It’s no secret that the maritime and oil & gas industries are potentially the most hazardous sectors worldwide.
The International Association of Oil and Gas Producers’ annual safety report shows a startling rise in fatalities in 2021 and an overall total recordable injury rate (fatalities, lost workday cases, restricted workday cases, and medical treatment cases) of 0.77. This is 10% higher than in 2020.
The combination of powerful machinery, combustible substances, and high-pressure procedures can result in dangerous and even fatal situations. That’s why organizations need to have the best industrial safety systems in place and enable every worker to understand the recommended safety controls and hazards on each work site before work begins.
You can improve worker safety by being aware of industrial safety systems’ benefits, and the solutions companies can adopt.
What Are Industrial Safety & Industrial Safety Systems?
Industrial safety is the term used to describe safety management procedures in the industrial sector. These procedures safeguard the environment, industrial personnel, equipment, buildings, and structures.
An industrial safety system is typically a safeguard that is essential in any dangerous plants, such as nuclear power plants and oil and gas processing facilities.
They are employed to safeguard people, industrial equipment, and the environment if a process deviates from the acceptable control margins.
Benefits of Industrial Safety Systems
- Increased Productivity
Productivity is a result of safety. Workers can devote more time to their work output when they are not concerned about the safety and security of their workplace.
- Costs Savings
Direct and indirect costs from accidents, such as hospitalization and treatment costs, can be avoided and prevented with proper safety and control systems.
However, there are hidden costs such as slower production rates by other employees, downtime from the employee involved in the accident, equipment damage, and labor costs associated with cleaning. These can add up and should not be ignored by the organization.
- Moral Responsibility
You have a moral duty as an employer to protect your employees from harm, for the benefit of themselves, their families, and the long-term prosperity of your company.
Furthermore, creating a safe working environment for workers affirms the basic morale of a workplace. After all, you depend on your employees to maintain your operations.
- Legal Compliance
Safety regulations have been created emphasizing occupational health and safety, and breaking these rules can result in severe fines.
These include the global standards used to protect human rights, including working conditions, employee welfare, safe work practices, pay & compensation, and labor laws.
- Better Workplace Relations
A work environment that is safe and free from any accident promotes positive employee attitudes towards the company.
In addition, if there are no significant industrial accidents within the organization, a pleasant working relationship can be attained over the long term and helps with employee retention.
Types of Industrial Safety Hazards
Noise exposure can result in increased stress levels, decreased productivity, and, in extreme circumstances, irreversible ear damage. The sound levels do not only affect hearing; unprotected noise exposure can result in greater stress levels and decreased productivity. Workplace noise exposure is also related to cardiovascular health.
Radiation can cause skin damage and, in high doses, cancer later in life. Therefore, accidental exposure to radioactive substances requires emergency actions to minimize damage from radiation.Extreme temperatures can disrupt the body’s thermoregulation systems and cause rashes, exhaustion, and heatstroke. Therefore, it is advised to allow workers time to acclimatize to high temperatures with plenty of breaks and access to cold water to keep them safe in the heat.
Chemical risks are a result of exposure to dangerous substances. This includes anything that could transmit disease through contact or inhalation.
The human body needs frequent movement and exercise. Overusing a particular set of movements, mainly when done incorrectly or without support, can cause overuse injuries. Pain can result even from prolonged inappropriate standing or sitting.
Biological dangers are caused by living things, whether small, like viruses, or large, like animals. These ailments could spread among the workforce and be contagious.
Safety risks arise while an employee is at work. Safety risks include electrical shocks from malfunctioning equipment, slips and falls from heights, head injuries from flying debris, and cuts or worse from improper use of machinery.
How to Protect Workers from Industrial Safety Hazards
Types of Industrial Safety Systems
- Functional Safety System
A functional safety system is the most critical safety system. It involves electronic, programmable, and the system’s capacity to respond appropriately to an initial electrical signal.
- Electrical Safety System
Electrical safety can be attained by designing and installing electrical equipment. For instance, designing equipment so users won’t come into contact with electrically conductive components.
- Process Control System
Process control systems are employed to monitor and manage the production environment electronically. Process control systems can detect gases or liquids present in the environment.
- Process Safety System
Process safety systems manage the robustness of processes and operating systems that handle hazardous substances. It mainly prevents and handles events that have the potential to release hazardous substances and energy.
- Process Shutdown System
Process shutdown systems help to rapidly detect and safely handle process upsets. It can shutdown parts or whole processes where necessary.
- Safety Shutdown System
Safety shutdown systems aid in the creation of a safe workplace by automatically shutting down and stopping any systems that are deemed unsafe.
- Emergency Shutdown System
Emergency shutdown systems are higher-grade protection intended to safeguard personnel and equipment while minimizing any adverse effects of process activities on the environment.
- Fire and Gas System
Fire and gas systems are an incredibly sensitive and sophisticated mitigation safety layer that can identify danger early and broadcast visual and auditory warnings to warn others.
- Intrinsic Safety System
The intrinsic safety system is a technical principle that eliminates the risk of explosion or fire from electrical equipment and electronic instrumentation. Galvanic isolation or Zener barriers at the level of the power circuitry give this safety.
Latest Industrial Safety Systems with IIoT Technology
SOL-X Control Of Work system
Control Of Work is a system of safety management that serves as a gate for your worksite, ensuring that dangerous job tasks, including restricted space access or “hot work” like welding and brazing, won’t happen unless and until you’ve evaluated and authorized them.
- Streamlined Step by Step Safety workflows
SOL-X Control Of Work streamlines step-by-step smart safety processes to enhance Control Of Work planning and execution and compliance assurance. For example, when preparing a permit at key stages, the worker needs to input location and time stamp verification such as Electrical Isolation Certificate (EIC) and sign-offs. This ensures compliance safeguards.
The workers are empowered to take ownership, and accountability is assured for tasks performed.
- Near real-time operational monitoring
The smart worksite-connected platform using a live dashboard enables near real-time operational monitoring and provides a holistic overview of cumulative risk and high-risk work activities.
- Alert Notifications
Alerts Responsible Authority with Crew Assist notifications if workers encounter difficulties performing their tasks or feel unwell. This results in improved response, better worker communications, and turnaround time on critical tasks.
SOL-X Crew Protect system
Crew Protect uses IIoT and AI technology to enhance workers’ visibility and situational awareness during risky tasks. Integrated wellness features and fatigue management also ensure that employees stay in good physical condition.
- Communicate Crucial Information
Wearables can detect important information about the working circumstances, risk exposure times, and other job-related dangers experienced by workers in confined spaces, other workplaces, etc.
- Empower Workers
Workers are empowered to perform their own preventive actions in time when they are approaching hazardous zones, and they receive GeoFence alerts on their wearables.
- Reinforces Positive Behavior
Positive behavior is encouraged by sending reminders to notify workers to hydrate and take short breaks when exposed to stressful heat environments.
- Capturing Worker Feedback
Active sensors on the wearable enable the capture of workers’ insights and leading indicators that bring about the efficacy of corporate wellness programs and health and safety plans. This information empowers workers with near real-time data to manage immediate risks, such as important health signs, notifications, and recommendations.
Explore Our IIoT Solutions
One catastrophic mistake can stop maritime and oil & gas operations. Guard against different industrial safety hazards with SOL-X Control Of Work and Crew Protect now.