Learning from accidents and incidents is a well-established principle in health and safety, and something that Lloyd’s Register Foundation promotes with partners across the globe. Our grant has recently supported the development of Toolbox, an app for frontline workers created by the high-hazard energy industry.
As Steve Harris, from oil and gas service provider Senergy Wells Ltd., puts it: “Even in today’s changing world it is rare that we find new ways of hurting ourselves. Nearly all of the lessons that we need to keep our people safe have already been learned by others.”
Data from the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (IOGP) shows that 75% of fatal incidents happen in the course of a small number of high-risk activities. If we can improve behaviour and work practices in these high-risk activities, we can reduce fatal incidents significantly.
However, sharing learning with competitors about things that have gone wrong is something industry struggles with – and it can present legal obstacles. Developing a collaborative approach where companies learn from each other’s mistakes is essential to making further strides towards keeping everyone safe at work.
Seven key companies in the energy industry came together to commission the Energy Institute to develop a solution that would provide easy access to the right information for front-line workers. Funded by a grant from Lloyd’s Register Foundation, the result is Toolbox, a simple, engaging app which uses stories about incidents and accidents to remind workers of how to work safely.
Stuart King, the Energy Institute’s Technical Manager – Human Factors and Power Utilities, said: “The Energy Institute is grateful to its members and to the Lloyds Register Foundation, as without their support and dedication to the project, Toolbox would not have been possible. Nearly 40,000 users have used Toolbox since its September 2019 launch, in 180 countries. Key to the success of Toolbox is that it is completely free to use – no sign-up or log-in is required. We are adding more content every day and hope that, with the addition of multiple language versions, Toolbox will become a big part of how teams manage risk worldwide.”
Toolbox currently contains over 300 accounts of typical accidents, with clear instructions on how to prevent them happening again.
Available in a number of languages to reach a global audience, the content can be tailored according to the type of role the employee has, and the job they’re about to do. As well as showing what can go wrong – the consequences of wearing the wrong size of PPE jacket near rotating equipment, for example – Toolbox provides a clear set of learnings (checking that PPE fits, staying out of exclusion zones, etc.) to avoid the same accident happening again.
“The mobile app ensures that the critical information can be accessed anywhere, and at any time. The fact that the tool can be navigated via category, discipline, industry and/or by a simple search function makes it an incredibly user-friendly platform. One of my favourite features is the notifications capacity that alerts me of new uploads within my pre-programmed areas of interest, this has come to the fore most recently with information on COVID-19,” says Steve.
“I work in high-hazard industries and it is critical that my team ensures that our people are as informed as possible during an entire project lifecycle. I can say with all conviction that the Energy Institute Toolbox is one of our most prized assets in keeping our people safe.”
Oyegbe Ibhanesebhor from Lloyd’s Register’s Field Survey Group, said: “Working in the Marine and Offshore industries, the Toolbox is a great source of information to be used, especially during toolbox talks prior to carrying out any activity such as lifting, confined space entry and witness testing of safety and environmentally critical elements and inspections. It allows us to add value to hazard and risk identification as well as share lessons learned from similar activities.
“During an offshore trip, I was able to refer an HSE Advisor in West Africa to the Toolbox for additional content to support the safety campaign for the month, which focused on Dropped Objects. On a follow-on trip to the installation, it was positive seeing Toolbox being actively promoted for use.”