4 typical accidents – and how Onix can help

In Onix, our job is to help you uphold regulations and have safety procedures that make sure everything is safe and sound. To give you an idea of how, let’s take you through four classic examples of potential equipment-related accidents and how Onix can help avoid them.

HSE: Is your company following safety best practices?

There are a ton of regulations and required procedures to keep track of to ensure the safe use of equipment, and without a good system, there’s a risk of something slipping. But a tiny slip can have huge consequences – not only in the worst-case scenarios, where it leads to an accident with injuries or deaths, but also economically. Here are some examples: 

  1. Fire-hazardous filters

A fire breaks out at one of the gas turbines at a gas processing plant. The fire is discovered by nearby operators, the alarm is activated, and the plant is evacuated. Fortunately, the fire doesn’t spread, but it takes more than eight hours to extinguish it. 

Later investigation shows that the fire started when the pre-filters on the air intake self-ignited because of a build-up of biomass. The filters used to be replaced every other year but were now to be replaced when their condition called for it. However, there were no set routines or criteria to determine the condition. Furthermore, replacing the filters had been recommended a year earlier, after a hot oil leak. This was not done, and the filters had not been replaced in over five years. 

There were no personal injuries in the fire, but the material damage was severe. The plant is shut down for almost two years because of the damage, causing the operator a massive economic loss. 

How could Onix have helped?

  • Onix Inspect’s digital checklists can include specific inspection procedures, ensuring consistent criteria for registering issues
  • Notifications of when inspections or replacements are due help ensure everything is up to date
  • Clear assignments of responsibility and documentation of measures ensure issues are solved when and as required

Onix Inspect: Are you ready to replace pen and paper with an app?

  1. Unsafe lifting equipment

A worker is operating an excavator on a tunnel construction site. When lifting the excavator bucket, the bucket loosens and falls to the ground. Another worker was standing below the bucket and is pinned underneath. The worker dies from the injuries shortly after.

While the signaling system in the cab showed that the bucket was attached correctly, the pre-use check routine entails pushing the bucket along the ground to ensure it is properly secured. The operator insists that this was done.

Even though the paper checklist shows that a pre-use check had been performed, later investigation proves it must have been filled out after the incident, as the bucket would have loosened during the test.  

How could Onix have helped?

  • User-friendly digital checklists make it easier to perform correct pre-use checks
  • Time-stamped documentation that can’t be cheated and ensures correct information

Onix Worker: Make sure your equipment is safe to use

  1. Unsecure ignition source

An oil and gas production platform is experiencing severe vibrations, causing friction and material fatigue on the equipment. At one point, a heating cable on a gas pipe breaches, posing a significant risk of sparks. The cable is not secured as required in a potentially explosive atmosphere. Luckily, it does have an earth-leakage circuit breaker, disconnecting the power to the cable within 90 seconds after the breach. 

Two minutes after the cable breach, the vibrations lead to a rupture in the gas pipe, causing a leak. Only by coincidence does the leak happen right after the breached cable has been disconnected, avoiding a catastrophic event by mere seconds. 

However, the incident leads to an inspection by the authorities, revealing several unsecured potential ignition sources in the potentially explosive atmosphere. The platform is immediately shut down, and the operator suffers a huge loss of income and a hefty fine. The following news stories also lead to significant damage to the company’s reputation and loss of customers. 

How could Onix have helped?

  • Checklists help ensure that every piece of equipment in a potentially explosive atmosphere (ATEX) is secured per the regulations
  • The Ex inspection tool will make it easier to reveal issues and make sure that inspections happen as required

Introducing Ex inspections: Let’s make your day a bit less Exciting!

  1. Unavailable information

A young automation technician and an apprentice mechanic working on an oil platform set out to increase the pressure in a nitrogen bottle. They retrieve a gas booster pump, and the apprentice holds the pump while the automation technician holds the bottle. While holding the bottle, he can feel it becoming warmer and warmer. Then it explodes. 

The gas booster pump had already been deemed defective a few days earlier but had not been decommissioned. In addition, the pump’s pressure gauge should have been inspected eight weeks earlier – but wasn’t. Furthermore, the equipment’s user manual was unavailable, and the workers were not trained to fill the gas bottle. 

Both workers were severely injured, the automation technician life-threateningly so. Only coincidence prevented the loss of life. 

How could Onix have helped?

  • Marking the equipment with a tag number or a QR code allows workers to check the equipment status and be warned of any issues or overdue inspections
  • The equipment tag can also give the worker access to the user manual and alert the worker if they are not certified to handle the equipment

Why should you tag your equipment?

Our point is that so much can go wrong when working with these types of equipment. And while it might seem like a scare tactic, that is honestly not our intention. But when you feel yourself getting lost in all the rules, procedures, directives, and documentation requirements, it can be hard to look at the bigger picture and keep in mind that they’re there for a reason. But they are. And it’s in everyone’s best interest to make them as easy as possible to follow. 

That’s where our software comes in. Actually, that’s our sole purpose as a company: making sure that all your equipment is safe to use. So please, reach out if you need it! 

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