The Department of Labor states that on-the-job fatality rates are seven times higher for oil and gas extraction workers than all other industries. The only solution to this serious problem is proactive compliance with a comprehensive safety and health management program. Continual risk identification, analysis and policy enforcement are the keys to keeping workers safe and avoiding operational downtime.
Hazards in oil and gas industry are divided between safety and injury dangers and health and illness hazards. Front-line supervisors should work with safety managers to conduct risk assessments that are founded on historical experience, analytical methods and field knowledge and judgement. A risk assessment will ask three basic questions for each possible event: what can go wrong, how likely will it occur and what are the impacts. Both qualitative and quantitative answers offer unique value. Safety planning and risk assessments require that everyone involved understands the objectives, the methods, the resources required and how the results will be applied.
Standard Evaluation Methods
A risk assessment generally involves four basic steps: hazard identification, frequency projection, consequence assessment and risk evaluation. Hazard identification methods include literature research, safety audits, periodic walk-throughs and what-if brainstorming. Popular tools include FMEA, HAZOP and HAZID. Frequency assessment methods include fault tree, event tree, human reliability and common cause failure analysis tools. Consequence assessment methods include source term, aquatic transport, atmospheric dispersion and blast and thermal radiation models. Popular evaluation methods include risk profiles, indexes, matrixes and density curves.
The Hazard Identification (HAZID) Technique
HAZID is a safety tool to describe activities that identify risks and associated events. Offshore petroleum facilities often use HAZIDs to identify potential hazards to personnel, such as injuries and illness, to the environment, such as spills and pollution, and operational issues, such as delays and production losses. Offshore petroleum leaders often use the HAZID technique to analyze operational procedures on vessels and machinery. A HAZID planning session will involve an interdisciplinary team that includes those who have experience with facility design, such as engineering, and facility operation, such as veteran employees. Together, they will use checklists to methodically brainstorm and identify potential hazards associated with each part of the system.
A what-if analysis uses subjective questioning to ponder potential performance problems and their consequences. For example, if an intake air filter is blocked, this will reduce the air flow through the compressor, which will consume more energy and lead to functional inefficiencies. The solution is through monthly inspections and scheduled filter replacements. Contact us today to learn how Accupoint can streamline your safety, compliance and risk assessments processes.
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