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DROPS FORUM - Houston USA, 5th November 2010

The Steering Committee Meeting of the DROPS North American Chapter was convened at 9:00 AM on 5th November, 2010. The meeting was hosted by Bob Thompson at Chevron’s Offices in Downtown Houston. Bob Thompson provided a safety briefing to all participants. All participants (listed above) introduced themselves. 

Wire Rope Snake Presentation – Bob Thompson (Chevron) 
Bob Thompson discussed an incident where the failure to use wire rope snakes had caused a serious near miss in a Chevron Operation in the North Sea.

Discussions into the safe use of Wire Rope Snakes were held. Agreement was made that these should be considered as Lifting Accessories and treated accordingly. It was also agreed that items should be a once only use and then dispose. Items can quickly deteriorate. 

Compliance, Violations or Complacency – Inge Alme (Scandpower) 
Inge Alme with Scandpower gave a fascinating presentation on serious lifting incidents in the North Sea. Following investigations human factors contributed to these incidents. Procedural violations and habitual behavior reflected a lack of risk awareness. This was shown as being directly proportionate to complacency. 

Marathon Dropped Objects Inspection – Tim Arnold (Marathon) 
Tim Arnold discussed the outcomes of recent Dropped Objects Inspections on a new Deepwater Rig in the GOM. He shared images of findings with regard to Secondary Retention, Fastenings and housekeeping. 

StopDrop Tooling – Dave White (StopDrop Tooling) 
Dave White discussed Stopdrop tools for working at height. He discussed methods used in manufacture and testing of the tools and shared examples of QA/QC checks on tools. He also shared best practices in the use and control of Working at Height toolkits in the field. 

Shell Drops – Mike Corcoran (Shell) 
Mike Corcoran of Shell gave a presentation on the Procedures that Shell have implemented in their North America region. He also shared some statistics that showed a marked improvement of Drops incidents in the period following the introduction of these measures. 

Drilling HazID – Sam Ranasinghe (Atkins) 
Sam Ranasinghe of Atkins gave a presentation on how he had developed a Work Equipment Hazard Identification program and had focused on human / system interaction. Areas of study were injuries to personnel from their interaction with equipment and Dropped Objects. Sam showed that a large number of mitigations were clearly obvious and easily implemented. He showed the value of a ‘Fresh Pair of Eyes’ on such hazard identification exercises. 

Transocean Dropped Workbasket Incident – Chris Knight (Transocean) 
Chris Knight of Transocean gave a presentation on an incident that occurred on one of their operations where a workbasket fell 16 feet to the deck. The occupant was attached to a fall arrest harness and was suspended at height as a result. Investigations identified that the securing arrangement for this work basket had been incorrectly assembled and the incident resulted. Failure to follow procedure was identified as a principle cause of this incident. 

Open Discussion 
The meeting was brought to a close at 11.30 by Bob Thompson. A discussion was held regarding the next forum and it was agreed that due to holidays and work commitments the next meeting would be held at the Shell offices on 21st January 2011 Jade Washmon has generously offered to host. It was observed that the majority of attendees were office based personnel and it was suggested the each member bring an offshore worker with them for the next meeting as their inputs would be greatly valued. This suggestion was unanimously supported.

Jerry Canducci, the Dropped Objects Forum Chairman closed the meeting reflecting on how the Forum had developed in the short period of its existence. He thanked all members and looked forward to a continued growth of the forum and the reduction of Dropped Objects within our industry. 

Date and Place of Next Meeting 
Date (tentative) – 21 Jan 2011 
Place (tentative) – Shell Offices