Seveso III Directive

Graham Marshall - Sunday, May 06, 2012

On 1st June 2015, further stringent requirements will be applied to UK and European companies classified ‘SEVESO’ in order to prevent and control accidents involving hazardous substances.

The Seveso III Directive will apply to around 10,000 establishments in the Uk and the rest of the EU.  Its main objectives will be:

+   Defining the hazardous substances falling within the scope of the directive;

+   Align which hazardous substances are included/excluded, that do/do not present a major-accident hazard;

+   Strengthen provisions about access to information, participation in decision-making and access to justice;

+   Improve the way information is collected, managed, made available and shared; and

+   Introduce stricter standards for inspections to ensure  implementation and enforcement of safety rules.

To read the EU Press release regarding the implementation of the Seveso III Directive, simply click here.


Vegetable Oil Spill

Graham Marshall - Saturday, March 17, 2012

Most of our customers are in the hydrocarbon industry, and they typically understand the severe penalties that are applied as a result of oil spills.

But this post serves as a reminder to other industries which store and use vegetable and other oils that oil storage regulations also apply to them.

In a recent case at Worcester Magistrates Court in the UK, Dawn Foods Limited pleaded guilty to two charges that resulted in the pollution of the River Avon.

Dawn Foods was fined £23,500 and ordered to pay £7,950 in costs following a vegetable oil spill.

The charges were brought after Environment Agency officers attended a report of an oil spill on the River Avon in Evesham.

Investigations confirmed that approximately 800 litres of rapeseed oil had spilled from a 5000 litre tank at Dawn Foods premises.

A bund in place around the oil tank had not contained the leak.

As a result, approximately 800 litres entered the River.

The rapeseed oil had escaped from a storage tank via a flexible pipe, fixed in place with a jubilee clip, which had become detached.

The use of a jubilee clip is not an industry recognised practice.

In passing sentence, the Court took into account the fact that the company had no previous convictions, they cooperated fully with the Environment Agency, they had borne the clean up costs and had pleaded guilty at an early opportunity.

Speaking after the case, an Environment Agency spokesperson said, "This incident could have been avoided if the company had properly considered the environmental risks associated with their business activities.

Dawn Foods Limited had poor knowledge of their own site drainage. They did not have a plan of what to do in the event of a spillage at the site and unfortunately this resulted in the pollution incident and today's court appearance."

At the Risk Tool Box, we recommend that all businesses need to be aware of the potential costs to the environment, their finances and reputation should a pollution incident such as this occur.

And remember, having an Incident Management Plan detailing the actions to be taken in such circumstances, will help to minimize impacts to the environment.

UPSS Regulation in NSW

Graham Marshall - Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Further to the post I made yesterday (12th March ) regarding the updated NSW Underground Petroleum Storage Systems (UPSS) Regulations.

I have now come across a small information brochure put out by the NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change (NSW DECC) which addresses the requirements of the UPSS Regulations in NSW.

A copy of the UPSS information brochure can be found here.



NSW Underground Petroleum Storage Regulation

Graham Marshall - Monday, March 12, 2012

The NSW Underground Petroleum Storage Systems (UPSS) Regulation has recently been ammended to extend the NSW EPAs role with authority for the implementation of the Regulation to June 2017.

The UPSS Regulation continues to require owners and operators to regularly check for leaks in the UPSS used to store and handle petroleum products.

They also need to meet minimum standards in their day-to-day environmental management of these storage systems.

Under the Regulation, it is against the law to allow or ignore contamination resulting from a leaking or faulty UPSS.

The person responsible for a UPSS (usually the owner/operator) is required to have in place:

+    A system for detecting and monitoring leaks;

+    Groundwater monitoring wells at sensitive locations and a program to test them;

+    An Environment Protection Plan for the facility; and

+    Systems in place for record keeping, reporting leaks and notifying the shire when a UPSS is decommissioned.

A copy of the NSW UPSS Regulation is available by clicking here.


CAMEO Database of Hazardous Chemicals

Graham Marshall - Thursday, February 23, 2012

CAMEO is a fantastic database of hazardous chemicals that has been developed (for free) by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the USA.  Find it online here.

Emergency responders and planners can use CAMEO to get response recommendations and predict hazards, such as explosions or chemical fires.

You can search through thousands of data sheets, using a name, identification number, or other search criteria to find a particular chemical of interest.

Data sheets for each chemical provide critical response information, including physical properties, health hazards, information about air and water hazards, and recommendations for fire fighting, first aid, and spill response.

Additional data sheets based on UN/NA identification numbers provide response information from the Emergency Response Guidebook and shipping information from the HAZMAT Table (49 CFR 172.101).

Additionally, you can make a collection of chemicals and then use the chemical reactivity tool to predict what hazards could arise if the chemicals were to mix together.

The CAMEO software suite is available in both online and desktop versions and it is free.

Identifying Open Water Oil Spills

Graham Marshall - Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Emergency preparedness is is the sixth step in our Think 6,  Look 6 hazard and risk management process.

And an important step to any oil spill response is to quickly assess the character and extent of oil spilled on the water.

This information can then be used to prioritize an appropriate spill-response and to direct the overall cleanup.

To facilitate oil spill preparedness, the good folks at the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have created this job aid: Open Water Oil Identification Job Aid for Aerial Observation.

The job aid covers these topics:

•  Introduction and basic overview of how to visually assess spilled oil;

•  Glossary of standard terms used in pollution response;

•  Codes you will use to describe oil colors and structure/distribution;

•  Chart for visually estimating the percent coverage of spilled oil;

•  Thickness and concentration values for each of the oil color codes;

•  Checklist for organizing and recording observations of spilled oil; and

•  Photos showing different types and distributions of oil on water and common response activities.

To download a copy of the job aid, simply click here.

Maintaining Small Oil Storage Tanks

Graham Marshall - Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Oil Fire Technical Association and the Federation of Petroleum Suppliers, together with the UK Environment Agency have released a Pollution Prevention Guide to assist small to medium size enterprizes and homeowners to mange the risk associated with above-ground oil storage tanks.

At the Risk Tool Box, we recommend you review the PPG if you’ve installed a new tank at your home or business or if you’ve moved into premises with an existing tank.

The guide gives useful information and advice about above-ground oil storage tanks and how to look after them.

A free copy of the PPG is available by simply clicking here.

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