The Risk Management Tool Box Blog

JSA Training Program Results

Graham Marshall - Wednesday, February 06, 2013

We've recently completed a JSA training program with 100 workers in an oil field belonging to a new customer.

Our new customer required that we collect feedback from their employees and contractors to allow them to evaluate the success of our JSA training program, prior to a wider roll-out of the program in the field.

Enclosed here is a JSA feedback report which shows how the workers thought about the JSA training program and the comments that they made on their feedback forms.

The name and location of the customer has been removed, but otherwise all results and comments are as they were collected.

We'll let you decide if this group of 100-field workers thought our JSA training program is any good!


Safety Shocker of the Week

Graham Marshall - Friday, February 01, 2013

For employers in the UK, Regulation 4 (1) of the Work at Height Regulations (2005) states that every employer shall ensure that work at height is properly planned, appropriately supervised and carried out in a manner which is reasonably and practicably safe.

So it is not really surprising that Fastrac Profiles Limited, of Neptune Industrial Estate, Willenhall, near Wolverhampton, was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay £3,761 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work of Height Regulations for allowing work to continue in the manner shown below.


The shop fitting company was fined for the safety failings after instructing two employees to work at height without any protective measures or relevant roofwork training.

The men, who do not wish to be named, were spotted and photographed by a member of the public.

And a complaint was made to the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

HSE then visited the site and found the workers were not trained for the roof repairs they were undertaking.

Stafford Magistrates' Court heard that they had been instructed to weld steel to uprights at the apex of a roof.

The work was poorly planned and no risk assessment had been carried out. HSE inspectors also found that no fall-prevention measures, such as scaffolding, had been put in place.

Although the failings did not result in a fall or injury, the two employees, plus others working below them, were placed in unnecessary danger.

We all know that falls cause a large number of of fatalities. And the risk involved with work at height is entirely foreseeable.

It is, therefore, essential that proper planning, risk assessment and training is undertaken to reduce these risks.

Newton Aycliffe Safety Workshops

Graham Marshall - Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Businesses in the NE of England town of Newton Aycliffe  are being offered workshops in OHS as part of a new initiative to provide free information, support and guidance.

The Estates Excellence initiative, organized by a range of partners, will offer a series of special events at South West Durham Training premises.

The workshops will offer free expert advice covering a wide range of topics such as:

+  Fire risk assessments;

+  Control of substances hazardous to health (COSHH); and

+  Practical manual handling.

The Estates Excellence team will be approaching businesses in the town over the next few weeks to explain the services they can offer.

If a business wants to take part, further meetings will be set up to assess its operations, identify any risks and then provide relevant workshops on topics such as risk assessment, stress at work, workplace transport, manual handling and fire management.

Estates Excellence has been organized by Durham and North Yorkshire Safety Group and South West Durham Training, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Durham County Council, and is supported by Great Aycliffe Town Council.

Other partners supporting the initiative include North East TUC, Engineering Employers Federation (EEF), NHS County Durham, Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service, Federation of Small Businesses, ARCO and local companies.

Safety Alert - Fall from Height

Graham Marshall - Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Enclosed here is another safety alert from the good folks over at the Marine Safety Forum.

It illustrates how not considering all the risk factors associated with a given task can result in a serious incident.

The importance of checking-over the actual area where work is to take place is important, and should be reflected on every JHA.

Common Safety Training Program for Experienced Workers

Graham Marshall - Sunday, September 30, 2012

The APPEA industry forum on Tuesday 14th August 2012 identified that experienced workers (those with more than one year's industry experience) can have their Recognized Prior Learning ("RPL") status confirmed within the Common Safety Training Program (CSTP) if they have previously completed the Hazard and Risk Management Training Program offered by the Risk Tool Box.

According to the CSTP Independent Reviewer, the Risk Tool Box training program meets the Recognized Prior Learning status for the CSTP module "Identify Hazards and Assess Risk".

The confirmation of our RPL status by APPEA and the CSTP means that company's with offshore workers could save themselves thousands of dollars in future additional training costs.

That is because the Risk Tool Box training program already addresses the Step-back, Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) and Qualitative Risk Assessment RPL requirements within the CSTP framework.

