Dropped objects are among the top 10 cause of fatality and serious injury in the Oil and Gas industry. It is vital that while performing work at heights, a hazard assessment is conducted prior to starting of the work task, and if conditions have changed during the work task. This includes working from platforms, scaffolds, and man lifts. Some good practices to follow are listed below:
- No loose items on your person and all radios are properly secured to prevent dropping.
- Material and tools are kept contained in approved tool bags or container.
- Good housekeeping around the task at hand.
- Scaffolds have proper toe boards and are installed to prevent loose material from being kicked or rolling of the edge of scaffolding.
- Tether tools.
- On grated decking install sheeting to prevent tools and bolts from falling through grating.
- On scaffolds and platforms install netting.
- Ensure barricade tape with tags are utilized at the base of the vessel or work area and is increased in area the higher the elevation of the work.
- If material exceeds the width of the platform or scaffold utilize a crane to control the movement of the material.
The crew performing any work at elevated heights should think and talk about the task at hand. Some simple questions to ask are:
- What task are we getting ready to accomplish?
- What is the potential risk of dropped objects while performing the task?
- Have the potential risks been mitigated?