Monday, March 8, 2010

Memo (Workplace Safety Improvement)

To : Operation Director
From : General Manager
Date: March 8, 2010
Subject : Workplace Safety Improvement

This is a firm reminder regarding safety in the workplace. While at the site yesterday I witnessed lifeboat retrieval operations by our staff and need to relay some very important safety concerns.

Our personnel are indeed very good at what they do and have shown exemplary character in accomplishing their tasks as well as maintaining good working attitudes, it should be noted that safety awareness is still lacking and we must do something about it before it’s too late.

Observed unsafe working practices:

1.) While hoisting the fast rescue boat onto its cradle on top deck Mssr. Alonzo rode on it while it was being hoisted – the principle of suspended loads is that we always assume despite measures taken that the cable and the lifting accessories as well as the actual lifting appliance are not to be trusted 100% and therefore possible equipment malfunction/failure is taken into account. The risk of a suspended load falling is very real and had it happened with Mssr. Alonzo on-board fast rescue boat during hoisting it would have most certainly resulted in fatality. As per international safe lifting guidelines such practices pose great hazard and cannot be allowed.

2.) When the fast rescue boat had been raised on top of the deck, while hovering and being guided onto its cradle Mssr. Jalon stooped and walked underneath the fast rescue boat while it was suspended. Incidentally at this point Mssr. Alonzo was still on-board and would have added even more weight to fast rescue boat had it broken off its cable. The concept of people passing, staying or moving under suspended loads is similar to the above stated principle in observation 1. We must assume that a load can fall or break off at any given time. The space underneath a suspended load must be treated as a constant hazard area and must not be crossed or violated. Despite the minimum suspended height of the fast rescue boat from the deck floor of a mere estimated 1.5 meters, Mssr. Jalon would have surely been a fatality had the fast rescue boat fallen on him.

3.) Other observations I’d like to cite: Those handling tug lines and those working boat hooks were not wearing gloves. Hands can easily be skinned by rope burns or crushed by heavy hooks and their moving components. Our people have a tendency to go out at significant height without any mechanical precautions or safety restraints of any kind.

It is imperative we address this with the staff involved in a constructive and positive way. This is a memo and not a near miss or worse an incident/accident report. We should take such as an advantage to improve our systems. On the subject of competency and capability I’d like to note that ignorance cannot be excused. Being the senior man on-site and in-charge of all related work, Mssr. Miranda should know better and should work to ensure safety in all aspects of daily work at the site. I am questioning his competency henceforth and will not hesitate to pull him out of team leader status myself if he fails to improve or satisfy the most basic of company HSSE requirements.

I would like to request of you the following actions:

1.) Discuss among the staff mentioned my observations and concerns in detail.

2.) Taking my report into account I’d like you to discuss with those
involved how to physically improve or modify the pier to make these operations
safer. What do we need to add? How can we make all levels of the pier safer
during all lowering, retrieval and hoisting operations?

Please ause all your resources at your disposal to accomplish what needs to be accomplished to make our lifeboat operations safer. We can include various instructors to administer in-house trainings on lifting safety and other such related topics later on, with your support.

We need to solve this problem fast as we cannot risk clientele, students or possible external auditors finding these safety deficiencies.

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