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Oil, gas industry fatalities down globally

New OGP report shows 10-year positive upstream safety trend

refineryA report released by the the International Association of Oil & Gas Producers (OGP) shows that the number of fatalities per 100 million hours worked -- the Fatal Accident Rate -- has fallen in the last ten years.

The annual Safety Performance Indicators report is OGP’s largest annual reporting project and provides an analysis of the safety performance of 49 OGP member companies, representing 3.7 billion work hours and operations in 107 countries.

One incident, 31 lives lost

In 2012, participating OGP member companies reported 88 fatalities which occurred in 52 separate incidents. The Fatal Accident Rate was down by 52% compared with the 2003 rate, showing an overall downward trend over the last ten years. The rate increased however by 27% compared with 2011; a single incident (a gas leak and explosion of a pipeline in which 31 people lost their lives) had a predominant effect on the 2012 rate.

The largest proportion of fatalities (44%) were reported in the ‘Explosions or burns’ category with ‘Caught in, under or between’ being the second largest (18%).

Six common factors in fatal incidents

The 2012 Safety Performance Indicators report identifies failures in six common causal factors leading to fatal incidents and high potential events:

  • Hazard identification or risk assessment
  • Work standards/procedures
  • Supervision
  • Decision making or judgment
  • Training/competence
  • Unintentional violations (by individuals or groups)

OGP has developed Life Saving Rules to identify high risk activities and actions that can be taken to prevent fatal incidents. Analysis of data reported to the Association between 1991 and 2010 shows that rigorous implementation of the rules could have helped to prevent 70% of the fatal incidents reported over the period. Similarly, the 2012 data shows that 79% of the fatal incidents reported might also have been avoided through implementation of these life saving rules.

Lost time injury frequency increase

Lost Time Injury Frequency (fatalities and lost work day cases per million work hours) increased by 12% to 0.48 in 2012, representing an additional 307 lost time injuries.

Participating companies reported 53,325 workdays lost through injuries.

The most frequently reported incident category was ‘Struck by,’ which accounted for 408 lost work day cases, 24% of the total. The category ‘Caught in, under or between’ accounted for 21% of the total (352 lost work day cases). Both categories also accounted for the largest proportions of lost work day cases reported in 2011 with very similar values to 2012 (25% and 19% respectively).

Total recordable injury rate down

The rate for all recordable injuries reduced marginally from 1.76 injuries per million hours worked in 2011 to 1.74 in 2012. This metric includes fatalities, lost workday cases, restricted workday cases and medical treatment cases.

The 2012 Safety Performance Indicators report and the Life Saving Rules document can be downloaded at www.ogp.org.uk.

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