Page 1




safe driving

Q4 2012


in winter conditions page 35

In this issue:













and more...




WORKING SAFELY REQUIRES TIME AND ATTENTION We are all so very, very busy. Our mail boxes are flowing over and the next meeting is already imminent. Or the next toolbox meeting, presentation, seminar. In a single working day, there are so many communication moments and still it remains difficult to imprint that all important message in everybody’s mind: `Work safely or don’t work at all!’. The difficulty lies in the fact that there are so many of us within our industry. Usually, a limited number of people are present at meetings and presentations. But what about all those men and women who don’t go to meetings?

How can we connect with all thousands of persons working for our Operators, and get the message across? We at HSElife UNIO do everything within our power and apply all possible means to convey what we do and must do to accomplish our goals.

But there is one other key player in this field: YOU! Each conversation means a moment of communication. An opportunity to address the issue with your conversation partner and ask him or her what THEY do to avoid unsafe situations or to prevent incidents from happening. All this with one single goal: to realize our ambition of Incident Free Operations!

On behalf of the THE WAT GROUP Pier van Spronsen

P.S. In January, 2013, we will start implementing HSElife UNIO. Are you with us?





“I am convinced that harmonization and standardization of work proceedings can help prevent accidents and incidents”, ...

... says Ben Waardenburg. He works as Field Operations Manager at GDF SUEZ E&P Nederland B.V. and is a memner of the steering committee of HSELife UNIO.





“We produce natural gas and oil on the Dutch Continental Shelf. Our company has a strong focus on safety. I work from our operational office in Den Helder, where I work closely together with the department HSEQ. It is our philosophy that the safety department should be situated on the same location as Operations in order to be directly involved in our offshore activities. I applaud the initiative of HSElife UNIO to harmonize and standardize work proceedings. We work with a variety of Contractors, who also work for other Operators. They have quite a few notable questions about the differences in how the work is done for the different Operators. Those differences can lead to the making of mistakes and the occurrence of accidents. This needs to be prevented. In general lines the procedures and guidelines of the different Operators are very similar. The differences can mostly be found in the details and this is something we need to find agreement on.



Safety is the main goal, but there are also an additional benefit for our company. When people start to apply an unambiguous approach to the work, this will lead to a more uniform way in which the work is done and a more efficient organization. This will eventually lead to cost reductions on the work.�


“The goal of HSElife UNIO to achieve complete incident free operations is very ambitious. Of course we have to strive for the least amount of accidents or incidents, and certainly no serious ones. Our industry will, however, always be labour-intensive. We work a lot with people performing manual tasks, which can lead to the making of mistakes. However undesirable this is, it is impossible to prevent everything. It is of key importance to raise the safety awareness of people. Since 2005 we have been running the internal safety program Safety in the Backbone. This program is particularly aimed at making people aware of realizing the risks of certain works before starting with them. Evaluations of accidents and incidents often show that these could have been prevented by proper consultation beforehand. Furthermore, it is important that people report unsafe situations and acts of others. We have a



no blame culture with a very open approach. Anybody can make mistakes, they do not make them intentionally. We want to have every accident or incident, no matter how small, reported so we can analyse and learn from it. What we also do on a regular basis, is to relieve an offshore employee of his work duties so he can walk over the platform as a kind of safety marshall. He observes what others do, inspects the safety of the work proceedings and checks for unsafe situations. This always leaves us with a number of issues that we have to watch out for. If you make people aware of what they are doing incorrectly and how this effects their own safety, they will accept it and personally ensure that it does not happen the next time.”


“Our industry regards safety as the highest priority and has quite an open culture for exchanging information. Luckily we have the NOGEPA to discuss the accidents and incidents between the different Operators. These matters are then discussed internally by us during the offshore HSE meetings, since accidents or incidents at other Operators could also happen to us and vice versa. Should anything happen to us, we will inform our fellow Operators so they can discuss the matter within their organization. I think it is very useful that HSElife UNIO aims to turn our industry into the safest Dutch industry. This makes it into a unique initiative. In the future, HSElife UNIO can become an example to other industries and our own industry in other parts of the world.”

