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DROPS Forum - Aberdeen 1st December 2015

DROPS UK Forum Minutes
Urban Village Hotel, Aberdeen

The meeting was opened by Greg and a safety brief was delivered. 


Since last Forum, we are delighted to welcome the following new DROPS members:
Orion Rig Services - UK
Techno-Marine SRL - Romania
Absolute Tech Pte - Singapore
Amec Foster Wheeler - UK
Salunda Ltd - UK
Safer Together (Australia) have been offered an Associate membership.

Since last Forum, the following members have withdrawn from DROPS:
Access All Areas
Alpitec do Brasil Alpinismo Industrial Ltd
CLS Offshore Ltd
CNR International (UK) Ltd
Exalo Drilling S.A.
Neptune Asset Integrity Services Pty Ltd
Roblon A/S
Statoil ASA
UAB Gridins Enterprise

There are still a significant number of members that have not paid their annual membership fees (due August), despite repeated requests. A FINAL reminder will be sent to these companies this week noting that non-payment will result in formal withdrawal of membership on December 31st.

DROPS Global Steering Committee

After many years serving on the Global DROPS Steering Committee we are sadly losing BOL due to their merger with ConocoPhillips. However, we are very pleased to welcome Diamond Offshore as new members of the Steering Committee. The next Global Steering Committee meeting is on February 1st (10am at Marcliffe Hotel, Aberdeen).

DROPS International

The DROPS Asia Chapter held an extremely well attended forum in Malaysia at end of October. The event is kindly sponsored by Shell and organised by Lloyd’s Register. 
A DROPS North America forum is also being planned in follow-up to the August Houston Forum.
A DROPS Middle East Forum is being planned for end of Q1 to coincide with Training Workshops in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Oman. Details will be posted on web and sent to members in due course.
Details of all upcoming international events are posted to

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 Malaysia, Singapore, USA, and Denmark.
Further international training is being planned for Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Oman, Holland and USA.
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 UK DROPS Forums

Our next Aberdeen DROPS Forum will be on Thursday 25th February 2016. Thereafter, through 2016, there will be UK DROPS Forums in Aberdeen on Thursday 28th April, Thursday 22nd September and Thursday 1st December. All Aberdeen Forums will be in the Urban Village Hotel, Kingswells.

DROPS Focus Groups

Updates from current Focus Groups were presented later in proceedings.
In 2016, the Reliable Securing Focus Group will be looking to review, update and reissue (Rev 4) our Reliable Securing booklet. Later in proceedings all will have an early opportunity to suggest any recommendations and express comments for the Focus Group to consider in their review.
As ever, we are always open to your suggestions for any “quick hit” improvements, products or communications – send details to

DROPS Products

With the support of Seadrill, we have recently prepared a suite of Portuguese language DROPS posters - individual posters in various languages are available for download here. In addition, to complement our Russian, Arabic and Spanish translations of Reliable Securing Rev 3, with the support of BG Group (Brazil) and Pacific Drilling the Portuguese version is now available to download here.

Presenters and Presentations

Greg thanked today’s presenters and noted the topics being addressed in each presentation.
Members are invited to nominate or request a presentation or table-top demonstration for consideration at a future DROPS event, please contact us via Also, please continue to share alerts and lessons learned with us via

Shared Lessons and Information

Norwegian colleagues have shared a circular from PSA on use of deck gratings made from composite materials. Audits show extensive use of composite deck gratings, including use in evacuation routes, at lifeboat/mustering stations, in engine rooms, and in stairwells, both inside and outside. Deficient and defective fixing of the grids has resulted in a number of dropped object incidents, including personal injury incidents. PSA also find that product certificates usually document fire resistance/load capacity for cellulose fires and not hydrocarbon fires, with lack of documentation on static electricity characteristics too. PSA stress it is up to individual companies to ensure fulfilment of regulatory requirements and quote relevant Norwegian regulations and standards. For full details, click here.

A member shared a safety flash with DROPS featuring several alerts highlighted by IMCA. A few of these alerts were originally shared by MSF and have previously featured in DROPS forums but we wish to highlight one incident in particular – the failure of a lump hammer. The head and the shaft parted resulting in a potentially fatal dropped object. Investigations found that the hammer was not specifically designed for use at height. Further details are provided in the full IMCA safety flash here. Members are also encouraged to visit IMCA’s site for a broad range of marine safety resources and information. Click here.