The confirmation of RPL status for our training course is applicable to more than 10,000 employees and contractors who have completed our Stepback and JHA training. 

HSE Managers and/or Training Managers in the following company's should now check their records for evidence of their workers attending our hazard awareness and JHA training:

+   TK Shipping;
+   BHP Billiton;

+   Hess;

+   Santos;

+   ENI;

+   Transfield Worley;+   Shell Development Australia;

+   Chevron;

+   Woodside; and

+   Other smaller contractors and suppliers who work in offshore production and/or drilling facilities.

We will also continue to assist any company with its Hazard Awareness, Stepback, JHA, Risk Assessment and HazOp Training requirements using our industry-leading program. 

And unlike certain other organizations that have come to WA from Aberdeen, NSW, or elsewhere to make some quick cash from our boom, we're a proudly Australian business with a WA-developed program from the start back in 1998!

CSTP Confirms Recognized Prior Learning for Risk Tool Box

Graham Marshall - Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Alf Standen (Independent Reviewer) has confirmed to Dr Graham Marshall of the Risk Tool Box, that offshore workers who have attended the Hazard and Risk Management Training Program offered by the Risk Tool Box over recent years may have "recognized prior learning" (RPL) status within the the Common Safety Training Program (CSTP) module called "Identify Hazards and Assess Risk".

According to the confirmation by the CSTP Independent Reviewer, workers who have completed the Risk Tool Box training program addressing Step-back, Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) and Qualitative Risk  Assessment may meet the RPL requirements within the CSTP framework."  

The confirmation was made verbally in response to a question put to Alf Standan.  In all cases, Organizations and individuals wishing to learn the status of RPL, should contact either APPEA or the independant reviewer for further confirmation of thier status.

According to the confirmation by CSTP Independent Reviewer, workers who have completed the Risk Tool Box training program addressing Step-back, Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) and Qualitative Risk Assessment may meet the RPL requirements within the CSTP framework.

The confirmation of RPL status for our training course may be applicable to more than 10,000 employees and contractors who have completed our Stepback and JHA training. 

We suggest that HSE Managers and/or Training Managers in the following organizations check their training matrix records for evidence of their workers attending our hazard management program since 1998:

+   Shell Development Australia;

+   Chevron;

+   Woodside;

+   BHP Billiton;

+   TK Shipping;
+   ENI;

+   Transfield Worley;

+   Hess;

+   Santos; and

+   Other smaller contractors and suppliers who work offshore on the NW Shelf or further afield.

Of course, we will be also happy to continue to assist any organization with its Hazard and Risk Management Training requirements for Stepback, JHA or Risk Assessment using our World-class program.

RPL for the Common Safety Training Program

Graham Marshall - Thursday, August 16, 2012

APPEA and the Common Safety Training Program (CSTP) Independent Reviewer have both confirmed that Australian energy sector workers who have attended the Hazard and Risk Management Training Program offered by the Risk Tool Box over recent years shall have "recognized prior learning" (RPL) status for the CSTP module called "Identify Hazards and Assess Risk".

The RPL element within the Risk Tool Box training program covers Step-back 5X5 and JHA or JSA as well as Qualitative Risk Assessment to allow for working safely within the CSTP framework.

APPEA's confirmation of RPL status for our program will apply to over ten-thousand workers who have attended our training course. 

Workers in the following organization's should check with their training or records keeping department for evidence of attending Risk Tool Box's industry leading training program since 1998:

+   Woodside Energy between (1998 and 2007);

+   BHP Petroleum (Griffin Venture);

+   Chevron (Barrow Island);
+   ENI Australia (2005 - 2011);

+   Hess Corporation (2008 - present);

+   Santos (2007 - present); and

+   A range of other small contractors and suppliers who work in the offshore oil and gas industry.


What is Optimistic Bias?

Graham Marshall - Friday, August 03, 2012

I'm sure we would all recognize that we have subjective biases about a wide range of issues.  These cognitive biases are simple judgement short-cuts that have proven useful over time and get repeated because of their utility.

But cognitive biases can, however, lead to faulty decision-making. This is particularly dangerous when it comes to biases about HSE risk.

