Expro | 2 April 2015

Expro Wins Eni Safety Award

International oilfield services company Expro has been presented with the Eni safety award for well-testing services at a ceremony held on 30 March 2015 in San Donato, Milan.

Expo workers test a well. Expo has won the Eni safety award for well-testing services for the second year in a row.

Expro workers test a well. Expro has won the Eni safety award for well-testing services for the second year in a row.

This marks the second consecutive year Expro has won the award, which recognises a contractor that has achieved the best safety results whilst working with the Italian operator.

The judges based their decision on Expro’s exemplary safety record, with the company accomplishing no lost time incidents during 535,000 hours worked for Eni.

Expro has provided well-testing services to Eni for more than 10 years, predominantly in west Africa, and has maintained an exemplary safety record throughout.

Stefano Dallera, Expro’s global account manager for Eni, said, “We are extremely proud to receive this award for a second time, which recognizes our commitment to championing safety. Our employees strive to embed safety in all aspects of our operations, and this recognizes their continued efforts.”

David Ford, Expro’s group health, safety, environment, and quality (HSEQ) manager, said, “We have fully integrated positive health and safety practices throughout Expro, ensuring mandatory HSEQ core training is completed by all staff, as well as promoting our house rules, which all employees, visitors, and contractors must adhere to.

“We are delighted to receive this award from Eni as it acknowledges our continued commitment to safety management across our global operations.”

Expro was also presented with the Royal Society of Prevention of Accidents President’s Award in 2014, which recognizes 10 consecutive years of Gold Awards.

Drilling Contractor | 31 March 2015

Joint Safety Improvement Plan Aligns HSE Objectives for Shell, Halliburton

Speaking at a joint presentation with Halliburton at the 2015 International Association of Drilling Contractors Health, Safety, Environment, and Training Asia Pacific Conference in Kuala Lumpur on 12 March, Alain Moonen, manager for wells safety at Shell, noted that the industry’s safety performance is tailing off even though we are still going in the right general direction.

“It’s unacceptable that we create an environment where people still get hurt,” he said. Together with Duane Sherritt, vice president of business development Asia Pacific at Halliburton, Moonen shared the results of a joint safety improvement plan (JSIP) put in place between Haliburton and Shell in the Asia Pacific region.

JSIPs are an initiative Shell began 4 years ago in collaboration with several of the company’s business partners. They are jointly created between operator and contractor and work to align and formalize the key HSE focus areas in both personal and process safety. While most companies have the same objectives when it comes to HSE, as well as similar procedures, Moonen explained, the JSIPs are intended to help put those things in the same “language.” Resulting procedures and collaterals will look the same, feel the same and follow the same direction. “It’s very simple, but it’s focused and aligned,” he said.

ProAct Safety | 26 March 2015

Column: Is Winning or Losing a Safety Culture Habit?

When you achieve a year without a recordable injury, do you know why it was a winning year? What is your confidence and strategy to win even more next year?

Goals in safety should be focused on winning, not failing less. Are we winning more today than yesterday? Are we winning the hearts and minds or nudging more hands and feet? You don’t win more by holding ground; you win by continuously advancing. You don’t win more by creating more rules of the playing field or by increasing incentives; you win more by creating a culture where winning is a shared desire. You win more when winning is a habit.

Vince Lombardi, known as one of the most successful coaches in NFL history believed, “Winning is not a sometime thing; it’s an all the time thing. You don’t win once in a while; you don’t do things right once in a while; you do them right all the time. Winning is habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.” Is winning a habit in your organizational culture?

The Washington Times | 19 March 2015

New York, Feds Find Safety Defects in Latest Oil Train Inspections

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the latest round of targeted crude oil tank car and rail inspections have uncovered 93 defects, including seven critical safety defects that required immediate corrective action.

The inspections are the latest in a series of actions state agencies are taking to protect New Yorkers from potential dangers associated with the transport of crude oil by rail.

