It’s important to inspect your company’s Emergency Response Plan (ERP) to ensure the plan is up-to- date, properly posted, complete and at the current rig location. For more information see: OSHA’s 29 CFR 1910.38, Emergency Response Plan.
Ensure that each well has a formal written ERP, which includes simple instructions for notifications in the event of a rig-based emergency.
Notification protocols for medical emergencies, fire on the rig or location, gas release or loss of well control, or a security breach should all be included.
In most cases there will be contingency plans in place for the well that address notifications for long-term events that include notification of government agencies and outside well control expertise. These contingencies can be noted in the working plan but should not complicate the posted action plan.
Make sure you write down the locations of posted and current emergency response plans. These should be in central locations such as the: .
In addition, check that the response plan is posted anywhere emergency communications may be made, including the Rig Supervisor’s truck, and the guard shack.
Check that the posted plan includes VERY clear turn-by-turn instructions that can be read to the EMS operator. It should start with directions from the closest town and give accurate mileage, land marks, turns, road names, etc.
Confirm that the latitude (lat) and longitude (long) coordinates are posted for possible helicopter operations.
Check that a short description of the designated landing zone is included for briefing the pilot.
Check that clear, simple instructions on how to use designated emergency radio and satellite phone systems are posted. The number of the emergency phone should be posted and someone should remain next to the communication device once a call has been made to provide information to return calls from responders.
Be sure to inspect emergency equipment to ensure that the equipment is stored properly and ready for use. For more information see: 29CFR1910.1030 and 29CFR1910.151.
Inventory the emergency equipment found on your rig. Emergency equipment for personal injury should include a man rescue basket (also called a Stokes litter), a bloodborne pathogens kit, fire blankets, and for remote sites an automatic external defibrillator and a trauma kit.
Write the location and use of each collection of emergency equipment. Check that emergency equipment is stored by hanging them up or placing them in a designated rack where they will not be damaged by other rig activities.
Check that there is a man rescue basket or Stokes litter available, rigged and ready for use. It should have a 4-point lifting harness securely attached. An emergency blanket in a waterproof plastic bag along with safety straps should be attached to the basket. The basket should be stored in a manner that protects it from damage.
Check that there is a kit available for the cleanup and disposal of blood or other potentially infectious bodily fluids. Look through the kit to ensure that it contains rubber gloves, face shield, absorbent materials, plastic bags, and disinfectants. Mark any missing items in the comment section and notify your supervisor.
Check for fire blankets treated with gel for burns and flash fires. Read the maintenance card of any larger units for information on manufacturer’s recommended maintenance. Do the maintenance if needed and note it on the container.
AED (Automatic External Defibrillator) units have become more common and require some training to familiarize employees as to the proper use of the device. This training is often included in CPR courses. If training has been provided, check that the names of trained employees are posted where the unit is stored.
Check that the site has a trauma kit and that it contains all the items listed on the inventory. This may include: large trauma dressings, splinting materials, cervical collar, and a 15-minute oxygen bottle designed for use by non- medically trained personnel. Check that all items are clean, undamaged and ready for use.
It is very important to ensure that alarm and shutdown systems are functioning properly. For more information see: 29CFR1910.37, 29CFR1910.38, and 29CFR1910.165.
Every effort should be made to inspect and maintain these systems as instructed by the manufacturer. Installation, care, and maintenance should all be available in the equipment information package. Beyond function and readiness checks, testing protocols and adjustments should be carried out by competent, trained personnel.
Rig emergency alarms may be automatic or operated by personnel from various locations manually. Whichever the case, the alarms should be heard throughout the rig and on the location. The alarms should be distinctive and easy to identify as to their purpose. Alarms that work in conjunction with lights should be visible from the entrance of the location. It is a good practice to include a wind direction indicator in close proximity to the lights. All employees should be trained to activate manual alarms and understand what triggers automatic alarms.
Manual alarms can be tested during drills and during crew training sessions. Position crew members around the rig to provide feedback as to coverage and volume of the alarms. Whenever possible, test alarms with test gas to ensure proper calibration and sensitivity. You should never claim a false alarm as a function test.
Emergency shut-down devices (ESD) that will close off the combustion air should be installed on all of the rig’s diesel engines. It is important to understand just how a particular ESD functions BEFORE you attempt to test it. Engine shutdowns or rig savers may damage engine components if they are engaged when the engine is running at speed. Careful plans should be made with the mechanics to develop a test protocol that will ensure the functionality of the devices without damaging the engine. In most cases these devices can be checked with the engine shut down. Manual engine shutdown devices that shut off the fuel to the engines can also be tested while the engine is shut down.
These devices can be tested by slowly pulling into the actuator. Here again, accidentally tripping the device should not be recorded as a test. The system must be functioned so that the proper adjustment can be verified. Crown and floor savers should be function tested at the start of each tour and after line slip or cut.
Smoke alarms in trailers and out buildings should be function tested monthly or following a rig move. Note on the inspection form when batteries are changed each year.
