The Risk Management Tool Box Blog

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!

Time in Field Leadership Visits

Graham Marshall - Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Click link for PowerPoint Slideshow

Corporate Manslaughter Trial Ends in Jail Time

Graham Marshall - Wednesday, May 22, 2013

In the United Kingdom, in order to be found guilty of Gross Negligence Manslaughter, the defendant has to owe a duty of care to the deceased; be in breach of this duty; the breach has to have caused the death of the deceased; and the defendant’s negligence was gross (i.e. showed such a disregard for the life and safety of others as to amount to a crime and deserve punishment).

In May 2013, Allan Turnbull of Tow Law, County Durham, has been prosecuted and found guilty of Gross Negligence Manslaughter following a trial into the death of Ken Joyce of Lanchester, County Durham.

Mr Joyce was working for Allan Turnbull, trading as A&H Site Line Boring and Machining, where he was working at height dismantling the structural steelwork of the roof of the Burning Hall at the Swan Hunter Shipyard in Wallsend, Newcastle.

The trial at Newcastle Crown Court heard how Mr Joyce was working from one cherry picker while two colleagues were working from another cherry picker and a crane.  They were dismantling the structure and were using a crane to lower the steel beams to the ground.

While removing a beam brace connecting two plate girders, one of the plate girders struck the basket of the cherry picker in which Mr Joyce was standing, knocking the equipment over.

Mr Joyce fell to the ground below and was pronounced dead soon after.

The police and UK HSE investigation found that Allan Turnbull had failed to adequately plan the work after identifying a lack of suitable and sufficient lifting plans to ensure a safe system of work was in place for the dismantling of the structural steelwork.

Allan Turnbull had earlier pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2(1) and 3(1) by virtue of Section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work Act (1974).

He was sentenced to three years in prison.

Ken Joyce lost his life as a result of collective failures which included not preparing in advance a detailed plan of how the work should be carried out and no lifting plans to ensure the safe removal of the beams.

Other people with responsibility for safety can learn from this and ensure they take the necessary action to deal with the high risk involved with work of this nature.

In a statement, Mr Joyce’s family said:

"As his family, we are striving to honour Kenneth’s memory and are still coming to terms with the void his absence has left in our lives over the past four years.

"Above all else we have hoped for justice for him and for the intensity of the sadness and grief created by his untimely passing, to ease and lessen with the aid of this justice, along with the healing passage of time."

NZ Safety Statistics Are Concern

Graham Marshall - Saturday, November 03, 2012

New Zealand does not have a very big population, but more than 100 people die from catastrophic workplace accidents each year.

And nearly 1,000 people die as a result of more chronic work-related diseases such as those associated with exposure to asbestos.

Records also show that the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment receives about 6,000 reports of a serious harm incident occurring in NZ workplaces each year.

Furthermore, around 190,000 people claim workers compensation medical costs as a result of being harmed at work.

Of those injured workers, around 23,000 people are injured seriously enough to be off work for more than a week and 370 people are injured seriously enough to require hospital care and be diagnosed with a life-threatening condition.

These are all very worrying statistics and NZ business needs to do more to get a grip on work place hazard and risk management.

Safe Work Australia Week

Graham Marshall - Sunday, October 21, 2012

Safe Work Australia Week commences today (21st October) and runs through to the 27th October, with the theme ‘Safety begins with ‘S’ but starts with ‘You”.

Safety is an ongoing topic in any workplace but this week specifically encourages staff on all levels to contribute to their workplace health and safety.  It is up to all of us to facilitate continuous improvement and ensure a safe working environment for everyone.

Nominations are also being called for the Safety Ambassador of the Year Award to highlight and reward the efforts of individuals who improve their workplace safety. The results will be announced at the end of the month on the Safe Work Australia website.

Some suggestions for information sessions to be run in your workplace during Safe Work Australia Week could include:

+   Manual handling;
+  Healthy eating and snacking;
+  Sunsmart techniques -  slip, slop, slap and wrap;
+  Fatigue management;
+  Hydration and heat management in summer;

There is still time to invite and encourage your staff to participate in Safe Work Australia Week.

