As oil and gas enters its fourth year of downturn, there are a lot of safety trends to be concerned about – the impact of cuts; an overworked, overstressed workforce; and training new workers once business picks up to name a few. Here’s a new one: things are wearing out. Continue reading “Next Trend in Oil & Gas Safety – Rust Never Sleeps”
OSHA says it will postpone its upcoming deadline for companies to report injuries and illnesses through an online form. About 450,000 companies would have had to comply on July First if the rule was not delayed. Not really surprising that the agency announced the delay, since it never went live with the online form that companies needed to use to make the reports and there is still no one in charge of OSHA. Continue reading “Breaking: OSHA Delays Electronic Injury Reporting”
Companies have been watching OSHA closely to see what direction the agency takes under the new administration. Between rollbacks of regulations and threatened budget cuts, there is a good chance OSHA will be less aggressive in the future. But there are clear signs that OSHA may be the least of a company’s worries if there is a serious accident. Continue reading “Cited By OSHA? It May Only Be the Start Of Your Troubles.”
The saying in oil and gas these days is “lower for longer,” meaning we are going to have to get used to lower prices and learn how to be profitable. Recently the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement weighed in with a very pointed warning to industry to not let lower prices result in lower safety levels. Continue reading “BSEE Warns Industry on Safety During Downturn”
American businesses spend more than $1 billion a week on workplace injuries, according to the Liberty Mutual Workplace Injury Survey. A company that can’t get injuries under control may pay for it in:
- Higher workers comp costs,
- Increased OSHA recordables, which may threaten their ability to work for customers,
- Lost productivity, and
- potentially higher health care costs if injuries manifest themselves in other health problems.
No wonder so many businesses worry about injuries. But there is a difference between worrying and doing something about it. The key is to put a management system in place to prevent and reduce the impact of injuries. Recently we developed a paper that identifies steps companies can take to start managing injuries in an effective, systematic way.
The deadline for companies to comply with OSHA’s new requirement for electronic injury and illness reporting is July first. That’s when the regulations say many American companies must submit their injury and illness logs electronically. The change will allow OSHA to post company injury data online where it will be accessible to the public.
As we try to make jobs safer, we focus most of our attention on the “workplace” – the office, the factory, the construction site. However, we need to remind ourselves that the workplace is really anywhere people work, especially on the road. That was made graphically clear by news from Louisiana on April 13th when a fuel truck hit a dump truck on I-310 near Luling. The dump truck driver died and the tanker driver was injured. It was all caught on a passing driver’s dashcam. Continue reading “Tanker Explosion Caught on Video: Workplace Injuries Happen Wherever We Work”
When many companies think about managing workplace injuries, they may think about OSHA reporting rules, light duty and avoiding litigation, but the real key to improving outcomes and holding down costs is to get inside the worker’s head, according to a new study.
A white paper looks at the RMS Workers’ Compensation Benchmarking Study for 2016, which asked companies to rank the biggest obstacles to improving claim outcomes. The number one obstacle wasn’t lawsuits, return-to-work problems or late reporting of injuries (although those were high on the list). The top problem was addressing what the study calls “Psychosocial Roadblocks.” Continue reading “Why Getting In Workers’ Heads May Be Key to Reducing Injury Impact”
The Coast Guard just issued a safety alert for the offshore oil and gas industry that highlights the extra level of care that needs to go into offshore facilities. You can’t just walk away from an offshore facility and when things go wrong offshore there is always the potential for them to go wrong in a big, big way.
In this case the incident was minor, the potential consequences were very high and the incident was completely and totally avoidable. According to the Coast Guard, there was a fire in a portable accommodation unit on an offshore facility. The crew woke to the sound of the fire alarm, acted quickly and professionally to control the fire and got some help from a nearby vessel.
The cause of the fire was a stove that was installed incorrectly on the portable
unit. The manufacturer’s instructions indicated that the clearance between the stove and any combustible construction material needed to be at least six inches. However, the stove had actually been installed less than an inch from a wall made of combustible wood and fiber-reinforced plastic and covered with stainless steel sheeting, which conducted the heat.
Normally, the Coast Guard would review specifications for modules on drilling units, but, since this was a fixed platform, there was no review. it is worth adding that the SEMS rule requires that operators identify hazards and ensure mechanical integrity.
But the bottom line is that offshore work involves some unique safety challenges, but failing to follow the manufacturer’s instructions should not be one of them. And the Coast Guard shouldn’t have to remind industry on something this basic.
What a long strange trip its been when it comes to the advent of legalized (at least at the state level) marijuana. Pot use has come up over and over in the area of workers compensation. Should medicinal use be covered? Is use at the time of an injury a workers comp deal-killer?
But even among all of these new issues, this case stands out as a head-scratcher. Continue reading “Should Workers Comp Cover Injury from a “Bad Trip?””