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SAFETY: PROACTIVE NOT REACTIVE

24 Apr 2018

Wouldn't it be great if we had a crystal ball when it came to predicting accidents in the workplace? A proactive rather than reactive approach to safety management should be paramount, where any threats to safety should be dealt with before an accident occurs. Proactivity is fundamental to the oil and gas industry where accidents such as oil spills endanger the health of our environment and economy. A company such as EMCO Wheaton, leading supplier of equipment to the fluid transfer industry, is responsible for developing solutions to improve safety in the sector. EMCO's systems, most notably the global TODO products, have revolutionised the transportation of hazardous materials, showcasing how the company work proactively as opposed to reactively to minimise costs to businesses, workers, and to the environment.

 

Oil spills are prime examples of large accidents which drastically affect a wide range of factors. Spills impact the physical health of humans and marine life, but they can also have a negative influence on long-term business continuity. Through the development of new safety measures and technologies it is reassuring to see oil spills are decreasing over the decades, seeing a shift from 35.8% in the 1990s to 6.6% in the 2010s. This reduction is, arguably, a result of the work which companies such as EMCO Wheaton undertake. It identifies potentially dangerous scenarios, whether related to oil spills or employee safety, and implements proactive practices to manage risk more effectively.

 

Effective risk control and safety is particularly critical and should always be front and centre in the oil and gas sector, and in the transportation, loading and unloading of dangerous bulk cargoes. A small oversight has potential to spiral out of control and lead to major, and sometimes fatal, accidents. As well as environmental protection, worker safety is absolutely paramount.  A lack of training, unsafe procedures and maintenance cost-cutting can all contribute to equipment failure and accidents.

 

Examples of how to be proactive include the following: staff should always be trained on site on the hazards and properties of the various materials being handled, and the precautions required for ensuring safety. The equipment used also needs to be engineered to an appropriate standard, regularly inspected and tested and replaced as needed.

 

Moreover, many incidents occur as a consequence of maintenance and repairs. Preventative maintenance will always play an important role in a proactive safety regime, regardless of the industry. It not only increases reliability, but is critical to long-term profitable operations and safe working conditions.   

 

Relevant training is of course a prerequisite, but finding the right product is also pivotal to ensuring safety in the workplace. The TODO product range is an integral element of the EMCO family, and it has been used by the global oil and gas community for more than 40 years. Products such as the TODO-MATIC for instance eliminates damages and spillage whilst ensuring operator safety and come in a range of sizes depending on the enormity of fluid transfers. TODO products are designed to meet international criteria plus the expectations of its clients where the products exemplify how important it is for technology to reflect the changing attitudes towards safety in the oil and gas industry. 

 

In today's highly competitive world, companies can no longer afford to take a reactive approach to safety after an accident has taken place. EMCO offers great products and solutions to prevent accidents in the oil and gas industry, showcasing how the sector is being proactively proactive in choosing which methods can be taken to cultivate safety in the industry.