HSE Update – Donald Dobson, HSE

Donald presented the statistics of 2015 reported dropped objects for the UKCS (Wells) in the period to mid-November, 2015. The current trend indicates a continued fall in reported incidents, however, there have been well over 60 incidents recorded so far in 2015. 
Analysis showed that on the rig floor, 14 incidents were due to dropped objects within Derrick and Well Operations. There were no recent Tubular Handling incidents reported to HSE, but several recent high potential dropped objects have included a top drive hose or winch wire that snagged the wireline gooseneck (5.6kg) and it fell 10m to deck.
Under Cranes and Lifting, 16 incidents were recorded through 2015, including a 5m hoist chain (22kg) that fell to deck and a section of crane boom stowage timber (2.6kg) falling 5.85m (very similar to an incident reported at last Forum!).
There were over 30 “miscellaneous” dropped objects incidents reported in 2015, including a metal bracket (5kg) falling 6m, an access hatch (5.8kg) falling 6.5m, a rubber mat (20kg) lifted by helicopter downdraft falling 18m and a 20kg door from an electrical cabinet falling 20m.
At last forum, we asked Donald if it would be possible to identify those incidents that may be associated with ageing assets. Donald duly obliged with some interesting data interrogation where some 100+ incidents (since 2013) were presented by age and type of installation. The largest group of incidents appear to be associated with fixed offshore installations aged 31-35 years. A full copy of Donald’s presentation is available here.

MSF Update – Steve Struthers, MSF

Steve presented an overview of dropped object incidents from the Marine Sector of the oil and gas industry. Most dropped items landed on or near vessels where the impact could have had serious consequences due to the heights the objects are falling (up to 70m). Statistics from Gulf Mark Offshore alone show around 350 dropped object incidents since 2006. A breakdown of the these shows 72% occurred offshore, predominantly from back-loaded cargo, with 12% on base and 8% on vessels. A remarkable 82% of these incidents had a root cause of ‘Checks Failing’. Several specific incidents were exemplified. Steve also highlighted the continuing hazard of vessels being exposed to overboard discharge and asked members to share his concerns with colleagues.  Steve’s presentation is available to download here.
Greg reminded attendees that awareness and application of the DROPS Backloading Booklet (developed earlier this year) could have averted many of these incidents. Copies are available on our website

Red Zone alignment for Stand-alone Operations – Richard Conway, Shell

Richard presented an overview of a current Shell project to identify and implement Best Practice on Red Zones for Wireline and Stand-alone operations. He explained the systems that Shell have in place to manage dropped object prevention, including Red Zone management which is well embedded for rig operations. An example of a drillfloor specific Red Zone induction was shown. For Stand-alone operations, Red Zone protection is less evident, principally because each operation can be unique due to temporary equipment and unfamiliar surroundings. Zones may be on multiple levels and may not have a step-back area. Richard showed some examples of differing methods being applied around the world when working on Wireline Operations but these do not specifically enforce Red Zones. The Shell objective is to further review methods, processes and systems applied by their key well service vendors and to selectively develop a Best Practice based on these. Shell will update DROPS at next Forum and will be looking to share their learnings with us in order that we can enhance our DROPS Recommended Guidelines for Use of Restricted Access Areas (Red Zones) which will be updated in 2016. Richard’s presentation is available to download here.

If you would like to correspond with Richard on the issue, please either email him directly at or via

Reliable Securing – The Way Ahead – Greg Reid, DROPS

Greg facilitated a workshop around the update of Reliable Securing. Attendees were asked to review and come up with additions/omissions and suggestions that will be sent to the Focus Group.

