The Risk Management Tool Box Blog

Writing Proper Standard Work Procedures

Graham Marshall - Thursday, April 06, 2017

Over the previous eight-years I've  worked on improving Procedures in the United States Oilfield.

In those eight-years I have assisted my US client to use proper Procedures to drive huge Safety, Quality, Delivery and Cost (SQDC) improvements in their business.

For example, we have cut well completions costs from $15 Million in 2008 to under $5 Million in 2017.

We have reduced OSHA recordable incidents from three per month in 2008 to none in 2015 and one in 2016.

We have reduced the spud-to-spud drill rig time from 45-days to 15 days.

Putting together everything I've learned about good Procedures; I have recently delivered two training courses in how to write proper Procedures in Western Australia.

Because of the success of the the first two programs, I have decided to deliver four more programs in July and August 2017.

You can review the coarse objectives below.

The next day-long programs will be delivered on the following dates:

  • Thursday 6th July 2017;
  • Thursday 20th July 2017;
  • Thursday 3rd August 2017;
  • Thursday 17th August 2017; and 
  • Thursday 31st August 2017.

For further details, program costs and to make a booking to attend, simply click this link.

Free Quality Audit for Procedures

Graham Marshall - Monday, March 27, 2017

For a limited time, I'm offering a free service to any Organization that wants a FREE and independent Quality Audit of any written Standard Work Document.

The free service applies to a quality check for Procedures, Guidelines and/or Work Practice type Standard Work.

Details of the offer are shown below!


Details Matter in Safety Procedures

Graham Marshall - Monday, March 02, 2015

This month's Process Safety Beacon highlights how the details matter when it comes to writing Standard Operating Procedures (SOP).

One tip that I always use whenever I'm writing a Safety Procedure is to include numbers in both text and numeric format.

So, for example, forty-five feet (45') is written like that!

"Pressure-test the system to a maximum of five-thousand psi (5,000 psi)" is another example of this process to be used when writing SOPs.

The reason I do this with numbers is that it is so easy to miss a single zero (0) off a written number, and five-thousand (5,000) of something, suddenly becomes five-hundred (500) in the written SOP.

It may not matter, but often, there is a very big difference in a unit that is ten-times (10x) bigger or smaller than it is meant to be!

Water Pump Explosions

Graham Marshall - Friday, September 06, 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.

Supervisors Role for HSE

Graham Marshall - Tuesday, April 30, 2013

It is a self-evident truth that Supervisors perform a vital role in the identification and control of hazards, and minimization of risk.

The supervisor's role is critical in showing "the public face" of the organisation; representing the organisation’s HSE values, HSE priorities and HSE expectations. 

And employees will typically  look to their supervisors’ actions to identify those behaviours and attitudes which are likely to be viewed favourably or otherwise by the organisation. 

As such, supervisor language and behaviour has a direct impact on employee HSE behaviour. 

From a risk management perspective, effective supervision requires time spent coaching employees in identifying, understanding and controlling hazards.

This approach to supervision not only educates employees in the how and why of hazard identification and management, but also demonstrates that it is the top priority for the organisation. 

Furthermore, direct feedback is one of the most effective tools that supervisors can use to improve employee HSE performance.

There are a broad variety of strategies that can and should be used to improve supervisor performance in promoting and reinforcing appropriate hazard management behaviour. 

From a personnel resourcing perspective, the following strategies may be beneficial:

   Maintain a low employee to supervisor ratio for teams where hazard management is a critical part of their function;

   Provide supervisors with training and coaching in understanding human error mechanisms and fatigue and time pressure issues. 

   Develop Procedures that support supervisors in implementing this knowledge;

   Encourage supervisors to provide feedback to planners in relation to actual vs. planned time for task completion, and build this feedback into future man-hour estimates;

   Provide supervisors with an opportunity to challenge or question plans and schedules; and

   Exercise caution when adding to the workload or responsibilities of supervisors. 

Research shows that, as their workload increases, supervisors spend less time engaged in one-on-one coaching with their employees. 

But this one-on-one coaching is precisely the most effective leadership tools used by supervisors, particularly in relation to promoting and encouraging hazard management behaviour.

Two Darwin Businesses in Court over Gas-bottle Explosions

Graham Marshall - Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A Darwin company has been charged over the gas bottle explosion that killed Patrick "Paddy" Bird more than a year ago.

Mr Bird, 24, was killed when pressurized flammable gas cylinders left in his enclosed work van exploded outside his Parap home on December 16, 2011.

The ignition spark came from the remote central locking device on his car key as he opened the van door.

As a results, Damday Pty Ltd could now be fined up to $650,000 if the NT Work Health Authority can successfully secure a conviction.

Representatives of Damday appeared in Darwin Magistrates Court on Monday charged with failing to identify risks to health or safety arising from their own conduct.

The charges were laid under the repealed Workplace Health and Safety Act.

Another Darwin company, Arafura Plumbing, has also been charged over a similar incident that occurred in July 2012.

