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DROPS Forum - Aberdeen, 17th September 2015

DROPS UK Forum Minutes
Urban Village Hotel, Aberdeen

The meeting was opened by Greg and a safety brief was delivered. Round the room introductions followed.


Since last Forum, we are delighted to welcome the following new DROPS members:
Stanley Engineered Fastening - Germany
Perfil Derrick Services - Brazil
Denholm Zholdas LLP - Kazakhstan
Capital Safety - USA
Langset Rope Access AS - Norway
Nacher - USA
Nabors Drilling - USA
Heico Fasteners UK Ltd - UK
Smith International Gulf Services LLC - Dubai

We are also pleased to welcome ABS as Associate members.

Since last Forum, the following members have withdrawn from DROPS:
DJ Global Inspection Services Ltd
Addax Petroleum Ltd
CNR International
Triumph Drilling Services Sdn Bhd

There are many members who have yet to pay their overdue annual membership fees. Please expedite payment if your company has yet to renew its membership.

DROPS International

At the request of SfS (Norway), DROPS presented at their annual Workshop in Stavanger in June where we discussed working more closely in the future.

A successful and well attended DROPS North America Forum was held in Houston last month where a key outcome was a renewed commitment and energy to move the Chapter forward.  The event was kindly hosted by NOV and a follow-up Regional event is now being planned.

The planned Norwegian DROPS Forum for 24th September has been cancelled and will be rescheduled for Q1 of 2016. A communication has been sent to all members.

The DROPS Asia Chapter is hosting a Forum in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 27th October. The event is kindly sponsored by Shell and organised by Lloyd’s Register. Further details, including the event registration link, are posted to

A DROPS Middle East Forum is being planned for Q1 2016 to coincide with Training Workshops in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Oman.

Details of all upcoming international events can be found at

DROPS Training

Since last forum, several UK DROPS Train-the-Trainer sessions have been held at Silverdot’s offices and at member company sites in UK.

Training was recently held in USA, Canada, Brazil, Holland, Equatorial Guinea, Denmark and Azerbaijan.

Further international training is planned for Singapore, Malaysia, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Oman.
The DROPS Train-the-Trainer programme has evolved and developed considerably over recent years into a far more comprehensive training package and resource. If it has been some time since your training was undertaken, we encourage you to consider a refresher. 
See Training section of for details of all upcoming scheduled training and for queries, further details and registration for DROPS training, contact

Next Aberdeen DROPS Forums

Our next Aberdeen DROPS Forum will be on Tuesday 1st December. This event will be extended to include festive lunch and registration will be essential.

DROPS Focus Groups

We will hear from some of our new Focus Groups later today (Human Factors; Maintenance and Inspection of Secondary Retention / Securing; and DROPS Awareness through Supply Chain).

We are pleased to advise that the considerable IT problems and issues around our DORIS Statistical database have now been resolved and the system is now stable and operating well.  Several new users are now adding their data to the system and we encourage more to follow suit. (Unique and protected access details are available from The DORIS Focus Group is now being reformed to take DORIS forward in 2016.  All previous DORIS Focus Group members are now invited to re-join and any new members can also join by contacting

We are reforming the Reliable Securing Focus Group later this year in preparation for the review, update and reissue (Rev 4) of our Reliable Securing booklet in 2016.  Again, previous Focus Group members are invited to re-join and any new members can join by contacting

Remember that we also have the opportunity to tackle any quick hit improvements, products or communications – suggestions always welcomed.

DROPS Products

With the support of Seadrill, we have been working on the Portuguese translation of our promotional posters and these will be available for download from the website imminently.

Work is also ongoing with regional support on a Portuguese version of the current Reliable Securing booklet to add to our Russian, Arabic and Spanish translations.

When DROPS presented at Norway’s SfS workshop we discussed the harmonising of our Reliable Securing booklet and their Norwegian booklet. It was agreed this could be mutually beneficial and we are planning to work more closely for our next iteration (Rev 4) in 2016.


