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DROPS Forum - Aberdeen, 20th September 2022

DROPS Summary – Allen Smith

Over the past years of the pandemic, DROPS Membership subscriptions have remained active providing much-needed funds to sustain the administration and management function. This has enabled the development of new resources such as the Worksite Prompts and also the production of several Spanish translations of DROPS guidance and best practice.

These funds will support the back-office upgrade to the DROPS website and the development and publication of an interactive journey through DROPS Recommended Practice – a step-by-step guide to the full suite of DROPS tools that support a dropped object prevention management system.

DROPS Global Chapters have remained active with DROPS Asia, North America and Canada hosting online sessions throughout the past two years and will continue to promote inclusive participation in regional events through webinar technology.

DROPS Train the Trainer is now hosted online, with customised sessions proving the adaptability of the content across a broad mix of activities and assets. In conjunction with DROPS North America, the eLearn program is in the final stages of trialling with a view to offering DROPS Members access to a standardised learning package based on DROPS Recommended Practice content.

Download Allen's presentation here.

The DROPS Exclusion Zone calculator kindly produced by DROPS Canada has proved to be very popular in predicting distance and probability following dropped object deflection and is widely promoted as a risk assessment tool in determining the potential cone of exposure – particularly in planning work at height. Download it here.

Reflections and Learnings – Blake Stephenson, Shell International B.V.

As an introduction to the Forum, Blake reflected on Shell North Sea region statistics – highlighting that 90% of High Potential Incidents over the past three years were dropped object related.

Both Drops awareness and reporting at worksites was at a higher level, ‘static’ dropped objects largely reduced due to improved retention and systematic inspections, and Red Zone management had been improved with greater zone awareness, Wardens, signage, barriers and barrier management.

Dynamic dropped object exposure and incidents continue to occur particularly during lifting and hoisting, equipment interfaces and contact points, and during equipment installation and removal.

Significant learnings have been gleaned from these incidents and improvements actively implemented.

Dropped Object Prevention through Review and Upgrading of Manufacturing Documents – Lukasz Szadkowski, NOV

Lukasz illustrated the importance of properly defined securing methods and highlighted how competent application of primary fastenings and secondary retention in accordance with manufacturing documentation is critical in ensuring effectiveness.

When this is achieved and verified, the requirement for appropriate safety securing can be assessed and correctly selected and installed in response to any remaining risks.

As part of NOV’s Drops Program, a DROPS Secondary Retention and Prevention of Dropped Objects design guideline is available for all customers. This is a live document which incorporates updates to reflect new technologies and lessons learned.

With all products and services, NOV will assist in the provision of detailed securing instructions in accordance with the bill of material.

Further to this, NOV promote a range of key Drops activities including equipment surveys, analysis and advice on implementing upgrades and how to optimise existing inspection schemes.

Download the presentation here.

Download the NOV DROPS Global leaflet here.


Dynamic vs Static Dropped Objects – Marc Henry, Schlumberger

Across the global operation, there can be more than 500,000 active lifts occurring at Schlumberger worksites across the full product and service lifecycle. Several images illustrated the consequences of dropped objects due to lifting failures, unsecured loads, collisions and other factors.

Marc offered an overview of Schlumberger’s systematic approach to identifying high risk activities and generating specific risk assessments and lift plans for all activities including routine lifts.


RSRUK Management and Prevention of Dropped Objects – Chris McCrindle, Repsol Sinopec UK

Chris summarised the changing picture of dropped objects, as assets age corrosion is playing a part in the increase of static dropped objects. A multi-layered strategic approach ensures ownership, accountability and systematic planned and unplanned inspections of all structures.

Annual ‘de-risking’ of items is undertaken by area, managed through a bespoke RSRUK Drops database with several intuitive functions which were ably demonstrated by Scott McShane. A summary can be found in the presentation here.

Chris echoed the emphasis on learning from dynamic incidents in particular the need for lift plans to be clear, easily understood on site, containing information specific to the lift, defined roles and responsibilities, and where deviation occurs and the plan cannot be complied with, MoC must take primacy.


Shackle Story – Allen Smith

A brief overview of a new shackle product available from Green Pin which features securing points for tool / equipment lanyards during installation and removal of shackle components whilst at height. For more information on the Green Pin Catch Shackle visit Green Pin® Catch Shackle BN - Green Pin

Mike Rice, Dropsafe was on hand to describe the development and features of the new Dropsafe Trisafe carabiner and tether product as shown in the slide deck here.


AOB and Next Forum Event

The IOGP Lifting and Hoisting Safety Recommended Practice (IOGP 376) were referenced in discussions. The document is available for free download (Lifting and hoisting recommended practice | IOGP Publications library)

The DROPS Admin team committed to hosting another in-person event early 2023 to include hot topics such as Human Factors (check in with Step Change in Safety), Drops Training (practical container concept), Red Zone focus and challenges - and further shared lessons from Operators which are highly valued and relevant learnings for us all.

With special thanks to all Speakers and to the Steering Committee for sponsoring the event at the Marcliffe Hotel. Thanks to the DROPS Administration team for organising the Forum and as always a special thanks to everyone who registered and attended.

We are always keen to encourage non-commercial presentations that promote greater awareness of dropped object prevention best practice. If you wish to present, or wish to contribute in any way to the next Forum please contact us at