Suggestions to be considered:
P53 – Inappropriate PPE; no rope access helmet etc
Subsea DROPS calculator – potential shape, depth of water, weight etc; some understanding of the effects of the damage that could occur
Sheave & Snatchblock – contradicting statements/guidance
Removal of brand names
How to choose the correct secondary securing –  a help section to address this
Failure of secondary securing and history of examples
P111 Cargo tag example; checklist example; refer to Backloading document
Helicopter downdraft – highlight on P37 that helicopters are included
Retention during a changeout ie where does the bolt go when changing a shackle – Crosby working on something
Rethink Title of booklet
Tally book format to use loose leaf to prevent always reprinting
Suggestion to keep brands – keep the tips and pointers ie bolting is very helpful
Tool lanyard inspection and certification standards
Securing container internals
Cargo/backloading – not use plywood for dunnage
Securing of equipment in containers – best practice in Denmark and Norway is an inflatable sack that works well
Scaffolding causes a lot dropped objects – caps on tubes etc
Guidance on padeyes – single lift painted red; grey area around the colour coding/identifying
P29 DROPS – guidance on shape of objects on cone of exposure – better definition
Extra check on temporary fixtures and fittings during construction phase – final sweep of worksite
Application and certification of soft-strops
Confusion between primary securing, secondary securing and secondary retention – clarity required on the definitions
Cone of initial impact – guidance on bounce effect/deflection
Focus on equipment/facilities/environmental damage
P102 – cable trays and ladders – no mention of spot-welds as these can fracture
Life of secondary retention – certification
Crimping for securing of tools – heat shrink/heat wrap
Glueing and adhesives

The focus group will be meeting mid-February.  If you wish to join the Reliable Securing focus group, please email, in the first instance, 

Alternative Securing Devices for 4-part Shackles – Greg Reid, DROPS

At the request of a member company, Greg raised the issue of alternative securing devices for  4-part shackles. A show of hands in the room indicates that this is not a unique problem. The Member fully supports use of split pins for shackles on permanent / dedicated fixture points, rigging assemblies, items at height, etc but they are finding their use cumbersome on frequent use ‘pick and place lifts’, more so with the introduction of High Impact Gloves. The options of having to remove gloves to install the split pins or fitting a more user friendly securing pin during a ‘pick and place lift’, are both presently considered unacceptable.

Attendees volunteered the following feedback / information:
Consider using using lockable hoops?  Attendee’s company use them in an artic environment as they were experiencing the issue with the thermal gloves.
Thin Lizzy gloves are being trialled by another member just now with positive results to date.
Always check with manufacturer for best practice.
Are we focused on the right area – should we be using the gloves whilst undertaking this kind of task?
Another member uses gloves onshore that has thumb and forefinger tips missing to allow for greater dexterity.

Greg’s presentation, including details of devices being trialled by Member Company, is available to download here.

2015 Focus Group Updates – Focus Group leaders

Maintenance and Inspection standards for periodic secondary retention and securing – Adam Gibson, OES

At the beginning of the year, this focus group set off on a challenge to deliver a product that would bring clarity to some of the current grey areas in the inspection and maintenance of secondary retention. Who should inspect it, when should they inspect it, and to what best practice or standard should it be inspected to?
We decided that the best way to display this information would be in a table format, with the inspection items down the rows and the frequencies and best practices/stands across the columns. Each item would be categorized into zones and, taking information from drilling contractors, operators and inspection companies, it would highlight ‘hot zones’ for those areas where we see more failures, issues and ultimately accidents. This would allow us to use trend analysis to possibly increase the inspection and maintenance routines of specific items in specific locations.
This year has been challenging to say the least, both in terms of the unfortunate event of people having to leave the group and the added time constraints for remaining members. As a result, the deliverable is not completed as yet. However, we still feel strongly that this is something the industry needs clarity on in order to help reduce the amount of incidents caused by dropped objects. We remain committed to delivering this work, as resource becomes available in the New Year.  If you have any information to provide to this group, please email

Supply Chain and Manufacturers - providing DROPS Guidance/Best Practice – Conor Murphy, Shell

The update is a recommendation to identify a set of ‘design principles’ for designers to adhere too, to ensure Dropped Object prevention is intrinsic in all stages of design. The Focus Group update is available to download here. Subject to support from the broader DROPS membership, the Focus Group will continue in 2016. If you wish to join the Focus Group, please contact

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 request was raised for standards amalgamation with USA and rest of world to be explored?  Also, closer ties with other industry bodies - DROPS open to discussions with all Safety and focus groups, eg International Regulatory Association. For any suggestions on future presentations / topics, please email Greg closed proceedings before festive lunch was served.

Next meeting

Date:      Thursday 25 February 2016
Time:      0930 -1200
Venue:    Urban Village Hotel, Kingswells, Aberdeen
Host:       DROPS Global Steering Committee Members

We wish all DROPS members Seasons Greetings and a safe, healthy and prosperous 2016.