SafeOps June 2015 Forum 14 Jul 2015

The June SafeOps forum was held at the Perth Convention Centre and attracted 100-plus delegates from a variety of operating, service and construction oil and gas companies. ‘SafeOps’ is an Australian oil and gas industry initiative formed in 2014 to cooperatively share production operations health, safety and environment best practices in an open, peer-to-peer environment.

The June forum, sponsored by Quadrant Energy and WorleyParsons was themed ‘New thinking delivers safer and lower cost outcomes’ and created some interesting and topical discussion. Following introductions from forum chair, Jack Goodacre (Quadrant Energy), Damien Beausang (Celtic Scaffolding) discussed how they have reduced the risk of overside scaffolding work by constructing the scaffold structure on the deck and then installed via platform crane. Damien also identified that industry-specific accredited skills training is significantly less stringent in Australia as compared to both the UK and New Zealand. He suggested that a forum like SafeOps should be looked at as the catalyst required to combine reviewing training requirements with contemporary materials and scaffolding systems, which will deliver safer outcomes to the industry.

Schlumberger's Simon Wait then discussed how Schlumberger has reduced its driving accident rate through building a safer driving culture. This was achieved through a combination of policy, training and procedures in vehicle monitoring and fatigue management. Personnel behaviours changed through the system which holds people accountable for unsafe driving.

The final presentation of the Personal Safety Session was by Stuart Godson (Monadelphous) who shared insights into the PNG culture and how they worked with and utilised the strengths of the culture to drive ownership and achieve a top class safety performance.


The second session of the day was Process Safety which was kicked off by Woodside's Jason Tinsley who shared how Woodside deviated from the convention to deconstruct the North Rankin A drill derrick. A combination of stick and modular deconstruction proved not only to be the lowest risk option, but also the lowest cost. The key to this was the cooperation and early involvement between the engineering contractor and the implementation team.

Tomasz Sobkow (Woodside) followed Jason with a human factors perspective on alarm management providing interesting insights on how systems, which once were state of the edge, can become quickly archaic. Tomasz delved into the importance of alarm classification and how proper human factors analysis can help in understanding root causes of incidents.

The final presentation of the personal Safety Session was delivered by Steve Fogarty (Quadrant) on the Varanus Island piping overpressure incident. Steve’s presentation identified the importance of ensuring the same high level of diligence is taken for desolation of equipment, prior to start up, as it is for the initial isolation.

The final hour of the forum was dedicated to a Q&A session, with an industry leadership panel comprised of Jack Goodacre (Quadrant Energy); Bruce Lake (Vermillion MD & APPEA); Brad Andrews (Location Director, Worley Parsons); Ken Fitzpatrick (former Managing Director of PTTEP); and Josh Kember (GM Operations WA/NT, UGL Limited). During this session a variety of topics were discussed, including how to build a culture that fosters safe and open communication; the differences of safety culture in Australia vs the rest of the world; challenges and opportunities to improve safety in a lower price environment.

The next SafeOps forum is tentatively booked for Thursday 26 November 2015