Introduction This report follows a workplace inspection of an Oil Service Tools Company on the 4th November 2012 stating some good practices and poor health and safety practices carried out within the workplace area. The facility has different departments and one main office building. The office building mainly occupied by the senior health and safety practitioner dedicated for the whole facility, managers and global product line managers. The facility is divided for 4 main sheds, 3 sheds have only one dedicated department and one shed has two departments.
Main activities carried out inside the workplace are inspection, welding, pressure testing, driving, servicing and radiation. There is one main access to the facility from the main road and a dedicated parking area for various departments operating within this facility. The facility is occupied by 127 employees whose roles revolve around servicing and inspecting the equipments which come from the field site. Most of the field engineers will be on call since they work as back to back (Rotation). As a result, entrance and exit of the facility is heavily used.
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Potential hazards include slips, trips and falls, musculoskeletal injury, collision of pedestrians and vehicles, electrical shock, ionizing radiation, burn and work equipment hazards. This inspection focused on all activities mentioned earlier carried out within the facility workplace including welfare facilities provided by the company. ?Executive Summary It was pleasing to observe a high standard of housekeeping. There were adequate lighting inside and outside the workplace and good environmental factors such as well-ventilated workshops.
The welfare facilities provided by the company is well maintained and in a very good condition. Moreover, these welfare facilities were clean and plenty of toilets and washrooms for the amount of employees operating inside the facility. However, during the inspection it was identified that some areas posed a risk of serious injury or ill health and requires some serious action in order to improve. Areas of concern were slips, trips and falls, musculoskeletal injury, collision of pedestrians and vehicles, electrical shock, ionizing radiation, burn and work equipment hazards.
These important observations are covered and discussed in the findings part of the report. Most of the problems observed were related to overconfidence or over familiarity of the employees and not following the Safe System of Work (SSOW). Recommendations include some refresher courses for the employees and some particular technical training courses. Three good practices were identified during the inspections in regards of waste segregation, high level of housekeeping and high level of security in regards of radiation controls.
Details of all observations identified during the inspection are attached at the end of this report. ?Main Findings 1. Observation No. 4 page 1 & Observation No. 12 page 3 on the Observation Sheet, Controlling of Contractor on Site & Proper Storage of Hazardous Materials: The flammable materials such as thinner, paint, acetylene must be stored in the proper storage area such as fire proof cabinets and with adequate environmental factors such as a well-ventilated area to avoid high temperature climate inside the storage area.
Moreover, the combustible materials such as wood and paper and other hazardous substances which can easily feed the fire and make it out of control. This presents a significant risk of fire or explosion because of the poor perception of hazard identification by the department who stores these things next to each other. This mixture increases the hazard of fire and explosion which makes the workplace an unsafe for the employees and non-employees operating in that area. Moreover, it’s a clear violation for the health and safety policy of the company in regards of proper storage for the high flammable materials within the workplace.
And it’s a duty of care for the employer to provide safe work place to protect the employees from any harm. Workers and 3rd party contractors must clearly and strictly follow the safe system of work. Provide an internal workshop for the employees to increase their awareness in the hazard identification and proper storing for the hazardous substances. Furthermore, a refresher induction training to be provided for the 3rd party contractors to make them aware of the company health and safety policy and to follow the safe system of work while operating inside the facility. 2.
Observation 5 page 2 on the Observation Sheet, Pressure Test Design and Safety Precautions: High pressure test areas have specific requirements in regards of the design and to have good mean of control measures installed on it. This presents high risk for the employees who are working within that area while by passing next to the pressure test area and not knowing that there is a pressure test on going. This pressure test bay makes the workplace significantly unsafe and has high potential to cause severe harm to the employees and/or the equipments inside the workplace if any failure happens.
This was a clear violation to the Global Health & Safety Manual of the company for fitting and designing the pressure test bay inside of the workplace. Adequate supervision was not identified to make sure that this pressure test bay meets the requirements of the company health and safety manual. The department should review the design of the pressure test bay inside the workplace to meet the Global Safety Manual Procedures and work instructions. Moreover, they need to follow the safe system of work by installing the proper control measures (Audible & Visual) to warn the employees that the pressure test is in progress. 3.
Observation No. 7 page 2 on the Observation Sheet, Hot Work Operations: Hot work operations such as welding activities requires specific hazard identification assessment before starting the job and most importantly it requires permit to work to identify the number of employees who will operate within a specified area. This presents a high risk of fire and electrical shock for the employees if the risks associated with job were not assessed properly and by a competent risk assessor. The hot work operations requires specific work permit which is clearly stated and mentioned in the company safe working procedures and work instructions.
However, there were no permit to work issued by the manager in charge since it was a small urgent job. This shows a clear violation of the safe working procedures and the work instructions which must be followed as per the company health and safety policy. The department must comply with the Safe Working Procedures and the given Work Instruction to cover all gabs and assess all the risks associated with the type of activities within the workplace to eliminate and reduce the risk for the employees who are working in the facility. 4. Observation No.
18 page 4 on the observation Sheet, Mobile Elevated Work Platform Usage: Working on a Mobile Elevated Work Platform requires special training and certification for the platform itself and for the employees who are performing any job on the Mobile Elevated Work Platform. Not meeting the above requirements imposes a high risk for the employees and the workers working around this platform. The Mobile Elevated Work Platform needs proper certification from a certified 3rd party contractor as per the Legal Requirements in the United Arab Emirates.
Not complying with these legal requirements can put the company in danger of losing the industrial license and getting banned from the country. Moreover, the company’s safe system of work was not followed. This Mobile Elevated Work Platform was tagged as not fit to work until it gets certified by a proper certification 3rd party contractor and the employees to be sent to a specific training related to the Mobile Elevated Work Platform safe working procedures and work instructions to gain the proper knowledge and the experience of operating safely within the workplace.
?Conclusions Refresher courses are identified to ensure the safe work practices and the work instruction of the company is followed and to maintain good safety and health practices within the workplace especially in regards of storing of hazardous materials and equipments and separating these hazardous materials. Good level of housekeeping is required in the areas where the hazardous substances are stored near by the combustible substances to prevent any fire / explosion hazard from occurring inside the workplace which may lead to catastrophic consequences.
This may cause severe injury to the employees or even death if precautions and control measures were not implemented. However, the inspection identified a number of good practices where the level of compliance to the legal and company requirements were clearly obvious and shown in all aspects such as waste segregation, high level of housekeeping in some departments and good means of security measures for the radiation activities which needs to continue in doing the examples of good health and safety practices within the workplace.
Health and Safety must be a priority in the workplace and not secondary by concentrating more on the operations side which may lead to penalties, fines, prosecutions and compensation claims to the injured employees who were harmed inside the workplace. The recommendations mentioned in the report would be likely implemented at the earliest opportunity according to the priority allocated to them in the next section of this report.
By doing so, the facility will be safer for the employees working within its boundaries and shows a high level of a positive health and safety culture which aim for continual improvement and it will reduce the cost of accident/incident and ill health happening inside the workplace. Moreover, the reputation of the company will be enhanced and becomes a very competitive in the marketplace.