Start of implementation HSE LIFE


It is HSElife UNIO’s vision to make the Oil and Gas Industry the safest Dutch industry by achieving Incident Free Operations in the year 2017. In order to realize this ambitious vision, implementation of HSElife UNIO’s harmonization plans will play an all important role in 2013. HSElife UNIO has been born out of the firm belief that harmonization of Rules & Regulations is an absolute necessity. First and foremost because we need to provide our Contractors with unambiguous HSE information. They are the ones who put in the most working hours at our on- and offshore locations and are confronted with too many different insights and regulations from the various Operators. These differences may lead to unintentional errors, which in turn may lead to incidents. It is HSElife UNIO’s goal to deliver benefits for the whole industry; for both Contractors and Operators. Harmonization and standardization will not only improve HSE performance, they will also save time and money for the Operators. It is HSElife UNION’s mission to advance harmonization and the sharing of HSE information through cooperation with Operators and Contractors in the Oil and Gas Industry. At HSElife UNIO, we facilitate development, optimizing and communication of standards, best practices and important HSE information throughout the whole industry.

During the past four years, the WAT Group and the participating Operators have worked hard to set this remarkable initiative in motion. An important part of the implementation of HSElife UNIO will take place in 2013. Themes in the coming year will be the through-development of HSElife UNIO, the composing of unambiguous HSE information and a large-scale introduction of HSElife UNIO to both Operators and Contractors.

All this with the common goal of achieving Incident Free Operations! Participating parties are:




“Having to deal with a different set of rules over and over again, confuses people and may lead to dangerous situations”, says Ante Frens. “You prevent this by harmonization. It is therefore important to harmonize rules and regulations in the Oil and Gas industry. People make the rules and people can change them again.” HARMONIZATION CROSSING THE BORDER Ante Frens is Asset Manager of all the gas fields of NAM/Shell in the southern section of the North Sea near England and the Dutch offshore. “I am ultimately responsible for the business at the 50 platforms, manned and unmanned. We work with our own staff who carry out maintenance work and projects, but also men who are not directly employed by us. They represent a larger number and they often work for other companies. The initiative HSElife UNIO is still in the context of harmonizing rules that apply in the Netherlands. But we also work ‘across the border’ and see exactly what the differences are, as we all do the same. So for me it’s important that harmonization spreads to England. The VCA training is a good example. In England they call this training MIST. Both trainings have the same goal. But if people work both in the Netherlands and in England they had to follow two trainings that are almost the same as they do the same job. This is inefficient and costs a lot of money. But we have taken an important step here, which is we have managed that people only have to follow one of the trainings now to do their job in both countries. So this saves a lot of time and money. Naturally physics, chemistry and environmental science do not stop at the border.”




SAFETY AWARENESS OF EMPLOYEES “Harmonization contributes to the safety awareness of employees. If for example one rule applies to working at heights, people are really concerned with safety because they pay attention to what they should and should not do. But if there’s a variety of rules, people are being distracted. You then pay attention to something you shouldn’t pay attention to. If there is only one general rule you are more vigilant. There’s more time for you to reflect on working safely at heights.”




REDUCING ACCIDENTS “Shell has looked into the number of accidents and their cause in the period of 2003-2008. In order to reduce the number of accidents, the Life Saving Rules were introduced in our organization worldwide in 2009. Here we have also looked at the way we handle rules meaning that if you don’t follow the rules you shouldn’t work for us. This results in a reduction of fatal accidents by a factor of two, worldwide. So this is a good example of having clear rules, the harmonization and its effect.”

TO REFLECT “We have a saying for when we make new rules or for harmonizing rules and it’s called ‘ESSA’: Eliminate, Simplify, Standardize and Automate. We reflect upon this by firstly asking the question: Do these rules make sense? If not: eliminate. Are they simple enough? Does everyone understand them? If yes then harmonization comes into play, in other words standardize. Automate is about the automation. Maybe this is less applicable to the rules themselves, but more on how you perform work. The advantages of harmonization are comprehensive, at all levels. But it takes time and effort.”






CONNECTED IN THE WORKPLACE HSElife UNIO wants to achieve Incident Free Operations in 2017. What kind of equipment and safety facilities will the on and offshore employees have at their disposal by that time? The visionaries in the HSElife UNIO LAB are currently researching the many possibilities of wireless connectivity in the workplace. In the name of safety.