Greg thanked today’s presenters and encouraged all present to approach and engage with the presenters for further information during breaks.
Members are invited to nominate or request a presentation or table-top demonstration for consideration at a future DROPS event, by contacting

DROPS Website

Our new DROPS website ( was launched in June and feedback to date has been very positive. We have started using the backroom facilities to help us communicate more effectively and regularly. We note that a few members are not receiving communications direct to their inbox and ask that you check your junk mail and ensure that DROPS is among your approved senders.

If you have not yet reviewed your own member profile on the site, please do so. Changes can be requested through  Suggestions for any other new or amended content should be similarly requested.

Shared Lessons and Information

It has been brought to our attention by a fellow member that the equipment manufacturers DMM have issued a product recall (subject to user inspection) for certain of their carabiners which may develop malfunctions with their locking mechanisms. Details of the affected products and the necessary inspection check are presented here. A separate notification has been sent to all members. The latest information and recall return procedure is available at

Atwood Oceanics shared information on a recent incident where a mechanic was man-riding and using a wrench at height when he noticed exposed thread on the “no drop” carabiner. He attempted to tighten the carabiner but the wrench (0.5kg) broke free and fell 107 feet to a red zone on the deck below (free of personnel). The perceived problem/cause is that the screw lock was not a positive lock and the lesson learned was to consider use of a double or triple action positive locking carabiner to prevent inadvertent gate operation or roll out. This opens up several areas for discussion and we are delighted that Atwood Oceanics will present observations and findings in greater detail at the next Forum for our deliberation.
Please continue to share your alerts and lessons learned with us via

HSE Update – Donald Dobson, HSE
Donald presented the statistics of reported dropped objects for the UKCS (Wells) in the period March to September 2015.  The current (6 month) trend demonstrates a fall in reported incidents, with around 50 incidents recorded of which 13 were due to dropped objects within Derrick and Well Operations, including a wire-line plug (62kg) that fell 7.5m to deck below; a coiled tubing unit guide bearing (1.3kg) that fell 13.8m to main deck; and a torque wrench securing that failed with the tool (5.2kg) falling 6.2m to rig floor (similarity to the Atwood Oceanics incident was noted here).

The statistics from Crane and Lifting operations showed 12 recorded incidents, including an air lubricator (1kg) detaching from the air hoist and falling 12m to deck below; the grippers of a knuckle-boom crane opening and dropping a joint of 10 ¾ casing (2MT) some 10m onto a MPD manifold, and a guide pin (0.6kg) from the main crane block that detached and fell 20m to the supply vessel deck.

There were 22 other recorded dropped objects incidents that did not fall into the previous categories and these included: a brake release handle (4kg) dropped from lifeboat platform to the deck 3m below; a rusted bolt and part of a pipe clamp (1.7kg) that fell 4.5m to a walkway from the fire pump exhaust; and an access hatch (5kg) that detached from fan inlet ducting and fell to the deck.

A brief discussion followed around some of the similarities and recurring incidents.  Donald expressed HSE’s concern that ageing infrastructure is possibly an issue.  Greg raised the consideration of possibly re-establishing an Asset Integrity Focus Group for 2016. Greg noted that Donald’s statistics represented only HSE reported incidents for the Wells discipline of the UK Continental Shelf.  When allowing for all disciplines on a global basis the true extent and frequency of dropped object incidents is vastly greater.
Donald’s presentation is available to download here.

Shared Learnings & E-Learning – Paul Walker & Tom Wetton, DSL
We were given an overview of an e-learning package that DSL have developed to ensure that all their employees globally are aware of the same requirements for identifying risks and prevention methods with regards to preventing dropped objects.   The interactive course uses real life scenarios and helps identify potential dropped objects and possible preventative and corrective actions.   Screen shot examples of the training screens were explained.  Each learner must progressively advance through the various sections and demonstrate their understanding before attaining the next level.  Feedback from DSL personnel has been positive - they liked that it was not location specific and allowed the learner to undertake the training at any location worldwide.