Workplace activities may include:

+  Lunchtime walking groups;
+  Conducting hazard checks during walk-around;
+  Organise first aid training;
+  General housekeeping of work stations; and
For more suggested activities and other information, visit the Safe Work Australia website.

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. 


HSE Policy

Graham Marshall - Saturday, January 07, 2012
Like every succesful organization, the Risk Management Tool Box has it's own HSE Policy.

Ours says:

It is the policy of the Risk Management Tool Box to protect the health and safety of our people and the people we come into contact with, and to minimize our impacts on the environment in which we work.

This is achieved by:
  • Complying with our environmental, health and safety legal responsibilities;
  • Using our own Think 6, Look 6 Process to identify hazards, assess risk, and develop and implement appropriate controls that manage hazards and reduce risk to acceptable levels;
  • Engaging people suitably qualified, skilled, and experienced in meeting this policy;
  • Educating and training our people in the use of the Think 6, Look 6 Process;
  • Recognizing that no business objective is so important that it cannot be completed safely and without unwanted impacts to our health or the environment; and
  • Recognizing that we all have the authority to stop-work if we feel unsafe or are concerned about our health or the environment in which we are working.

To review the formal signed copy of the HSE Policy, simply click here.

Feel free to leave a comment about our HSE Policy.

Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health

Graham Marshall - Monday, August 29, 2011

Workplaces subject to atmospheres which may be immediately dangerous to life and health (IDLH) require special respiratory protection programs to be in place.

An IDLH atmosphere is one in which the atmosphere poses an immediate threat to life, would cause irreversible negative health effects, or would impair an individuals ability to escape from danger.

IDLH atmospheres include those containing less than 19.5 per cent oxygen and those containing known or suspected toxic contaminants.

Employers who control workplaces subject to IDLH atmospheres must provide workers with the following respiratory protection measures where they are exposed to IDLH environments:

1. Full-face-piece pressure demand self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) that is certified for air supply for 30 minutes or more;

2.  Combination full-face-piece pressure demand supplied air respirators with auxiliary self-contained air supply; and

3.  Annual fit testing must be conducted for any employee who is required to wear either a positive or negative pressure tight fitting face piece respirator during the course of their work duties.

Safe Evacuation of People With Disabilities

Graham Marshall - Thursday, August 18, 2011

The safety-critical component to any emergency evacuation of a facility is to get everyone away from the danger zone quickly and safely. 

In the case of people with a disability, if they can get into a facility then there is no reason for them not to be able to get out again during an evacuation.
To assist property and facility managers with developing sound planning for such emergencies, Standards Australia has developed AS/NZ 3745 2010.

The objective of AS/NZ 3745 is to provide a framework for emergency planning, utilizing the built facilities as appropriate to ensure the safety of all occupants.

The new Standard also includes expanded and revised sections on the following topics:

(a) Developing the emergency plan;

(b) Duties of the emergency planning committee and emergency control organization;

(c) Provisions for occupants with a disability;

(d) Education and training; and

(e) Guidance on how to determine the size of the emergency control organization.

A useful website for those with a further interest in planning emergency response requirements for people with disabilities can be found here.




Land Rig Safety Case

Graham Marshall - Friday, August 12, 2011
It is high summer on the Northern Prairie and land rigs are working round the clock up here in North Dakota and in other states across the USA.

I'm over here on an implementation program focused on improving the quality of JSAs being done by civil and construction contractors working in the Bakken around Minot, Tioga and Willeston.

Man, there is a lot of stuff going on in the field right now.

To help to keep the oil-field safe, the folks over at the International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) have developed a HSE Case Guideline.

The Guideline has been developed by IADC in order to achieve the following HSE outcomes:

  • Provide an HSE Case methodology for Drilling Contractors that meets international standards;


  • Assist National Regulators in reviewing Drilling Contractors' HSE Cases enabling Land drilling rigs to operate in different regulatory jurisdictions;


  • Verify compliance with applicable regulatory and contractually agreed HSE requirements; and


  • Assist Drilling Contractor's to demonstrate that their HSE Management System’s risk reducing measures meet agreed-upon stakeholder’s expectations.

To access a copy of the IADC HSE Case Guideline, simply click here.

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