Aquatic Achieves 1 Million Working Hours Without a Single Lost Time Incident

Aquatic Engineering & Construction, an Acteon company, has marked 1 million working hours without a single lost-time Incident (LTI). This milestone follows Aquatic’s achievement of 1,000 days without an LTI in December 2014.

Photo courtesy of Aquatic.

Photo courtesy of Aquatic.

David Tibbetts, vice president of technology for Aquatic and accountable for the health, safety, environment, and quality function, said, “This achievement is due to the commitment of the Aquatic team to maintain the culture of safety promoted globally by Acteon. Our staff training focuses on our obligation to the safety of all those who work with us, and for us. With the support of Acteon, Aquatic is focused on continually improving standards, strengthening its culture of safety and remaining firmly committed to HSEQ leadership in the offshore industry.”

Aquatic is an independent operator of modular carousels, reel-drive systems, and tensioners  for the global oil and gas, telecommunications, and energy industries.

Simon Whittaker via Linkedin | 29 December 2015

Column: The Scope of Risk Management

We use many different terms to describe common risk-management concepts. For example, risk, threat, hazard, and in insurance peril are all used interchangeably; but, this often causes significant confusion.

To manage this, some countries and organizations have attempted to develop standards for the purpose of defining a common risk-management language. Examples of such standards include the Australian/New Zealand Standard (AS/NZS 4360:1995). Other countries such as the UK, Canada, and South Africa have also developed similar standards. Some leading risk-management organizations have also developed standards. This includes the Association of Insurance and Risk Managers, Alarm, the Institute of Risk Management, and the International Standardization Organization.

It is worth noting that often people identify risk in a negative light, equating it with threat to some goal or objective. However, business is built upon risk and without it there would be no possibility to make profit—which is commonly recognized as a reward for taking a risk.

Rigzone | 22 December 2015

Offshore Safety in the UK Oil and Gas Industry

The UK’s independent regulator for work-related health, safety, and illness, The Health and Safety Executive, released on 23 September its Annual Offshore Statistics & Regulatory Activity Report 2014/2015, which outlined the current state of the UK’s offshore oil and gas industry.

Around 332 installations were operating within the United Kingdom continental shelf (UKCS) in 2014/2015, of which, 236 were production installations. More than 5.5 million days were spent offshore during this period, and HSE estimates that there was an offshore population of 33,664 full-time-equivalent workers.

HSE’s report indicates that there was one fatality on the UKCS in 2014/15 as a result of a fall from height, which is the same number as 2013/14 and an improvement from 2011/12. Over the last 10 years, there have been a total of just eight fatalities in the UK’s offshore oil and gas industry, despite the millions of registered worker days. Sixteen specified injuries (SI), a classification that includes incidents such as fractures, burns, and sight impairments, were reported during 2014/15, although this figure cannot be reliably compared to previous years because of a change in classification in October 2013 from major injuries (MI) to a shorter list of SI. During 2013/2014, 37 major/specified injuries were registered.

Charles McLaughlin via LinkedIn | 14 December 2015

Column: Safety Leadership, Bearing the Burden

Safety leadership professionals who are part of organizations with access to ready finance, and perhaps even unlimited resources at their disposal to realize their vision of an improved workplace safety culture, are a rare breed. It would be great, would it not, if we all had the time, we all had the committed management teams, and we all had access to the necessary tools, and materials to make our vision a reality. The burden of safety leadership would then be shared equally around the organization, exactly where it should be. However, for the majority of safety leadership professionals, regardless of the industry or country they work in, it is usually the exact opposite.

For those of us who are not lucky enough to be in the position of having everything at our disposal, bearing the burden of safety leadership, particularly within the middle to lower echelons of the organization, is incredibly difficult. Indeed, having to lead by example all the time, across all points of the organizational compass, within the various departments, mediating between management and shop floor, and, of course, having to navigate through the shenanigans of office politics on a daily basis can sometimes be soul destroying.

Therefore, what options are open to us as safety leadership professionals in this situation? Do we see this as a challenge and redouble our efforts, or do we capitulate and say enough is enough and walk away? Both of these decisions are never taken lightly and may certainly require some serious soul-searching before the final decision is made. Nevertheless, whether we stay or move to another company, the challenge remains the same: How do I, as a safety leadership professional, improve the workplace safety culture of my organization?

Fuel Fix | 1 December 2015

Column: More Dialogue Needed on BSEE Well Control Rule

Safe, responsible energy development in the Gulf of Mexico and beyond is vital to the US economy and job growth, as well as US energy and national security. Joint efforts from the oil and natural gas industry and federal government have made great strides to enhance the safety of offshore operations in the half decade since the Deepwater Horizon accident.