We were also shown a video describing how DSL’s inspection and asset management system “RigCentral” works.  The system allows performance comparison across rig fleets. It has the ability to see how the current dropped object survey compares to previous surveys on the same installation. This allows DSL to identify trends and monitor the status of items and potential issues. The software gives inspectors guidance and suggests recommend fastening methods and inspection procedures. RFID tagging is incorporated in RigCentral. The DSL presentation is available to download here.

Latch Hawk – Alan Finlay, Salunda
Alan presented Salunda’s Fingerboard latch monitor solution, designed to prevent dropped pipe incidents from occurring.   The Latch Hawk safety barrier device uses sensor technology to establish the condition of the latch and confirm it is safe to secure the pipe.  A short animated clip demonstrated how the device works to provide continuous and positive monitoring of the latch.  Latch Hawk can be retrofitted with ease and it supports many latch variants. The product has been thoroughly tested and exposed to extreme environments. It boasts certification from various organisations. 
For more information, visit or contact Alan directly at

Spiralock – Mervyn Element, Stanley Engineered Fastening
Merv presented Stanley Engineered Fastening’s Spiralock product, which is a bolted connection for use where vibration is or could be an issue. An overview described the cost implications associated with replacing and repairing various fastening systems and highlighted that risk to personnel is far greater than any financial cost. The fundamentals of a threaded assembly were discussed and demonstrated. The Spiralock technology is a self-locking female thread form with a 30˚ wedge ramp at the root of the thread. The wedge ramp allows the bolt to spin freely until clamp load is applied.  At that point the crests of the standard male thread is drawn tightly against the wedge ramp, which creates a continuous spiral line of contact along the entire length of the thread engagement. Typical results comparing Spiralock with standard nuts using the Junker clamp tension type test were shown. Examples of Spiralock fastener selections were shown and included hex flange nuts and self-clinching nuts.
To view the presentation, click here or for further details contact Mervyn directly at

Dropsafe – Eden Cantre, Dropsafe
Eden provided a brief overview of Dropsafe and introduced their Dropsafe netting product. The Dropsafe nets are easy to install and replace. The Dropsafe website,, presents full details of the product range and includes a short video describing the correct installation procedure.  For more information contact Eden directly at

2015 Focus Group Updates – Focus Group leaders

Supply Chain - providing DROPS Guidance/Best Practice – Lukasz Szadkowski, NOV
This group have now met several times and are using the DROPS Supply Chain Roadmap to identify staging posts (and associated member organisations) through the supply chain.  Questionnaires are being developed for relevant staging post members to complete and these will be analysed by the group. The group have identified current DROPS guidance and they are looking now at how to impart this guidance at the pre-supply chain contract stage and at the design and manufacturing stages. The group are in urgent need of new volunteers, particularly Operators and Major Contractors, to assist with input and feedback. The group’s updated presentation is available to download here. If you wish to join or assist the group please contact either or Lukasz directly via

DORIS (DROPS Statistical Database)
The DORIS Focus Group is now being reformed to take DORIS forward in 2016.  All previous DORIS Focus Group members are invited to re-join and any new members can also join by contacting

Reliable Securing Update 2016 (Rev 4)
We are reforming the Reliable Securing Focus Group to commence the review, update and reissue (Rev 4) of our Reliable Securing booklet in 2016.  Previous Focus Group members are invited to re-join and any new members can join by contacting

Open Floor and Any Other Business
Greg thanked everyone for their participation and invited the attendees to offer any issues for further discussion in the open floor session.

A member raised the issue of the rising demand for DROPS Train-the-Trainer Awareness in all Regions and Greg confirmed that additional resources / trainers were being prepared for 2016 and beyond.

A show of hands unanimously agreed to retain Urban Village Hotel as the venue for Aberdeen DROPS Forums in 2016 and dates for those forums will follow a similar pattern to 2015 and will be notified at the December Forum.

Next meeting

Date:    Tuesday 1 December 2015
Time:    0930 -1500 (to include Festive Lunch)
Venue: Urban Village Hotel, Kingswells Business Park, Aberdeen
Host:    DROPS Global Steering Committee Members