An increase in the number of dropped objects on offshore rigs highlighted the need for suitable safety equipment and continued regular safety training. With an 800 per cent rise in the number of falling objects on offshore rigs in Australia this year, companies are being urged to maintain effective safety practices and encourage the use of appropriate safety equipment to minimise risk and injury to workers.
According to the Notified Fatalities Statistical Report 2009-2010, 14 per cent of fatalities from 2003/2005 to 2009/2010 were from falling objects. It’s the fourth biggest cause of death in the workplace, after vehicle incidents, moving objects and falling from a height. Nine dropped object incidents were reported in the first quarter of 2013, compared to one in the same period of 2012, according to a report by the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA).
The report indicated that six out of the nine incidents could have resulted in a fatality. The weight of each falling object ranged from two to 2,300 kilograms, and they fell from a maximum height of 43 metres. According to an industry supported ‘DROPS calculator’, a mass as little as 700 grams falling from a height of 15 metres has the potential to result in a fatality.
“Dropped objects can include sections of drill pipe from casing, a spool, wire rope, an equipment handle or navigation light fitting. It really doesn’t matter what it is, it’s the weight of the object and the height at which it drops that does the damage.”
Workers are urged to avoid serious injury by wearing quality safety gear at work, especially with over 75 per cent of injuries caused by falling objects such as falling materials, substances, hand tools and appliances*. Managing Director Terry Houlihan said Pryme distributed quality ergonomic and safety protection products designed to keep workers safe and productive in high-risk environments.
“Our Squids® Ergodyne Tool lanyards range allows workers to secure tools with a number of attachment options ranging from heavy-duty self-locking carabiners and barrel locks, to quick connect buckles. We also offer Squids® grabbers which are designed to hold gloves, rags, caps, water bottles and more close at hand items.”
Injuries that workers have suffered to date include crush and leg injuries and each outcome could have been a lot worse and potentially fatal. Having the right ergonomic and safety protection equipment like tool safety lanyards is a small price to pay for the safety of workers in productive, high-risk environments and we’re urging all companies to invest in quality products.
Given the fact that accidents from falling objects occur in a variety of industries including manufacturing (24.9 per cent), construction (14.4 per cent) and retail (12.2 per cent)*, The Squids™ and Lanyard ranges can be used in many different workplaces. It is best to be prepared as workplace injuries could have a devastating impact on workers and their families.
“One of our most popular products is the lanyard, the first line of defence to stop objects falling from heights,” he said. “Our Squids™ lanyard range allows workers to secure tools with a number of attachment options ranging from heavy-duty self-locking carabiners and barrel locks to quick connect buckles. We also offer Squids™ grabbers, which are designed to hold a range of equipment including gloves, rags, caps, water bottles and more close at hand items.”