WHY SAFETY & WELLBEING IS PARAMOUNT IN THE OIL & GAS INDUSTRY – THE SHOCKING STATS
SLIPS, TRIPS AND FALLS – THE LEADING CAUSE OF MAJOR INJURIES IN THE WORKPLACE
Slips, trips and falls are the leading cause of major accidents in the workplace, contributing to 37% of all injuries. Not only can these injuries have a huge impact for the individual involved, but they also generate a financial burden on the industry. What’s more, almost all slips and trips can be prevented, often with simple inexpensive interventions.
Slips and trips are a broad spectrum and can happen anywhere at work, from the stairs in the office to the rig floor offshore. Trips and slips happen for a number of reasons but are often dismissed as ‘just one of those things’ and no preventative or corrective action is taken.
According to The Health & Safety Report 2018 from Oil & Gas UK, the biggest challenges when trying to reduce slips in the workplace are knowing where to get reliable information on flooring, understanding the ins and outs of cleaning, and knowing how to select footwear. Understanding the science behind slips and trips makes it easier to identify the true cause of a fall and prevent future incidents.
The amount of slips, trips and falls, in comparison to other accidents, is highlighted in the graph below.
Claxton’s top tips to stay safe:
- Don’t rush! Take it steady when carrying out tasks.
- ALWAYS wear the required PPE – it doesn’t matter if the weather is too warm or the PPE is not fashionable, it could save your life! If your PPE is uncomfortable or not fit for purpose, raise it immediately with your employer.
- On average around 1,000 major accidents occur on workplace stairs every year – hold handrails when provided and, where possible, keep your other hand free.
- Stay alert – be aware of your surroundings and the potential hazards at all times.
- Concentration is vital – even a momentary lapse of concentration at work can have serious consequences.
- It is not just the workplace that you need to be vigilant; more accidents happen at home than anywhere else, equating to approximately 6,000 deaths as the result of a home accident every year. Apply the same health and safety diligence at home as you would at work.
NEAR MISSES – THE REAL IMPACT
Have you ever been going about your daily tasks at work and noticed a colleague working in an unsafe manner or using a piece of equipment that is not fit for purpose? Did you do the right thing or ‘turn a blind eye’? In a fast-paced industry, it can be easy to get caught up in a job and feel that there is not the time to report near misses, however, the consequences of not doing so can be potentially fatal. The only way that near misses can be prevented from turning into accidents is by reporting them so that corrective action can be taken by the company.
Claxton’s top tips to stay safe:
- ALWAYS report a near miss – taking a few minutes to report the incident could potentially save somebody from great harm and will aid continuous improvement of operations.
- Encourage your colleagues to report near misses – working together will help create a safer workplace for all.
- If you see somebody not wearing PPE or working in an unsafe manner, politely make them aware of their actions. As part of a team, colleagues should look out for each other.
FAILED MEDICALS – A LIFESTYLE CHOICE PROBLEM?
The Health & Safety Report 2018 from Oil & Gas UK stated that diabetes and blood pressure are the most common problems affecting the health of the workforce – constituting 29 per cent of failed medicals in 2017. The most frequent cause of medevacs was for suspected cardiac incidents.
Such conditions could be a knock-on effect from obesity, and the seemingly unhealthy lifestyle adopted by the majority of adults in England, according to an NHS survey. The health risks of unhealthy lifestyle contributors are highlighted below:
The NHS advises that steps should be taken to tackle obesity because, as well as causing obvious physical changes, it can lead to a number of serious and potentially life-threatening conditions including type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, some types of cancer and strokes.
Obesity can also affect your quality of life and lead to psychological problems, such as depression and low self-esteem.
This leads us on to the importance of managing the health and wellbeing of the offshore workforce effectively, given the remoteness of the worksite and the nature of the work they perform. The offshore working environment is regulated by occupational health-related legislation to ensure that any health risks are managed effectively. Industry policy also states that all persons working offshore are examined regularly by a medical professional and deemed medically fit before travelling offshore.
Whilst physical health is vital for a person to be able to properly conduct their offshore duties, mental health must not be overlooked. General mental health awareness has become more prolific in recent years and it has been highlighted that the offshore sector should be taking more action to address the issue. A former soldier who developed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has said the offshore sector needs to have the “guts” to talk about mental health. The former soldier said that “Every company needs to do it [talk about mental health]. It has to pierce the culture of the North Sea. I’ve been looking for things because I have spent the last ten years helping people from the armed forces. They are the hardest people in the world to help because they are stubborn and proud and want to deal with the problem themselves. They are natural born leaders. It is the hardest thing for a soldier to ask for help and it is the same culture offshore.”
Claxton’s top tips to look after your physical and mental wellbeing:
- Take control of managing your own stress – work out triggers, take regular breaks, organise worries and list achievements. Further tips can be found at org.uk/stress
- Be active – Further tips can be found at uk/live-well/exercise/
- Talk about the way you feel – Opening up to someone you trust can help you to feel listened to and supported. Acknowledging your feelings by saying them out loud can help.
- Try relaxation techniques – Find something that you find relaxing, such as listening to music, meditating or having a bath can help to reduce stress and improve your mental wellbeing. Discover more tips at Mind.
THE CLAXTON QHSSE WAY
July 27th marks seven years without an LTI (lost time injury) at Claxton. Commenting on the milestone, Nathan Darnell, Head of QHSSE said; “The deep-rooted health and safety culture and the ethos that we put ‘safety at the heart of everything we do’ has been reflected by us achieving another consecutive year LTI free. The QHSSE function at Claxton has seen some significant developments over the past year with the introduction of new software platforms, and growth within the team too.
“As always, it is important that we take the time to thank our staff for their diligence which has been key to us achieving another LTI milestone. Their participation in safety, whether at our location or on a clients’, has been exceptional and their high regard for this is frequently commented on.”
A recent development at Claxton was the introduction of Intelex, a management system which is used to report work observations (safe/unsafe acts), hazards, near misses and non-conformances/opportunities for improvement. All reports will be reviewed by the QHSSE Department and tasks set in the system to investigate and apply corrective actions. Staff will then be consulted by the safety committee, which is another new initiative at Claxton.
Commenting on the introduction of the safety committee and Intelex, Simon Livingstone, HSSE Advisor at Claxton said; “Our people are our biggest and most valuable asset. By introducing the Claxton safety committee, we have empowered our employee safety representatives to be a point of contact for their colleagues, giving the team at Claxton the opportunity to air their views through a formalised and structured forum.
“Consultation with all members of the workforce is a key ingredient to providing current and relevant systems and processes to ensure the health, safety and welfare of our team is prioritised at all times.
Simon continued; “The introduction of the Intelex system provides a single system for the management of QHSE aspects and provides an excellent mechanism for the participation of our employees regarding health and safety matters. It also gives responsibility and accountability to staff in order to address any issues and risks which are highlighted by our team.”
In terms of health and wellbeing, Claxton encourages all our employees, onshore and offshore, to adopt a healthy lifestyle outside of work and offer benefits to support this.
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