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Showing posts from November, 2014


Fire on an oil and gas facility is no joking matter especially if located offshore.

For one thing these accident types choose the most unexpected times to occur. Typically in the dead of the night, pitch black surroundings, while most persons onboard are in slumberland dreaming of a beautiful and magical tomorrow. So the accident arrives, unannounced, and proceeds to wreak havoc on all, any and every, leaving devastation in its wake. Survivors, if there are any, are left aghast, wondering what went wrong.

The aftermath of any major accident event (MAE) on an oil and gas facility is sure to throw up an endless reel of questions ranging from what was going on at the time, who was doing what, where, how, when and for how long? Was the correct procedure adopted? Was the job hazard thoroughly evaluated? Was the supervisor competent to oversee such jobs? What about safety precautions for the job? Was there a Permit-To-Work clearing the work to go ahead? What about Emergency Response Plan? …


We often tend to cover up avoidable mistakes at work, play, on the road, at home and in the community with that word "ACCIDENT", but most times the word is just a convenient scape goat.

Sheer escapism. But don't get me wrong because occasionally accidents do occur. Earthquakes, land and mud slides, tsunamis, etc. are accidents but they happen to be natural occurrences or events. Being of such peculiar nature, there is precious little we can do to prevent them coming to pass, thereby limiting us to whatever damage controls we can muster in their aftermath to minimize fallouts or consequences.

But not so for injuries, deaths or property damage at work, play, home, road or in the community because we can and should be able to prevent or at the very least, reduce the frequency of occurrence, if we chose to do so. It therefore follows that what we like to conveniently refer to as accidents at work and everywhere else are simply products of our errors, omission and/or commiss…


In 'ACCIDENT IS MONEY DOWN THE DRAIN', we tried illustrating  how a NOTHING HAPPENED near miss incident of a hammer accidentally slipping off a technician's grasp, falling through a considerable height and landing safely between two busy foremen, with no damage to property or injury to anyone on site resulted in so much useful production time loss. A conservative computation of the time-cost estimate showed what seemed to be a 'harmless' incident costing the site company management a hefty 3.4 Man-Days lost time in direct costs! The exercise ended without considering the 'POTENTIAL' of the occurrence.

'POTENTIAL' simply refers to the probability of a much more consequential outcome by chance or slightly altered circumstances given the number of people exposed to the threat at the time. This is usually what constitutes the difference between a 'NOTHING HAPPENED' incident, a disabling/ serious property damage one or a fatality. That the people…


Any accident is money down the drain, pure and simple. No two ways about it.

So I am pained and amused at the same time whenever I hear people chuckling that what 'happened' to them was 'nothing' because 'NOTHING' happened. The NOTHING being a reference to the fact that the incident occasioned no injury or apparent damage. How interesting? Interesting because that kind of talk or line of thinking can only get you into some BIGGER trouble in due course if you do not begin to rethink the way you see things soon enough.

Now consider that even for a near miss incident, which roughly translates to an unplanned event that did not result in injury, illness, or damage - but had the potential to do so - there are costs. They may not be apparent but they sure are there, quietly chipping away at your business bottom line. To illustrate: imagine that your construction site employees are beavering away with gusto, chasing the next milestone, when a 'Tech' on the fif…


There are pep talks and there are pep talks.

Over the years, I've had the privilege of observing pep talks all day long on seismic crews, construction sites, production platforms, processing plants, wire line, drilling operations, rig moves and so on. But not once have I left not feeling maybe the crew could have done better with the shape and content of the core messages thereof. This is because I am of the view that safety messages are only helpful if they are clear and to the point, with little or no ambiguity, if any at all. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

Now 5-minutes is not a great deal of time for even the most gifted and skillful of speakers to nail  home  the key safety dos and don'ts of the job soon to commence. So most of these talks frequently average out to be sing songs and prayerful affairs in the end, with generalized 'messages' like be 'your brother's keeper', 'safety is everybody's business', 'you all know what…