One example of a cognitive bias that can adversely affect our risk assessment decision-making has been called "optimistic bias".

Optimistic bias is a tendency to overestimate how good we are at things and underestimate our susceptibility to harm, relative to other people

If you've heard people at your workplace say “I won’t get hurt because I’m an expert” or “it won't happen to me”, then you're maybe facing the "optimistic bias".

A scaffolder who refuses to wear a harness, claiming “People hardly ever fall”, or “I won’t fall because I’m an expert” is a typically good example of optimistic bias in action.

In risk assessment, optimistic bias can lead to an underestimation of likelihood and consequence values for potential incident scenarios.

It can also lead to the overestimation of the strength of prevention and escalation controls.

The underestimation of likelihood and consequences and the overestimation of a sense of control can both lead to a reduction in the residual risk score below what is potentially "real".

This can result in insufficient controls and, potentially, to an accident. 

By understanding that the optimistic bias may be present during risk assessments, it is possible to manage the bias and reduce the chance of getting the risk-assessment wrong.

An independent review process is a good starting point for reducing optimistic bias.

Independent reviews of completed risk assessments can  provide an opportunity to challenge assumptions.

Verify information sources and erring on the side of caution are other approaches which can prove useful during risk assessments.

Does OHS Training Work?

Graham Marshall - Thursday, July 26, 2012

Statistics for the 2010 period, published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), show that about 80 per cent of workplace fatalities in Australia occurred in the following industries:

+   Construction (28 deaths);

+   Non-mining primary industries (26);

+   Manufacturing (15);

+   Transport and storage (14); and

+   Mining (6).

A comparison of the number of workplace fatalities and the rate of OHS training within each sector shows an interesting "inverse" relationship.

The highest fatality rate, at 6.9 fatalities per 100,000 workers, was in the non-mining primary industries, which the ABS also shows to have a low rate of OHS training. Only 52 per cent of workers in these non-mining primary industries had received appropriate OHS training.

This fatality rate was almost double that for the mining industry, which was 3.5 per 100,000 workers.  The ABS showed that 92 per cent of mining workers had received appropriate OHS training.

It seems apparent that understanding and applying the hazard and risk management process through the implementation of risk management tools such as Stepback, JSA or Risk Assessment is important to staying healthy and safe.

Feel free to get in touch about our Stepback, JSA and Risk Assessment training programs as it is clear that they have the potential to continue to play important roles.

ALARP and Risk Management Planning

Graham Marshall - Sunday, May 20, 2012

In developing any HSE Risk Management Plan (RMP), the organization must show that there are reasonable grounds for believing that the RMP demonstrates that the  risk associated with the business venture is being reduced to "as low as reasonably practicable" (ALARP).

So ALARP is a very powerful concept because it allows - and demands - outcomes that are reasonable under the given circumstances.

For that reason, the principle of ALARP has long been applied in the oil patch.  So what does ALARP mean?

The legal definition for ALARP was defined in an English courtroom in 1949.

In a legal case heard by Lord Justice Asquith (Edwards v National Coal Board, 1949), Asquith said:

Reasonably practicable is a narrower term than ‘physically possible’ and seems to me to imply that a computation must be made by the owner, in which the quantum of risk is placed on one scale and the sacrifice involved in the measures necessary for averting the risk (whether in money, time or trouble) is placed in the other; and that if it be shown that there is a gross disproportion between them — the risk being insignificant in relation to the sacrifice — the defendants discharge the onus on them.” 

Using that definition, any Risk Management Plan must demonstrate that any additional "costs" (time, money, resources, etc) that are required to reduce the risk of the business venture further would be grossly disproportionate to the risk reduction being made.

So the ALARP test is for organizations to demonstrate in their RMPs that the options chosen to reduce risks are those which are reasonably practicable.

Conversely, they may need to demonstrate that other options - which may be "physically possible" - but which have not been selected are not reasonably practicable.

When planning any oil field activity, organizations should ask themselves:

“Can we reasonably be expected to implement a better risk management option than the one we've chosen?”

If the answer to that question is "yes"; then your business is almost certainly NOT at the ALARP level. 


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