The oil and gas industry is arguably the most influential to the global economy and hence the reason it attracts concerns from all nations. Issues surrounding oil prices, demand, pollution, and accidents elicit concerns to the oil suppliers and importers in equal measure. With the sector regarded as one of the most hazardous, different nations have enacted environmental health and safety acts to reduce the possibility of the fatal accidents that cost companies billions and incapacitates the employees.
By 2006, the oil and gas industry employed more than 500,000 people in the US directly and indirectly. Based on surveys conducted by the industry players, oil and gas sector accounts for more than a third of all job site accidents with the bulk related to falls. Of these accidents, an overwhelming majority can be prevented if the staffs use the appropriate tools, protective gear, adhere to the safety precautions and give alarms when near misses occur.
Unlike other issues, employee safety is a work in progress that management needs to track real time. Once a safe working environment can turn out to be a death trap if the EHS executives do not track the changes. Often an instance of inattention thinking of your personal challenges and disruptions results in the trip slips and falls. While most companies incur huge sums in treating and compensating the injured persons, one cannot wish away the amount of money lost in the lost working days. For this reason, oil and gas companies need to consider the following tips to lower the job site falls.
While most companies are striving to keep a safe working environment, they cannot avoid cleaning, construction and loading activities that often carry a substantial amount of risk. The majority of your employees could have been in business long enough to master all the walkways, but need constant updates on any activities occurring in the compound. You may utilize various communication platforms such as emails or provide warning signs in areas where spillages occur. It helps to divert traffic from areas of potential risk lowering possible slips.
Like other manufacturing operations, oil drilling, refining, and distribution generate a substantial amount of dirt that calls for regular cleaning. For this reason, good housekeeping comes a long way to reducing oil debris on the working surface hence reducing potential falls. A well-organized cleaning program eliminates employee injuries hence lowering the bulging cost of insurance and legal citations. With most enterprises outsourcing the support services, it’s vital to incorporate hygiene in the staff performance reviews as it promotes ownership of the process.
In every working environment, every job requires a set of instruments for the workers to complete without exposing to falls and trips. While a vast majority of the slips occur on the slippery floors, those working at height remain in a high risk of slips and falls that could be fatal. For this reason, they need to use the appropriate tools to access the workstations such as secured ladders and scissor lifts. Permanent walkways require regular inspections to prevent falls arising from faulty platforms. As if not enough, workers ought to understand the potential risks associated with each site as it improves awareness.
Other than equipping staff with the relevant tools of work, every factory needs to adhere to the set guidelines. While diverse operations require employees to use different kinds of protective gear, all need adequate protection against fire and slips. Fire resistant clothing such as FR shirts, FR sweatshirts, FR head wear, overalls, coveralls, and outerwear. When it comes to fall protection, Cestus Deep grip Kool Glove, Basic MetalCarpal Gloves and work boots comes in handy for employees working on elevated and slippery platforms.
It is one thing to equip the workers with the right gear, and it’s a different one to create a culture where all adhere to safety protection. Nonetheless, managers need to lead from the front and devise policies, programs, and initiatives aimed at improving awareness. A zero tolerance policy and safety rewards help companies transfer the responsibility from senior management to the employees.
With numerous loading and offloading activities, it’s almost impossible to eliminate oil spillages on the loading zones and refineries. Also, leakages emanating from torn pipes increases the level of spillages that might be hard to remove. While oil carries the bulk of spillages, poorly cleaned and dried areas enhances the risk of falls and hence the need for the cleaning crew to dry the surfaces after cleaning and prevent detergents from spilling to the cleaned areas. Additionally, the staff ought to know when the cleaning is to progress through signs and communication.
Traditionally, employees failed to report most of the near misses due to the fear of reprimand, posting dangerous risks that caused fatal incidences. For this reason, businesses fell to numerous accidents that drained them vast sums of money. In a bid to reduce the occurrence, modern players increased employee involvement through competitions and rewards for those that report near misses. Nearly all trips and falls can be prevented if the employers take the required measures to eliminate the hazards.
Being one of the most common cause of falls in the oil industry, leakages not only increase the risk of fires but slips on the walkways. Upon discovery, the business needs to move with speed before it becomes untenable hence increasing the cost of repairs and loss of the product. Other than oil leakages, water pipes are prone to wear and tear raising the possibility of water access to the waterways. It may take the time to identify the underground pipes hence increasing the risk of slippery sites.
Another way to curb falls on the job sites is allowing sufficient illumination in all the walkways, parking, staircases, basements, dock areas and ramps among others. Poorly lit areas need to stay clear of any obstacles and debris while one needs to switch on the lights before entering a dark room. In case the lighting system is not functional, a quick replacement may seem expensive but likely to save you millions. With numerous power outages, consider an architectural design and building materials that promote natural lighting.
In most instances, warehouses and processing plants are full of luggage movements in and out of the factory and the warehouse. It is likely to fill the walkways with raw materials, containers and finished product blocking the main walkways. When blocked, people are liable to seek alternative routes to access their workstations and hence expose them to possible falls as the routes are not secured. Keeping clear paths does improve not only safety but also the operational efficiency.
Physical barriers and protective gear only serve to enhance the safety of a well-trained and dedicated team. The people aspect needs to take prevalence if the company needs to achieve significant results in workers safety. For this reason, you need to examine the level of awareness across all the team to develop a training program that suits the specific needs of each group. Training new workers goes a long way in inculcating a safety culture that is driven by the employees.
In areas where operators are involved in lifting loads, adequate support facilities and platforms help in lowering potential slips. They need to have the appropriate handling tools and equipment to prevent potential strains that lead to falls. With mechanic handling machines available, you can avoid almost all human handling hence increase efficiency and cushion the business and workers against the devastating effects of injuries.