Industry is committed to safe offshore operations and has worked tirelessly over the past 5 years to improve offshore energy development. A comprehensive review after the 2010 spill has led to better spill prevention, subsea containment, and response capabilities. More than 100 exploration and production industry standards were strengthened or enhanced, including for well design, blowout prevention, maintenance, repair, and spill response. The industry also created new capabilities for rapid deployment of subsea well containment technology.

Rigzone | 19 November 2015

Advancements in Video Tech Increasing Safety in Oil, Gas

Advancements in video technology are increasing the level of safety in the oil and gas industry, according to Adrian Fielding, senior manager for industrial security solutions at Honeywell Process Solutions.

Speaking at an annual meeting for Honeywell users in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa being held in Madrid, Fielding suggested such advancements reduce the level of risk to the workforce by allowing staff to control field environments from safe, centralized locations. He also claimed that this technology can increase the level of consistency in upstream operations.

“The advancements in video technology and the ability to communicate that seamlessly back to a centralized control room means we can have efficiencies of the workforce in the field by putting eyes in the field, without the guys,” he said.

Safeopedia | 19 November 2015

Safety Moment: Confined Spaces

“When my employer said he wanted to send me on a training course so that I could work safely in confined spaces, I thought it was a bit unnecessary. Was he worried about me bumping my head or something? What an eye-opener! I never realized that there were so many dangers involved in working in a confined space or that there had been so many terrible accidents related to confined-space work.”

One of the biggest dangers of working in a confined spaces is the lack of multiple escape routes should anything go wrong. For example, five workers died after a fire broke out in a confined space at a hydroelectric plant in Colorado. They were able to stay out of the flames, but they succumbed to oxygen deprivation as rescue workers struggled to gain access to the tunnel in which they had been working.

This accident also underlines the danger of fumes building up in confined spaces. In a 2014 accident at the Corona brewery, several workers died because of toxic air quality. The saddest thing about these deaths is that they could have been prevented if adequate risk assessments had been conducted and appropriate safety precautions had been taken.

Engineering and Technology History Wiki | 6 November 2015

History of Operational Safety Awareness in the US Gulf of Mexico: A Personal Recollection

The operational safety of workers and the public during all aspects of offshore activities is of paramount importance. By “operational safety,” I mean safety and environmental protection aspects in the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of drilling and producing systems. The industry has always been concerned with operational safety. After all, no one wants to be killed or be the cause of a fellow worker or employee to lose his life or be seriously injured. However, our awareness of how to act on that concern and what is possible from the standpoint of safety has changed over the years.

It could be quite a complicated undertaking to address every change that has taken place in attitudes and regulations over a half of a century of innovation. In 1964, the industry wondered if it was possible to develop oil fields in 600 ft of water, we had just seen the building of the first semisubmersible drilling rig (Bluewater I) and the first subsea wells producing to shore (Molino offshore in California), and there were no floating production facilities as development options. Rather than attempting to write a detailed book-length accounting of this subject, this is merely a personal recollection of the main changes as I experienced them.

The history of operational safety awareness by industry in the US Gulf of Mexico is one of periods of slow improvements with dramatic step changes after major accidents. I wish it were otherwise, but, in reality, the industry has historically only responded with major changes in the way it designs and operates its offshore drilling and production activities in the face of negative publicity from a few highly visible and publicized accidents and the threat of regulations. Thus, the history of safety awareness by industry is generally, with many specific company exceptions, a history of major accidents, the threat of new regulations, and industry’s response to these threats to assure the regulations are both practical and efficient.

Maersk Oil Qatar | 6 November 2015

Maersk Oil Qatar Expands Commitment to Road Safety

Maersk Oil Qatar (MOQ) has reinforced its commitment to road safety in Qatar through a sponsorship of the 24th International Traffic Medicine Association (ITMA) Congress being held for the first time in Doha, Qatar. The sponsorship builds on MOQ’s extensive support for Qatar’s One Second national road safety brand and other traffic medicine initiatives.

The 24th World ITMA Congress will be held 16–18 November for the first time in the Middle East under the patronage of Qatar’s Prime Minister and Minister of Interior H E Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani. International experts from around the world will present the latest studies and research related to traffic medicine and traffic safety.

The sponsorship is one of numerous road safety initiatives from MOQ to assist the country to achieve the National Traffic Medicine Strategy Goal 2013–22. For example, MOQ sponsored a knowledge-sharing visit to the Swedish Vision Zero authorities in 2014, followed by a PowerTalk road safety event this year with key stakeholders in Qatar. And more than 6,000 young adults have so far participated in Students for Road Safety—an MOQ awareness program that aims to transform students into ambassadors for positive road behaviors.