Cuomo’s office said on 17 March that state and federal teams examined 453 crude oil tank cars and approximately 148 miles of track in these inspections.

ABC | 19 March 2015

WorkSafe To investigate Chevron Safety Claims After Cyclone Olwyn

Western Australia’s industrial safety watchdog will investigate the cyclone safety procedures of US gas giant Chevron after concerns were raised about its Pilbara operations during Tropical Cyclone Olwyn.

Three unions called for WorkSafe to investigate after slamming the company for failing to evacuate workers from their Barrow Island and Wheatstone operations before the Category 3 system hit.

Photos obtained by the ABC showed workers sleeping on the floor, under desks, and in hallways.

Western Australia WorkSafe Commissioner Lex McCulloch said there were several issues raised by the unions, including that evacuations were left until too late and the cyclone-proof worker accommodations on the ship Europa and on-site were inappropriate.

McCulloch said WorkSafe was working with Chevron, the Shire of Ashburton, the Department of Mines and Petroleum Resources Safety Branch, and unions to establish the veracity of the claims.

“We need to be circumspect [and] are not making any judgment around the claims at this point,” he said.

McCulloch said Chevron had been responsive and provided information as requested.

Thorne & Derrick | 13 March 2015

Safety Training Video: Why Lock-Out/Tag-Out Is Vitally Important

Many industrial accidents are caused by the unexpected energization of electrical equipment or by the uncontrolled release of energy through a failure to implement correct lock-out/tag-out. These accidents can be prevented by proper lock-out/tag-out procedures. Safe working practices should be implemented in-house that are designed to prevent needless deaths and serious injuries to service and maintenance personnel by controlling unauthorised or accidental use of energy.

To perform service and maintenance work on industrial equipment safely, you must understand the importance of energy control and the current regulations—you must also know how to apply energy isolation and lock-out/tag-out.

Occupational Health & Safety | 12 March 2015

Column: Lagging to Leading to Transformational Indicators—Measuring the Contribution of Value

Measuring activities to determine the health of improvement efforts or culture tells you very little if excellence is your goal. Excellence is not just zero injuries or incidents; it is the ability to win through the achievement of great results, with strong and confident insight into how the results were achieved, and a culture that focuses on a continuous improvement mindset.

Many well-intended organizations suffer from a programmatic focus and demonstrate an activities-based culture, whether these activities add value or not. For years, the safety profession, in particular, has tried to compete with the business goals of production by integrating activities and thinking into everything to overcome this competition. If there is no real or perceived value that is yielded by the activities, the competition continues, as it was not correctly addressed. Our strategy shouldn’t be to compete; it should show how we will win by adding value. Zero injuries or incidents is the byproduct of the value of excellence, not the final goal.

Effective safety strategy, however, is still surprisingly lacking in many organizations. I have named the “strategy” in place for most the “Perpetual Cycle of Avoiding Failures,” with zero injuries being the primary, misguided goal. The cycle repeats like this:

  1. Review current injury rate
  2. Set new injury rate or objective
  3. Develop a list of initiatives (or programs)
  4. Execute on the efforts
  5. Return to Step 1

Shawn Galloway via LinkedIn | 10 March 2015

Column: To Delegate or Not To Delegate Safety?

To delegate or not to delegate safety? Yes, this is still a valuable question. Utopia, where everyone unquestionably owns safety and holds themselves accountable for the results of their own behavior, would be ideal. We seek for safety to be a value, woven into the fabric of operational decisions and behaviors, but not everyone is there yet. Some are not even close. Envisioning the desired future is of value, but even more valuable is knowing precisely how to get there and who should play what role in the process.

Are We Beginning on the Same Page?

Even among many of the best-performing clients, initial consulting engagements reveal the executive team has differing opinions about the goals in safety: what excellence would look like if achieved, what should occur to transform results, and who to hold accountable for doing so. If the path to safety improvement starts with the senior leaders misaligned, imagine how this influences edicts and intents as they cascade throughout the organization.