HSElife Unio wants to turn the Oil and Gas Industry into the safest Dutch industry by achieving Incident Free Operations in 2017. In order to realize this ambitious vision, the The WAT Group recently founded the HSElife UNIO LAB. This think tank consists of a number of visionaries who use their knowledge and life experience to come up with new solutions for the future of the Oil and Gas Industry. In line with HSElife UNIO central themes in the LAB include safety, health, wellbeing and the environment.

ALWAYS CONNECTED The central question in the HSElife UNIO LAB is what our industry will look like in five years’ time. And what kind of modern technologies we can utilize to develop new safety concepts for the on and offshore employees. Besides the use of proper gear and the right personal protection equipment, the visionaries in the HSElife UNIO LAB see great advantages in the use of wireless networks for the employees at both on and offshore locations.

In our daily lives we are all much better connected. At home, in the office, and on the move, we have internet at our disposal at any time and at any location. This gives us access to a world of information on our computers, smart phones and tablets. For our industry, to have continuous access to all HSE information at any location would mean a safe working environment in which incidents and accidents can be prevented. Despite this potential, wireless networks have not penetrated to the workspace on the on and offshore locations in the Oil and Gas Industry. While this is of great importance in the interest of safety.







NETWORK An employee in the Oil and Gas Industry who is wirelessly connected, can access all of the correct and most recent HSE documentation in the workplace at any given time. This would eliminate the necessity to physically carry the HSElife UNIO folders. For this can be forgotten, folders can get lost, or during the work the employee can feel the need to access more background information than the given folder provides. With the proper equipment, he or she could access all HSElife UNIO documentation digitally at any given time. Besides this, a world of possibilities is created when all employees are connected through a network rather than working stand-alone. This makes it easier to check who is working where and when. And whether he or she has a valid PtW (Permit to Work) and has the authorization to work there at this specific moment. Possible errors in planning will come to light sooner, such as works which from a safety viewpoint cannot be done simultaneously in close proximity to each other. The safety system can project an immediate warning signal in the digital viewpoint of the employee. After all, a small mistake can lead to incidents or worse accidents and personal harm.

DIGITAL PTW The visionaries in the LAB foresee a future in which not only the HSElife UNIO documentation, but also all required working documents will be digitally accessible at any time from any location. The paper versions of the PtW, TRA (Task Risk Analysis) and LMRA (Last Minute Risk Analysis) could even be fully replaced by its new digital counterparts. Authorization of the digital PtW could be done in the workplace by means of biometrical identification. If an employee gets into trouble during the work, he or she can raise alarm through the wireless network and call for assistance. Certain alarm signals could even be sent out automatically. Should an offshore employee fall overboard into the water, this creates an increased risk of personal harm or even death if nobody witnesses the event. Should his or her personal safety equipment raise alarm directly, then the employee could be traced through the network and rescued.





SAFE WI-FI To make all of this possible, all on and offshore locations should be equipped with a safe Wi-Fi connection. It is of crucial importance of course that the wireless network does not interfere with any other equipment. This is possible with modern systems such as RFID and Bluetooth 4. Even in the aviation industry safe Wi-Fi connections are now used to offer passengers on international flights the use of wireless internet. If Wi-Fi can work safely on board of an airplane, then why not on an offshore platform? The importance in the interest of safety is many times greater than the mere recreational application on an airplane. The visionaries in the HSElife UNIO LAB are currently researching how the on and offshore employees can be wirelessly connected in a safe and responsible way. For this, they take all current regulations into account, such as the ATEX. Any kind of technology used by an employee has to be made explosion proof. Furthermore, the equipment can not cause any hindrance or be obstructive, but should have a big added value.

FEASIBILITY The HSElife UNIO LAB will conduct a feasibility study into the various possibilities. For this, they will look into costs, result, user friendliness, and the benefits of the proposed conceptual solution. And it is of crucial importance that this solution seamlessly connects to the harmonization trajectory of HSElife UNIO and its aim to achieve Incident Free Operations. All of this is focussed at further reducing the number of incidents and accidents in our aim to turn the Oil and Gas Industry into the safest Dutch industry. .





This time the mobility scooter is parked in front of ‘the Black Swan’ in a way that prevents me to reach the door altogether. I knock on the window. A woman looks up indifferently, shouts something while looking at the bar and goes on reading her paper. Eventually Jack stumbles through the door. He laughs his coughing laugh while he gives me quite a firm slap on my buttocks. “Didn’t think yer lovely butt was that large missy. Can’t squeeze through?” I hardly hear his charming welcome for I stare in amazement at the lush locks on his head which weren’t there last time we met. He takes place on his scooter and drives it backwards in high gear. A bicycle falls over, Jack swears profoundly and I hear him say: “Will I need a feckin’ Task Risk Analysis to park this bloody piece of nothing?”

