Unseen Equipment Costs Can Block Oil and Gas HSE Efforts

A recent white paper suggests that oil and gas firms may be exposed to significant unseen long-term costs in their procurement of health and safety equipment. Dropsafe, a supplier of dropped objects prevention technology for the energy and resources markets, has launched "Slipping Through The Cracks: Why Cost Should Not Be a Barrier to Dropped Object Prevention."

The white paper uses one form of essential dropped object prevention technology, the safety barrier, as a case study on how short-term equipment and installation costs for safety products can be far outweighed by long-term maintenance and reinstallation expenses.

The paper provides a transparent assessment of how market-leading barrier solutions stack up against each other in terms of upfront cost, quality, and long-term maintenance requirements.

Dropped objects, defined as any material or object of any mass or density that falls from its previous position, pose a prominent, but under-reported, risk to the safety of personnel and the financial and reputational standing of oil and gas businesses.

The International Marine Contractors Association reported in 2017 that dropped objects constitute to be one of the top five causes of offshore lost-time injuries, but the quality and consistency of incident reporting remain an obstacle to understanding the true scale of the threat.

Dropsafe's paper points out that this lack of understanding is paralleled by a lack of clear advice and guidance for the prevention of dropped objects. While there are moves toward standardizing vital technologies such as safety nets and barriers, HSE decision-makers still lack a clear point of comparison between the available products.

Barrier systems are now commonly installed across onshore and offshore oil and gas facilities, attaching to guard railing upon elevated walkways, stairways, and access ways of either permanent or temporary structures to prevent loose items falling from a height.

Dropsafe says that barrier solutions that are considered to be teh most cost-effective in the short term may incur the highest long-term costs. For example, flexible mesh netting has a very low upfront cost but requires routine maintenance and full replacement on a regular basis, leading to significant long-term financial effect if deployed for a period of 5 years or more.

Read the full story here.

Find the paper here (PDF).



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