Goran Prvulovic via LinkedIn | 25 February 2015

Column: Situational Awareness at an Organizational Level

The concept of situational awareness is not a new one. It is often talked about in management circles and is extensively covered in occupational health and safety literature, especially in relation to an individual’s ability to understand the work environment elements in a particular time frame, evaluate a range of factors, and use the acquired knowledge to predict their status in the future. It is a deep, conscious awareness in “now,” the present moment.

Situational awareness can simply be seen as a past, present, and future state with associated internal questions such as:

  • Where was I, and what happened before?
  • Where am I, and what is happening around me?
  • And where am I going, and what can credibly happen?

There are a range of factors associated with situational awareness such as attention, ability to recognize and retrieve patterns, workload, mental models, and working memory. In fact, situational awareness is mostly about human ability to adequately focus and resist tunnel vision and the capacity to self-reflect. When situational awareness works, we are aware that we are being aware. This is where individuals need to be to achieve safe execution of work and a local workplace balance between production and protection.

Can the same principle be applied to an organization as a whole? Does an organization need to be situationally aware? It makes sense that it does, especially in relation to management of business risks in all functions, and at all levels.

The Associated Press | 23 February 2015

AP Exclusive: Fuel-Hauling Trains Could Derail at 10 a Year

The federal government predicts that trains hauling crude oil or ethanol will derail an average of 10 times a year over the next 2 decades, causing more than USD 4 billion in damage and possibly killing hundreds of people if an accident happens in a densely populated part of the US.

The projection comes from a previously unreported analysis by the Department of Transportation that reviewed the risks of moving vast quantities of both fuels across the nation and through major cities. The study completed last July took on new relevance this week after a train loaded with crude derailed in West Virginia, sparked a spectacular fire, and forced the evacuation of hundreds of families.

The accident was the latest in a spate of fiery derailments, and senior federal officials said it drives home the need for stronger tank cars, more effective braking systems, and other safety improvements.

“This underscores why we need to move as quickly as possible getting these regulations in place,” said Tim Butters, acting administrator for the Transportation Department’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

The volume of flammable liquids transported by rail has risen dramatically over the last decade, driven mostly by the oil shale boom in North Dakota and Montana. This year, rails are expected to move nearly 900,000 car loads of oil and ethanol in tankers. Each can hold 30,000 gal of fuel.

OESI | 19 February 2015

OESI Plans Two Forums To Boost Offshore Safety

The Ocean Energy Safety Institute (OESI) is holding two forums in March in Houston with the goal of increasing safety and environmental responsibility in offshore operations.

The first forum, Decreasing Ocean Energy Safety Incidents Through Greater Incorporation of Human Factors and Human/Systems Integration, will be held 10 March. The second, Maintaining a High-Level of Focus and Increasing the Safety Culture in the Shallow-Water Operating Environment, will be held 11 March.

Human Factors, Human/Systems Integration
Even with continued improvements in engineering solutions and safety management systems, upstream incidents continue to occur in the offshore environment. Throughout early OESI forums, a key thread was the need to discuss human factors in the offshore operating environment. The OESI will convene top industry, academic, and research experts from various companies, universities, and organizations in a forum to discuss “Decreasing Ocean Energy Safety Incidents Through Greater Incorporation of Human Factors and Human/Systems Integration.”

Discussion will revolve around how organizational elements and design decisions can lead to incidents being decreased or mitigated. Speakers will include industry experts such as Eduardo Salas, trustee chairman and professor of psychology at the University of Central Florida, and Anthony Ciavarelli, founder and chief scientist of Human Factors Associates. Presentations will offer perspectives and insight from organizations such as Worley Parsons, Shell, and Transocean.

