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Legs and heels subscriber
756 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looked like a superb HRD, few shows to go now and as the season draws to a close for many of us (mine never started, FFS..all work no play)...many people are making lists of the things to improve, upgrade, redo, maintain, etc etc to their prized assets, ready to go again at the spring nats 2010 (or before). If car is used 365 / 24 / 7....utmost respect......

Quite a few of my daily chores (QHSE in the O&G industry) surrounds incident investigations, accident reporting, blah blah blah as well as making recommendations to management to learn and reward good practises as well as explain the corrective / remedial actions when something goes wrong (too often and too late).

I find this an appropriate time to post a thread similar to one i had on the club forum. It was entitled "Safety in a Rodders garage" and was basically a collection of the good points made by us, to the benefit of us, sharing lessons learned and sharing good ideas.:idea:

It was inspired by Kev (kapri) when he mentioned once in a post " Take care of yourself, dont learn the hard way" Some of the guys on here replied to my post, however the thread was quickly off the radar due to the volume of traffic on the forum at the time ,if you all dont mind i'd like to repeat similar.
I apologise, this is quite long winded, maybe the NSRA HSE guy has something to add..

Ive worked in the oil and gas industry now 18 years, last 10 of those in QHSE supervision and management for one of the worlds largest construction companies in our sector....
You all know the tragic history and circumstance of the piper alpha disaster approx 25 years ago.
Lord Cullen who led the HSE investigation basically laid down the law today that forms todays UK companies management commitment and provision that it is an employers responsibility to provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for all its employees.
You may wonder where im going with this...You will get the point at the end.

a simple example:
If a company making cardboard boxes provides you with safety boots, eye protection, hearing protection and hand protection it has 2 meanings.
1. They are compelled to comply by the HSE legislation of UK.
2. They learned the hard way and had someone off injured, due to work related incident and therefore it affected their business output and production by not having that piece of the jigsaw in its place (the guy making the boxes), therefore they could not complete an order and it cost them money. That incident where the guy stapled his finger to the bench, cost them £££££ in lost production. They had to pay overtime to others to get his job done and ensure the injured party was still ok.

Now depending on the type of work you are in, generally all employers provide PPE (or should) and we are all told to wear it like good boys and girls., yet very seldom people carry that behaviour into their home life or our hobby. We all know a lot of people with scars from industrial related injuries and from our hobby, me included, i learned the hard way too...still have the scars and stitch marks too as reminder...

A simple lesson learned for us all is to take a step back and analyse what can go wrong and mitigate it, its very easy and could save an injury ..or heaven forbid, prevent us from driving our precious car when its done...... (thats the objective right ?)

As i said, i work in QHSE, mainly quality aspect, auditing things to always improve performance. Statistics for incidents at any worksite across our group of companies show that many things are 100% avoidable.

we work in Onshore refineries and petrochem plants, offshore platforms, onshore pipelines, etc etc, etc you get the idea, high exposure for something to go wrong.
When it does it can be catastrophic (as above scenario - piper alpha)

Number 1 accident root cause and incident notification for our company in all spheres is not only an oil and gas industry scenario, but you may be surprised to know that its related to "slips, trips and falls".

- easy to sort out but still happens every day and is happening tomorrow in your own workplace....why, because people dont think about others following behind them and / or leave things lying around. Good housekeeping...? eh
Put into context of our hobby, it could be:-

Scenario, 1
You leave couple of spanners lying around, little bit of timber, steel, etc, after working in the garage all day changing an exhaust section and your knackered, pull the garage door door over and go for a beer.
Someone else walks in to the garage for whatever reason when your not there - (kid to get their bike), etc and doesnt know what standing on a socket set extention bar will do, they slip on the bar, rattle their head on the floor...and you are all the bad guys for leaving the things there ? been there, got the t shirt......

Number 2 incident for us from our group statistics is hand and eye injuries.

scenario 2
your welding on the same exhaust, stop welding for a second, lift the visor to see whats going on and grind a bit of weld metal forgetting to put on safety glasses ,they are a pain in the a$$ anyway and its only for a minute and a bit of grit or metal gets in your eyes...(not everyone can afford the fancy welding masks that double as full face visor)..possibility A&E waiting list....again....been there too.........

The impact of these things is like above, the cardboard box factory lost money because of failing to meet expected production targets, the guy lost money because of off work, for us it means our car might lie in the garage longer than planned instead of being out driving in it. Because on your day off you need to go to hospital, not particularly do something that you want to do...

To summarise
There is no special rule set out to prevent incidents and accidents like the above, just logic and human behaviours.
There are guidelines and regulations everywhere, but reality is "whats in not whats in use"
meaning, the guy gave me some gloves to wear, but i didnt think this would happen if i didnt wear them, therefore whats the root cause of the problem, peoples behaviour.

Everyone knows don't learn the i guess you could say, "the safer the better".
In my company, the safer the better pays dividend as we get things done efficiently and all my team go home to their families the same way they came to work, thats my 100% commitment to them as a manager.

This is not a dig at any situation just some realistic assumptions and a reminder that if we create a safe working environment in our garages, things might get done quicker, i say might.......
Dont look at magazine articles in our hobby for good reference points (no particular magazine targetted - general observation, the safety compliance in some of the top mags either side of the pond, leaves a lot to be desired, im surprised this still goes on. Maybe its just for the cameras ???? the guy is TIG welding Aluminium with no gloves (fkin brave man :incheek: ) ask anyone who has done it.. but generally its not a good advertisement IMHO)

make your own assessment of your own situation and make your own mind up.....

" no fingers were broken in the 1 hour its taken to write this.................."

we have had a great summer and hope even safer winter in the garage !!

Sorry this is long but i hope it got the thinking hat on before its too late !!!!

I welcome peoples experiences and tips on how to make our home garage safer as im far from experienced there, ideas for better storage, ideas and tips for something to soak up a transmission fluid leak, or just some basics from the guys who work in a similar atmosphere all day....latest stuff available on the market, review of products ?? I learn every day...

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