Dropped objects are commonly one of the largest contributors to high-potential near misses and injuries in projects and other aspects of the Oil and Gas business. The objective of this paper is to describe an innovative and powerful technique used on the Appomattox Project at multiple work sites to greatly reduce the number of high-potential dropped object incidents.
Despite extensive preparations to manage the risk of dropped objects, the Appomattox Project experienced a flurry of such dropped object incidents at one of its fabrication sites in 2017. The Project responded by launching a robust verification program leading to a six-fold reduction in the frequency of such events. Subsequently, the Appomattox Project applied the program to all its other significant work scopes with an ambitious goal of reducing high-potential dropped objects by 75% or more. The two critical aspects of the program were the collection of quality leading indicator information at the front line and timely and relevant action by site leaders based on that information.
Through unwavering leadership support, partnership with its contractors, and attention to detail at the front line, the Appomattox Project beat their goal and completed the final 15 months of the Project with zero high-potential dropped object incidents outside of controlled, exclusion zones. The Project team actively shared its learnings with other projects in the company, contributing to a 22% reduction of such incidents in its global portfolio from 2017 to 2018.
While many types of assurance and verification programs exist, this rigorous application to dropped object incident reduction was a novel and valuable addition to an already strong Project HSSE management system and yielded exceptional and immediate benefits.
IOGP Report 577, 2018. Fabrication Site Construction Safety Recommended Practice – Hazardous Activities. London, United Kingdom: International Oil and Gas Producers