The forum will look forward by searching for ways to enable the safety culture on the outer continental shelf further by incorporating design and organizational perspectives. Attendees will interact with presenters and panels in order to share best practices, understand areas for further efforts, and develop opportunities for additional research and collaboration.

Registration will include continental breakfast, lunch, and refreshments throughout the day, as well as a summary of the proceedings.

Register for the human factors forum here.

Blowouts in Shallow-Water
While drilling and operating in deep water carries obvious danger and risk, shallow-water drilling and operations are not without their own dangers and risk. With shallow-water drilling conducted in closer proximity to the shoreline, reactions to leading indicators become that much more critical. The OESI will convene top industry, academic, and research experts from various companies, universities, and organizations in a forum to discuss “Maintaining a High-level of Focus and Increasing the Safety Culture in the Shallow-Water Operating Environment.”

Discussion topics will include whether standards and safety barrier equipment (e.g., blowout preventers) should be modified for shallow-water operations and industry efforts in addressing shallow-water blowouts. Speakers will include industry experts such as Charlie Williams, executive director of the Center for Offshore Safety, and Neal Adams, recipient of the 2015 SPE Drilling Engineering Award. Presentations will offer the perspectives of organizations such as the American Petroleum Institute and the Society of Petroleum Engineers, as well as the insight of other well-control experts.

The forum will look to the future by searching for ways to enable the safety culture further on the shallow outer continental shelf. Attendees will interact with presenters and panels to share best practices, understand areas for further efforts, and develop opportunities for additional research and collaboration.

Registration will include continental breakfast, lunch, and refreshments throughout the day, as well as a summary of the proceedings.

Register for the shallow water forum here.

About OESI
The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) selected the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station’s (TEES) Mary Kay O’Connor Process Safety Center to manage the OESI. The 5-year agreement, with USD 5 million in total funding from BSEE, provides a forum for dialogue, shared learning, and cooperative research among academia, government, industry, and other nongovernmental organizations in offshore-related technologies and activities that help ensure safe and environmentally responsible offshore operations. TEES is partnering with Texas A&M University, The University of Texas, and University of Houston to manage the institute.

The institute stems from a recommendation from the Ocean Energy Safety Advisory Committee, a federal advisory group comprising representatives from industry, federal government agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and the academic community. The institute is an important source of unbiased, independent information and will not have any regulatory authority over the offshore industry.

In addition to periodic and topical forums that also help identify areas for further investigation, the OESI will coordinate and focus an effort to identify scientific and technological gaps in the ocean energy safety realm. The OESI will work to synchronize research opportunities to fill these gaps in order to further enable safe and environmentally responsible ocean energy operations. Also, the OESI will facilitate supplemental education and training of BSEE and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management employees to ensure that the federal workforce maintains the same level of technological expertise as the engineers, scientists, and technical experts in the oil and gas industry.

The Associated Press | 18 February 2015

West Virginia Oil Train Derailment Was One of Three With Safer Tank Cars

The fiery derailment of a train carrying crude oil in West Virginia is one of three in the past year involving tank cars that already meet a higher safety standard than what federal law requires—leading some to suggest even tougher requirements that industry representatives say would be costly.

Hundreds of families were evacuated and nearby water treatment plants were temporarily shut down after cars derailed from a train carrying 3 million gal. of North Dakota crude on 16 February, shooting fireballs into the sky, leaking oil into a Kanawha River tributary, and burning down a house nearby. It was snowing at the time, but it is not yet clear if weather was a factor.

The train’s tanks were a newer model—the 1232—designed during safety upgrades voluntarily adopted by the industry 4 years ago. The same model spilled oil and caught fire in Timmins, Ontario, on 14 February and last year in Lynchburg, Virginia.

A series of ruptures and fires have prompted the administration of President Barack Obama to consider requiring upgrades such as thicker tanks, shields to prevent tankers from crumpling, rollover protections, and electronic brakes that could make cars stop simultaneously, rather than slam into each other.