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HEALTH & SAFETY


jack-up rig, the load or lifting gear could swing and break a floodlight’s mounting bracket. Without an effective preventative solution in place, this floodlight could fall from height, resulting in damage and potentially injury. Human error remains a significant factor, not just during routine operations, but also in the approaches adopted to mitigate dropped object risks. A large proportion of fixtures and fittings that drop do so because they have been inadequately secured, or because proper procedures have not been followed. ‘Sling’ solutions have commonly been deployed to tackle dropped object risks – constituting a cable tethered to the structure and attached to a loose fixture. However, such a sling would be unlikely to prevent an object from dropping if the mounting bracket came loose, for instance. A solution is


Pouches keep equipment secured


bust’ cycles, combined with the drive towards life extension and increasing personnel turnover, may ultimately impact the sector’s ongoing response to health and safety challenges. So how can the industry be sure it continues to take a best practice approach to mitigating the major dropped object hazards?


FALLING FIXTURES Harsh environments mean that corrosion is a common cause of weakened fixtures upon on- and offshore structures, especially on unmanned or ‘stacked’ facilities that do not benefit from regular human supervision. Vibration from drilling activities or


impacts relating to operating equipment can also cause fixtures to fall. For example, during lifting operations on a


52 www.engineerlive.com Nets are a key part of Dropsafe’s range


needed that encases the whole object and attachment structure. Te industry is starting to standardise its use of robust netting solutions, which fully enclose fixtures. A stainless- steel mesh net, tested to well over the product safe working load (SWL), will – unlike cheaper sling options – both hold fixture mounting brackets in place, and prevent fixtures from scattering shrapnel across the drill floor upon impact, reducing risk of further harm to personnel.


HANDHELD TOOLS Without an effective drops prevention solution, personnel who are ascending structures may drop handheld tools and equipment, such as two-way radios, portable gas detectors or multi-meters, and ultimately cause injury to personnel below. Te number of reported incidents of dropped handheld tools is significant, and the true scale of this threat remains unclear, as many incidents and ‘near-misses’ are unlikely to be recorded. A large percentage of dynamic dropped objects incidents are caused by operator error, pointing to an over-reliance on human proficiency when it comes to preventing handheld object drops. In almost all cases where


an object falls from height, the safety of personnel is put at risk – and even if no personnel are injured, costs are commonly incurred for the replacement of lost or damaged tools, and as a result of associated project delays. A proven solution to preventing handheld object drops is the use of a stainless steel mesh pouch that can secure items and be attached to an engineer working at height. A custom- designed pouch for use in extreme weather conditions fully encloses and tethers the item to the user, effectively preventing an incident from occurring.


WALKWAY OBJECTS On an oil rig, derrickhands spend up to 25% of their time on monkey boards high up in the rig’s derrick. If a derrickhand is undertaking equipment


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