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Knowing your A, B, Cs

In approaching any job, particularly one that’s hazardous, it’s good practice to remember the first three letters of the alphabet A, B, C – Always Be Careful.

Being careful doesn't happen by accident; in fact safety doesn't happen by accident.

Safety should always be at the forefront of activity across all industries. The development of new technologies which make them more efficient and more cost effective should go hand in glove with the ongoing commitment to look for ways to improve the safety of the industrial work force.

Yet accidents do still happen.

The most prevalent of these are hand and finger injuries. In the Oil & Gas industry for example, International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) statistics consistently show that every year hand and finger injuries account for more than 40% of all recordable accidents on drilling rigs. Many of these are a result of pinch point incidents.

Pinch point injuries are not restricted to the Oil & Gas of course, they occur across all industrial sectors and the same approach should be taken to mitigate risks.

In preparing for any piece of work carrying out a proper risk assessment to identify potential hazards such as pinch points and ensuring that measures are being taken to control them is vital. Training and on-the-job coaching along with good communication and employee involvement are also essential.

There are many causes of pinch point injuries and not using the right tools or using the right tool in the wrong way is cited as one of the most common.

Making sure a workforce has the right tools for the job is essential. Ensuring that those tools enable the workforce to work safely and at reduced risk of accident and injury is crucial.

That brings in the fourth letter of the alphabet – D for design and development.

Designing-in safety when developing new tools can significantly reduce accident rates.

Hydratight’s design engineers and developers specialize in devising ways to incorporate integral safety features in the products and tools they bring to market.

One of the most recent successes is the Hydratight Safe T, a new addition to the line of torque accessories. Designed to safely enable the bolting operation to be carried out by one operator, the Safe T operates the hydraulic pump and the torque wrench simultaneously while being under full control of a single operator.

This addresses two key operational risks with bolting: any chance of miscommunication in a loud field environment in a two-person bolting operation is removed and the possibility of pinching is eliminated because the operation of the torque wrench or hydraulic pump ceases immediately if the operator’s hands disengage from the Safe T.

This innovation will increase safety and cost efficiencies in the field through reduction in manpower and by using a safety cut out mechanism. It’s just one example of how industry continues to develop new and more innovative ways of working to maximise production efficiently and cost effectively and to improve safety levels.

Much has still to be done and the learning curve continues, but the early lessons, the ABCs – and D – will always be the start of the journey.

To learn more about the Safe T tool, please visit:
http://www.hydratight.com/en/products/torque/torque-accessories/safe-t