Each rig should have a written plan for calibrating and testing alarms and shutdown devices. The inspection should include a review of these documents to ensure new equipment and or rig modifications have not altered the function of the devices.
Be sure to inspect all fire extinguishers to ensure that extinguishers are available and ready for use. For more information see: 29CFR1910.157, National Fire Protection Association Standard 10, and American Petroleum Institute (API) Recommended Practice 54.
Write the location of each fire extinguisher on the form. The location should protect the unit from damage or contamination during normal rig operations and from the environment, and be easily accessible in case of emergency. Fire extinguishers should be stored off the deck (ground) to reduce corrosion to the bottom.
Write the brand and type of extinguisher on the form. This will ensure that the extinguishers are in the correct locations.
Check that the nameplate that faces outward, is clear and legible, and includes operating instructions.
Check the seal or other tamper indicator on the trigger which provides an indication if the unit has been used or damaged. If the seal is broken or missing, the unit must be fully serviced and resealed.
Check that the yearly inspection tag is marked with the year and month of the last recharge inspection. If the tag is missing, or if the unit is in need of its annual inspection, it should be removed from use and a servicing should be scheduled.
Inspect the exterior of the unit for damage and corrosion. Pay close attention to the bottom of the tank for rust and corrosion as this area tends to be susceptible to water and chemical damage if it has been stored on the floor. Remember to store extinguishers off the deck. The hose should be checked to see that it is properly installed, undamaged, and clear. The trigger assembly should also be checked for damage and serviceability.
Eye wash stations are required to be available to employees anywhere that potentially harmful corrosive materials are present, such as caustic soda. The stations can be handheld bottles or permanent fountain-type wash stations. Units should be easily accessible and near work areas. Stations should be mounted off the ground or floor and covered if in an area where mud and chemicals could damage them. There should not be anything hanging on the station or obstructing it.
Write the location for each station on the form. The location should be in close proximity to chemical handling areas and readily accessible in time of emergency. Regulations vary on how close the station should be to work areas, but ANSI specifies 10 seconds from the hazard-or about 55 feet. The location should protect the unit from normal rig operations and the environment, and provide easy access. If located where mud, dust, or chemicals can contaminate the eyewash station, a cover should be placed over it to protect it and be easy to remove in an emergency.
Write the type of station on the form, for example “15 minute flood” or “hand held bottle”.
Check that the eye wash unit has a nameplate that faces outward, is clear and easy to read, and includes operating instructions.
Check that the condition of the seal to see if the unit has been used or damaged. If the seal is broken, the unit must be fully serviced and resealed.
Check the yearly inspection tag is marked with the year and month of the last required flushing, or refill. If the tag is missing, or the solution’s expiration date has passed, the unit should be serviced or removed from use until it can be serviced.
Check that the unit is filled to the indicated full mark. They should be filled with the manufacturer provided solution. Hand held bottles must be full and with an unbroken seal. If the seal is broken, the bottle should be replaced with a new bottle with an unbroken seal.
Inspect the exterior of the unit for damage and leakage, pay close attention to the eye wash nozzles and ensure they are clean and ready for operation. The unit should be clean and ready for use with no tools or trash stored in the basin.
For pressurized units, inspect the pressure gage and check that the needle is in the green and the unit is charged. Also check to see that the gauge is not bent or broken.
Of course, it’s essential to check first aid kits to ensure that first aid supplies are available and ready for use. For more information see: 29CFR1910.151(b) and ANSI Z308.1-2009.
First aid kits should contain supplies such as bandages, gauze, antiseptic wipes, tweezers, first aid tape, plastic gloves, and a cold compress. Supplies should be appropriate for the number of workers onsite.
Write the location of each kit on the inspection form. The first aid kits should be in a location making them readily accessible in time of emergency. The location should also protect the kit from damage or contamination during normal rig operations and from the environment.
Write the type of kit on the form, for example “10 unit box” or “30 unit cabinet”, or the manufactures model or ID number can be used.
Check that the first aid kit is mounted off the ground or floor and covered if it is in an area where it could come into contact with mud, liquid, dust, or chemicals. Kits should be visible at all times.
Check that the placard or sign faces outward and is clear and easy-to-read.
Check that sterile items such as bandages and medications are individually wrapped and have not been used or damaged. If the seal is broken, the item must be disposed of and replaced.
Check that the first aid kit has a yearly inspection card marked with the year and month of the last refill inspection. This card should include an inventory of the contents and should have an area on the back to date and initial for monthly inspection.
Inspect the exterior of the kit for damage, pay close attention to the lid seal and ensure there is no leakage and/or rust on the interior. The kit should be clean and ready for use.
Check that the kit is properly filled with items noted on the inventory card. Any items that have been used, exceeded the expiration date, or sterile items with seals broken, must be replaced. If the kit needs to be restocked, check the box on the form and list the needed items in the comment section.
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