Three out of every five on-site incidents in the oil and gas extraction industry are caused by “struck by/caught-in/caught-between hazards (OSHA 2018).” This is an alarming statistic when you are considering that these incidents can be prevented. Below are some ways you can protect your employees from becoming another statistic.
OSHA requires the use of a tagline on a load when “hazards to the employees exist.” A tagline, if you are unaware, is a “soft, fiber line” that is directly attached to the load to direct its movement while said load is suspended. The tagline allows the worker below to manoeuvre the load to avoid striking nearby buildings, equipment, and people (Charpentier, n.d.).
Occasionally, employees will guide a suspended load by simply using their own hands and body weight. This is an extremely dangerous practice. If the tagline is set up prior to the suspension of the load, it can increase safety for the “maneuvering” employee and the employees around him.
If the suspended load is tubular and needs to be 2-5 feet away from the employee while moved, a snare tool may be your best safety choice. The Stiffy Snare Tool is an option offered by PE Energy. This tool comes in a single and a double release option and in lengths of 2ft, 3ft, 4ft, and 5ft. Your selection will depend on your movement needs.
When the tubular load is snared by the tool, the employee can have better control than they would with a tagline. Increased control of the load will increase safety on the work site. The chart below lists the snare type including length and SKU for your convenience.
|Stiffy 24” Snare Tool Single Release Aluminum||SST-24|
|Stiffy 36” Snare Tool Dual Release Aluminum||SST-36|
|Stiffy 48” Snare Tool Dual Release Aluminum||SST-48|
|Stiffy 60” Snare Tool Dual Release Aluminum||SST-60|
|Stiffy 36” Snare Tool Dual Release Aluminum||SSTDR-36|
|Stiffy 48” Snare Tool Dual Release Aluminum||SSTDR-48|
|Stiffy 60” Snare Tool Dual Release Aluminum||SSTDR-60|
You can find our full catalog of Stiffy hand safety tools here.
THE “10 FEET RULE”
A safety rule that you can set up for your site is the “10 feet rule”. This rule “requires that no one is allowed within 10 feet of the area in which the load would fall if a failure occurred (CMRRIS 2015).”
Employees are far less likely to be crushed or struck if they are out of the general radius of destruction. This may not be possible with smaller loads but is strongly suggested with larger ones.
You can use all sorts of tools and rules, but one of the most effective ways to prevent accidents is to develop a culture of safety in the workplace. Employees don’t need to sing safety chants all day, but they should be enthusiastic about doing their job safely. An article written by the International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) states that “without enthusiasm, the prevention of accidents is almost hopeless. Enthusiasm begets determination and determination is necessary if employees are to be persuaded to cultivate safe working habits (2015).”
Employee attitude is another important part of a safety culture. Another IADC article mentions the concept of “wrong attitudes.” Some of these wrong attitudes include simple and well-known attitudes like selfishness, overconfidence, and hostility. Other attitudes mentioned include chance-taking, fatalistic attitude, horseplay, and an attitude of self-importance. An employee can portray one or many attitudes (2015). If any employees demonstrate these attitudes or other anti-safety/destructive attitudes, the employee should be removed from the worksite and dealt with appropriately.
We hope that these tips will help make your worksite a safer place and reduce or eliminate the likelihood of your employees becoming part of the 60% affected by “struck by/caught-in/caught-between hazards (OSHA 2018).”
Charpentier, Will. N.d. Chron. http://work.chron.com/osha-requirements-use-taglines-7932.html
CMR Risk & Insurance Services, Inc. May 2015. http://cmrris.com/news-construction-details/54/safety-tips-when-working-around-suspended-loads.html
International Association of Drilling Contractors. Safety Toolbox February 2015. http://www.iadc.org/safety-meeting-topics/a-supervisors-responsibility-in-accident-prevention/
International Association of Drilling Contractors. Safety Toolbox February 2015. http://www.iadc.org/safety-meeting-topics/accidents-dont-just-happen/