Our first week performing LDAR flagging alongside Louisiana gators, snakes, and spiders reminded us that safety is not only the most important thing we do, it’s a great place to focus our quest for better ways.
Usually people speak about safety in terms of OSHA reportables and lessons learned, but if nothing goes wrong it can be tempting to think that everything is working just fine. We believe in staying vigilant, fostering a safety culture, and using the newest tech tools.
Here are 4 simple ways to implement efficient LDAR field safety, as taken from this week’s LDAR tagging project.
1)Foster Safety Culture from Day 1.Even though our team has decades of collective experience in the plant environment and generally “knows the ropes,” on Day 1 we called a face-to-face meeting with our oil refinery client to discuss their specific safety expectations, plant policies, and special considerations. We also communicated our own personal standards: the site-specific health and safety plan, as well as shared the safety communication tools our team will be empowered with throughout the project (more on that below). Not only do our clients appreciate the attention to safety, it instills confidence in the rest of the project.
2) Use Slack and Google Forms for Team Communication. Slack is a messenger that lets you organize team communications into personalized channels. We use Slack every time we discuss safety - that way,our safety discussions are easily indexed and searchable for the entire team. Each morning, we have a daily safety "tailgate" talk, in which we discuss a safety focus topic for the day and record it in Google forms. We also log safety hazards, near misses, and incidents within Google Forms to improve our communication to clients and our internal recordkeeping. We are reinforcing safety culture each day and utilizing Slack to index the tailgate talk and share it among the team to improve safety culture and communication within our team. The Slack and Google Form apps are easy (and free, up to so many users) ways for fostering safety communication and keeping safety at the forefront of what we do.
3)Use Electronic PDFs Instead of Paper. Health and safety is still very dominated by forms and paper - but if you’ve ever had trouble reading what was written in a hand-written JSA (job safety analysis, also called a job hazard analysis) form, you’ll benefit from going digital. Our field team fills out the assessment of potential hazards along with mitigation steps on their Windows tablets with the help of a free PDF Reader / Markup App. Unlike the desktop version, the app will save changes made with a stylus, with easy emailing, sorting, and searching by file names. It’s a good way to "systemize" safety tasks and eliminate the more mundane procedures like scanning files to attach to emails. Similar PDF Reader / Markup Apps are available for free on iOS and Android operating systems.
4) Beta Testing of the Ei Safety App (Available Soon). Our team is psyched about the new app we’ve developed that is basically a culmination of all our safety automations. For the past week, we’ve been using the beta version (squashing bugs!), and so far we’re really pleased. Not only does the app combine the above safety elements, it takes safety automation a step further by introducing the technology to a mobile platform. If you consider that contractors working at a medium-sized operating plant can generate >100,000 JSAs per year, there’s an incredible opportunity for saving time, money, and resources with an app. Additionally, because the app eliminates barriers to safety communication, we believe our app will boost safety culture and awareness.
If you’re interested in using the Ei app to drive safety culture on your team, visit our website at eisafety.com and sign up to be notified when it is available for download in the Google Play and Apple Stores. Next week, we’ll be focusing on enhanced QA/QC checks as we continue our LDAR retagging project, so check back for ways to improve LDAR project quality!
Want a basic tool you can use to bring safety efficiency to your team? Click the link below to get a template Daily Safety Tailgate Form that you and your team can access on their computers, tablets, or smartphones!