This article aims to clarify some of the calculations that were published in our articles on the pullback capacity of top drive drill rigs and clear up any misunderstanding, particularly around the Schramm TX 130 drill rig.Read More
Safety information and collaboration forum for the exploration drilling industry in Southern Africa.
The legal requirement to ensure that people are separated from certain components is mentioned in the Mine Health and Safety Act Regulations. Have a look at the interpretation of these requirements.Read More
Read about which components on a drilling operation should be adequately guarded.Read More
This article explores the characteristics and criteria that an effective guard should meet.Read More
Take a look at some examples of guards and barriers and see how they compare to the characteristics of good guards.Read More
It is essential that the meaning of automation is established, with reference to the drilling industry, before requirements are put in place. This article explores the idea of automation and hands-free rod handling.Read More
The type of hands-free system to use, depends on the drilling application. Read more about the relevant types of systems.Read More
While hands-free rod handling systems are becoming increasingly prevalent, they are not without some issues.Read More
Christensen Rod Handling System (RHS) option is used in surface core drilling applications and is available as an option for both the Christensen 140 and Christensen CT20.Read More
LoadSafe safely handles heavy drill pipe, drill collars and casing. LoadSafe is designed to safely lift tubulars from horizontal position into alignment with the tilting top head of the drill rig.Read More
A simple V-trough system that can be adapted to many different top drive drill rigs.Read More
Author: Jacob de Coning, Client Solutions Manager at JvR Safety
What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of safety in the workplace? If you work in an industrial environment you probably thought of signs, rules and paperwork…lots of paperwork.
In the service sector, you may have thought of the dangers of incorrect posture, staring at a screen for too many hours or sitting at your desk. Sitting is the new smoking you know. Regardless of the industry, this is not a topic that typically gets people excited.
Considering the recent listeriosis outbreak in South Africa, workplace safety is a topic that can become very important, very quickly. Admittedly, many companies do take safety seriously and this focus has indeed paid off. From mining to manufacturing, fatalities have mostly been dropping since 1994(1). However, many companies lament the fact that they are seeing a diminishing return from their safety efforts.
This leaves us with a fundamental question. If companies are investing so heavily in this area, why are incidents still happening? This is surely a question worth answering and most of us can agree that companies should be able to pursue their goal without harming people. Yet, the curious case remains that people are often disengaged and, quite frankly, annoyed with the topic…
Somewhere, through all the efforts to improve safety, we have forgotten about the very thing we are trying to protect…the person.
We attempt to engineer and regulate every possible interaction a person may have with risks in their environment. While important, this approach has had an unintended consequence in that people have become so used to risks they are lulled into a false sense of security.
Reducing the need to think
Through our over-emphasis on engineering and regulatory approaches to safety, we have reduced the need for a person to think about what they are doing. More frightening still, some companies seem to prefer it this way.
We have heard from employees across different industries, that they are not involved in planning their work or making work-related decisions. As some employees may put it, “We get paid to work, not to think”. However, once an incident happens you are almost guaranteed to hear the ubiquitous “Why didn’t you think?!!” response. Possibly… because that is exactly what we are training people to do.
It makes sense to control and remove risks where possible – hence the critical role of safety engineering. It also makes sense to learn from best practice and entrench these as guidelines that different companies can follow. On top of this, it REALLY makes sense not to disregard a tool, that has been refined over several million years to efficiently handle input, adjust to its surroundings and which conveniently has a self-preservation drive built right in.
Hint: It’s the brain…
It is quite ironic that at the time when we are placing ever more sensors and learning algorithms into machines to better enable them to deal with their environments, we are suppressing those same qualities in human beings. Granted, humans are not always the easiest things to work with, but the same goes for microwaves and we have learnt to work effectively with them.
Here are a few simple ways to promote safe behaviour among your team:
- Allow people to think and make decisions. We have found that employees understand that they cannot be involved in every minute part of the business, however, they do want to have an input into the work they are doing. This notion is backed up by research supporting the idea that employees are more engaged when they have a sense of autonomy and agency, which contributes to a sense of ownership(2)(3).
- Involve individuals in planning their tasks. Individuals like to know that what they are doing contributes to a larger whole. Involving a team in planning their work greatly improves the odds of them being committed to the goal(4). On a practical note, proper planning can assist workers to complete their tasks in a more efficient manner
- Use questions more than “telling”. Most safety conversations involve telling adults how to do their work, or what not to do. Moving from a “telling” mindset to using questions not only involves the person more, but ties into the structure of their brain to keep their attention. Through using questions employees are immediately more engaged and it improves the chances of them thinking through their tasks, rather than just listening passively.
People want to do great work, to perform well on difficult challenges(5). Perhaps it is time to involve them in one of the most difficult challenges faced by the industrial world. Reaching our goals, continuing the march of progress. Without losing people along the way.
- Mckay, D. SA mining laments rise in number of employee fatalities in 2017. Miningmx.com. [Online] 2017.
- Freaks, D. Motivating Employees Has Everything To Do With Giving Them Feelings Of Ownership. Forbes.com. [Online] 2014.
- Schawbel, D. How Companies Can Benefit From Inclusion. Forbes.com. [Online] 2012.
- Newport, C. Professor. How to love your Job. s.l. : Tiny Leaps, 1 March 2018.
- Whitehurst, J. Decisions Are More Effective when More People Are Involved from the Start. Harvard Business Review. [Online] 2016.
About the author
Jacob is the Client Solutions Manager at JvR Safety - a niche behavioral consulting, training and research firm based in Johannesburg. As an Industrial Psychologist, Jacob has utilised his knowledge of behavioural science to a variety of projects in environments where safety is business critical. In the mining industry specifically, Jacob has consulted with gold and platinum mines in South Africa and North West Africa to influence, shape and change the prevailing mindset people have towards safety.
We recently took part in a fascinating webinar presented by Suzanne Hattingh and the ASDSA (Association of Skills Development Providers of South Africa) on "The impact of the 4th industrial revolution on the world of work". Have a look at some of the comments from Suzanne's presentation below.
Other articles relating to people aspects
Video sourced from SiMine
SiMINE is a physical Mining Simulation used to expose and build Systems Thinking capability. It is also the platform for testing Mining 4.0 technologies and organisational design
Other articles relating to people aspects
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Have a look at this short reference sheet for the proper use of wrenches, from Rigid.Read More
Probably due to a large number of hand injuries whilst tripping drill rods, mining companies are increasingly requesting hands free rod handling systems. In the case of rotary percussion or reverse circulation drill pipe this makes great sense and we have seen many different designs of hands free systems.
In the case of diamond drill rod, this is not so easy because of the relative frailty of wireline drill rod thread compared to API or modified API threads. As a consequence many systems accelerate thread wear and so possibly introduce more risk than is perceived.
These are some of the critical issues that will be discussed at the Drill Rig and Safety Innovation Forum on 20 July 2018 in Johannesburg. Don't miss out on this opportunity to listen to a wide range of industry experts. Register now at http://www.drillsafe.co.za/innovation-forum-2018-registration/
We were recently made aware of a fatality involving the use of a pipe wrench. Have a look at this article, which analyses the use of wrenches in drilling operations.Read More
This article examines some of the ways that wrenches are frequently misused.Read More
Colin Rice Exploration and Training and DrillSafe are contributing to WIMSA’s Mentor’s Manor event, read more here.Read More