Sheikh Faisal bin Fahad Al-Thani, deputy managing director of  Maersk Oil Qatar, said, “MOQ has a proud history of supporting schemes that bring meaningful benefits to Qatar, and, as part of a global conglomerate, the Maersk Group is ambitious and committed to Qatar for generations to come. Road safety is a huge challenge for all countries, including Qatar, so I’m pleased that we are helping to bring the brightest experts to Qatar to look for solutions at the 24th World ITMA Congress.”

The sponsorship agreement was signed by Brig. Engineer Muhammad Abdullah Al Maliki, secretary of the National Traffic Safety Committee and chairperson of the Organizing Committee, and Sheikh Faisal bin Fahad Al Thani, MOQ’s deputy managing director, in the presence of Capt. Mubarak Salim Al Bouainain, assistant director of the Public Relations Department at the Ministry of Interior.

The motto of the 24th ITMA Congress is “Traffic Medicine and Road Safety in Fast Developing Countries.” Delegates will be drawn from medical doctors, physiologists, psychologists, traffic safety experts, vehicle designers and manufacturers, engineers, policy makers, police officers, and insurance experts.

The group of experts will share the most advanced traffic medicine concepts and techniques to help prevent traffic crashes and boost traffic safety, first-aid, and medical treatment and, in the process, reduce deaths and disability cases.

Read more about the 24th ITMA Congress here.







Penn Live | 23 October 2015

OSHA Inspects Less Than 3% of Shale Drilling Sites in Pennsylvania

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has inspected less than 3% of Marcellus Shale drilling sites in Pennsylvania.

Nearly 9,500 unconventional wells have been drilled in Pennsylvania since 2004, and records reveal the federal agency has inspected 254 of those work sites during the last 10 years.

OSHA’s Wilkes-Barre office conducted 133 inspections, the Erie office logged 73 inspections, Pittsburgh had 37, and Harrisburg recorded 11 inspections. The Wilkes-Barre and Pittsburgh offices oversee counties with several thousand wells, while there are few in Harrisburg’s territory.

In all regions, some operators and sites were inspected multiple times, while others weren’t inspected at all.

23 October 2015 | Rigzone

The Increasing Safety Investment of North Sea Energy Firms

In July, oil and gas industry skills organization OPITO reported a 250% rise in the number of North Sea energy firms investing in systems that assess and develop workforce competence and safety.

According to the organization, more and more of these energy companies, which typically run bespoke competence management systems (CMS), are seeking approval from OPITO of their CMS in order to gain globally recognized endorsement and add credibility to their internal competence structures.

An OPITO representative said the organization received enquiries from 20 companies, from January to August alone, including majors such as BP, regarding OPITO CMS approval. BP recently became the latest major operator to achieve approval for its in-house competence management system, after a series of independent audits carried out by OPITO found that processes within BP met all 20 best practice points of the criteria necessary to help ensure competence.

This accreditation makes BP one of just a handful of companies whose competence management system was endorsed by OPITO with no additional requirements or recommendations. Other notable energy firms that have achieved OPITO CMS approval include BG Group, Total E&P UK, Shell Nigeria Exploration & Production Co, Petrofac Offshore Engineering & Operations, Wood Group PSN, and the Cameron-Schlumberger joint venture OneSubsea.

The latest trend in safety system investment recorded by OPITO should help to improve the North Sea’s oil and gas industry safety record, which currently includes some alarming statistics. There have been fatalities in the UK’s offshore oil and gas sector every year since 2011–12, with the exception of 2012–13, and the number of injuries that lasted over 7 days (O7D) has increased consecutively every year since 2012–13, with 125 O7D injuries registered in the last year alone, according to the Health and Safety Executive’s annual Offshore Statistics & Regulatory Activity Report 2014–15, which was released 23 September. The report also states that there were 16 major/specified injuries in 2014–15 and reveals that 369 dangerous occurrences were recorded in the last year, of which more than one-fifth were hydrocarbon releases.

Ocean News & Technology

DNV GL To Lead Project Developing End-of-Life Guidance for Offshore Installations

DNV GL, in collaboration with Decom North Sea, is seeking industry partners to participate in a joint industry project. The project will develop industry guidance to assist in effective and cost-efficient major accident hazard management for installations during late-life and end-of-life operations. It will also facilitate Safety Case compliance through cessation of production, well plug and abandonment, decommissioning, dismantlement, and removal.

Image courtesy of DNV GL.

While there is considerable experience, guidance, and clarity on managing major accident hazards during the operational life of an installation, there is relatively little knowledge on effective risk management for the late-life phases, leading into cessation of production, through to final installation removal. This period can extend for many years and it can include step changes in major accident hazards risk and has considerable uncertainty.