West Japan Railway introduced the controversial training exercise in 2016 after a component had fallen off a high-speed train the previous year. The aluminum part struck the train’s body as it passed through a tunnel in southwest Japan and injured one passenger. Investigators blamed the incident on loose bolts and poor inspections.
In January, the Humber Bridge Board (HBB) brought its first private prosecution against an “urban explorer”, Ryan Taylor, who had scaled the 155.5 m tall Barton Tower on the structure’s south bank without permission. The climber was part of a group that had clambered over a barrier and used the bridge’s suspension wires as handrails to walk up the cables to the tower summit.The group took videos and selfies from the top, posting them on YouTube. They had no harnesses or any other safety equipment.
We all learn differently. Some people can read something, understand it and put it into practice without any difficulty. Others respond immediately to verbal instructions. Some need to go out and put the lessons into practice before they fully understand it.
The infrastructure provider behind the Thames Tideway scheme in London is racking up a first in occupational health (OH) provision. Tideway, the company appointed by Thames Water to build, maintain and operate the 25 km tunnel below the River Thames to relieve the capital of its sewage and rainwater, has mandated an OH service for the entire seven-year project – an arrangement unknown until now in large-scale infrastructure projects.
Rating: As the preface says, “we have been very successful in cluttering and clogging workplaces with safety stuff that does little but clutter and clog” so it’s now time to question some of our most fundamental tenets and models.
“Relentless and largely unnoticed” is how Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) chief executive Errol Taylor recently characterised the rise in serious accidents at home and in leisure time. He went on to point out that this increase had happened in parallel with huge strides in road and workplace safety based on “scientific, evidence-based approaches to accident prevention”, and appealed for greater effort to address home and leisure risks.
I interview Dermot Dolan just before he leaves his base at the Grange Castle biotechnology facility in Dublin, Ireland, to audit environment, health and safety (EHS) performance in Pfizer plants in India for two weeks.
The first part of the inquiry is to establish what happened, with a detailed timeline, how the response was organised and deployed, and the outcomes of dutyholders’ decisions and actions. The second part will explore the “why” questions.We have had significant disasters in the past and as Winston Churchill is reputed to have said, we should “never let a good crisis go to waste”. Learning the lessons and adopting preventive measures is part of the memorial to those who lost their lives and their families.
Process safety management mixes engineering and systems skills to prevent catastrophic accidents, such as explosions, fires and toxic releases from installations including chemical plants and oil and gas facilities. Its importance is best illustrated by the frequency process safety failures are cited in inquiry reports into major incidents such as the explosions in 2005 at the Buncefield oil terminal in the UK and BP’s Texas City refinery in the US.