Arafura Plumbing has been charged with reckless conduct that risked death or injury and failing to comply with a prohibition notice.

It could now be fined up to $3 million.

The authority laid the charges under the Work Health and Safety (National Uniform Legislation) Act 2011.

In a statement, the authority said it would allege the practice of allowing pressurized flammable gas to be left in enclosed vehicles was considered a "hazard" to the health and safety of workers and members of the public due to the risk of an explosion.

The authority has to prove that Arafura Plumbing engaged in conduct "without reasonable excuse" to secure a conviction.

Both companies will re-appear in court next month.

Information on safe use of Oxygen

Graham Marshall - Sunday, February 10, 2013

The air we breathe contains about 21 per cent oxygen.

But even a very small increase in the oxygen level in the air -  to just 24 per cent - can create a dangerous situation.

At 24 per cent concentration of oxygen in air, it becomes easier to start a fire, which will then burn hotter and more fiercely than in normal air.

Under such circumstance, it may be almost impossible to put the fire out.

Oxygen is also a hazard because it is very reactive.

Pure oxygen, at high pressure - such as from a cylinder - can react violently with common materials, such as oil and grease. Other materials may catch fire spontaneously.

Nearly all materials, including textiles, rubber and even metals, will burn vigorously in oxygen.

A leaking valve or hose in a poorly ventilated room or confined space can quickly increase the oxygen concentration to a dangerous level.

In response to the hazard posed by excess levels of oxygen, the UK Health and Safety Executive (UK HSE) have developed a new guidance leaflet for use by anyone who uses oxygen gas in cylinders, in the workplace.

For a copy of the new leaflet, simply click here.

The leaflet describes the hazards from using oxygen and the precautions needed when using oxygen equipment.

If you are an employer, it provides information which will assist you in your risk assessment.

And remember, all employers are legally required to assess the risks in the workplace, and take all reasonably practicable precautions to ensure the safety of workers and members of the public.

This may include a careful examination of the risks from using oxygen in your risk assessment.

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.

Annual Report for the Risk Management Tool Box

Graham Marshall - Saturday, December 29, 2012

The shareholders of the Risk Management Tool Box Pty Ltd are pleased to publish the Business' Performance Results for 2012.

We know that open and honest talking with our stake-holders is important to building trust and earning respect.

We therefore openly provide information about our business, including reporting our performance against our annual targets.

2012 was another excellent year for our business.

Although there has been a gloomy global economic climate, our continued focus on the core business needs of our cornerstone customers ensured we've weathered the storm. 

In 2012 we benefited from our business' continued presence in the economic powerhouse of Western Australia, and our recognition of the future role of "unconventionals".

Our strategic focus on the needs of our key customers in "unconventionals" in the three "boom" areas of WA, coal-seam gas around Roma in the Surat Basin in Queensland, and in the "black-gold" boom in the Bakken in North Dakota, USA has kept us 100% busy throughout 2012.

Key accomplishments for the Risk Tool Box in 2012 include:

•  Co-winning with Hess Corporation, the Society of Petroleum Engineers' (SPE) and APPEAs Global Safety Innovation Award for 2012;

•  Broadening our knowledge and understanding about risk management requirements in unconventional oil and gas - particularly around "completion operations" and "frac";

•  Exceeding cash-flow and profitability targets;

•  Continuing to run a debt-free and cash-flow positive business for another straight year;

•  Meeting our tax obligations to the ATO;

•  Developing and commercialising our Hazard Observation Program with field-based trials with Eni (Australia);

•  Continuing our program of charitable donations throughout 2012;

•  Not recording any lost-time injuries;

•  Continuing to publish our Risk Tool Box safety blog as a free industry resource on a daily basis; and

•  Having a lot of fun along the way!

Unfortunately, we did not meet all of our targets. Performance was not as good as we had hoped in the following areas:

•  Our 49% shareholding in Eveleigh Consulting Pty Ltd (formerly trading as An Mea WA) has once again proved a great disapointment - with $0 delivered against our investment by Steve Williams and Sean O'Donnell, the management team of that business; and

•  We have not been successful in recruiting the people we need to grow the training-arm of our business;

But, despite those minor setbacks, we will continue to focus on our strong relationships with existing clients in Santos, Hess, Shell Development Australia and Fremantle Ports.

We will also continue to leverage the strengths of our staff in delivering high quality work from our offices in Perth to:

•  Consolidate and grow relationships with existing clients; and

•  Diversify our client base in our target industry sectors of oil and gas, particularly those involved in "unconventional" hydrocarbons.

Growth will be delivered by maintaining our office in Perth, and enhancing our training program with new customers.

Our strategy for 2012 has delivered value to our shareholders. It’s great to continue to return strong profitability and to reward the hard work of our staff by once again paying profit-based bonuses in 2012.

We are very confident that our continued presence in Perth, Roma (QLD), and in the Bakken, and our current focus on "unconventional" hydrocarbons means we're on the leading edge of the breaking wave in energy supply.

We are excited about our future and our growth plans are realistic and sustainable.


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