I am still staring at his locks which move in the wind. He comes of the scooter and walks towards the door. “What is it you are waiting for sweetheart? Sway that door open and order a beer for Jacky now.” I blindly obey and he almost trips me over in passing me by. With my well known two fingers raised I let the bartender know what we wish. We sit at the bar. I decide just to ask. “Jack..”I start to say “your hair. I..don’t know have more hair?” With the three fingers of his right hand he touches his hair. “Handsome man don’t you think my doll? Well you see. In one of these booklets my son takes home from work I happened to read ‘ HSE, now it’s time to implement.’ Well, let me tell you that I don’t feel like having that circus on me head. You have any idea what it costs to implement hair?? Maybe that’s something for these wealthy beggars that command us, but not for me. So I thought: “Jack, go and buy yerself a wig and no man will pester you about some implementation!” He gulps down his beer and has a defiant look over him. “You know what? Ain’t it strange that some hot shot is going to decide when what is going to me implemented? And we have to read in these silly booklets what’s hanging over our heads. Hair this time! Not for the life in me” Jack burps and falls silent. I take a sip of beer. Jack pads my knee: “What’s with the silent way in you today love? Shall Jack buy you a beer now?”

Jack Drost aka N.B.








Since the beginning of this year, the social security position of offshore workers within the Dutch Continental Shelf (DCS) has been equalized with that of onshore employees. The DSC includes sections of the North Sea floor and under, border-ing on the coastal area and the North Sea, which officially belong to Dutch territorial waters. Up till last year, Dutch law on social security such as unemployment, sickness and disability benefits was not applicable to all offshore employees. For instance, if you worked at a wind park, you were usually not entitled to Dutch social security, but if you worked at a production platform, you were. Moreover, criteria were if your employer was based in the Netherlands and if you yourself were a Dutch resident.

In 2007, the European Commission tackled the Netherlands on their social security policy. According to the Commission, the Netherlands may not exclude employees from other member states who work within the DCS from Dutch social security. To put it briefly, other European employees must be treated in the same way as employees residing in the Netherlands. As a response to this and other demands, Dutch government has adjusted its social security law. For instance, if you have the British nationality, are living in Britain and work for a Dutch employer within the DCS, you get a compulsorily Dutch social insurance. This seems to be a good thing, for in light of these compulsorily insurances you will have claim to unemployment benefits when you lose your job, to sickness benefits if you get pregnant or fall ill or to a pension if you reach the age of 65 (or, when you’re still young, 67). However, the question is if the situation of employ-ees subject to this amendment has really improved. There is a price to pay for both employer and employee. Since the beginning of this year, employers are confronted with mandatory premium payments, for social security doesn’t come free. The British national to whom the employer paid a gross monthly amount of € 2000 before, now has to pay € 300 of that amount to the Netherlands as insurance premiums. The employer then has the option of reducing monthly payment to the British employee by € 300, so that the employee in fact pays the premiums, or the employer pays the premiums, which results in paying € 300 a month extra to the same employee who delivers the same work.




Moreover, it remains to be seen if the employee really benefits from his new claim on Dutch social security. Non-Dutch resident employees cannot always transfer their claim on Dutch social security to their own country, although they have paid in full the premiums in the Netherlands. Besides that, often the British employee was already insured under British social security law, either through his employer or voluntarily, in which case the compulsorily Dutch social insurance premiums have become an undesirable debit item for both employer and employee. Em-ploying foreign workers has thus become less interesting than before. Time and experience will tell how employers and employees are going to address this issue. For the time being, the adjustment of Dutch social security law seems to obstruct rather than improve free traffic of workers within the European Union, as was the original goal.

If you would like some more information, send an email to att. “Maartje�.


M.A. (Maartje) Ouwehand

Wieringa Advocaten

s e v o l Jan d n a s e l p ap s r a e p f o t e i P


is a strange and wonderful thing. It is our primary tool of communication. By using

words, we ask, tell, explain things to other people. But if we don’t use the correct words, spoken language can lead to utter confusion.




LEARNING LANGUAGE AS A CHILD By listening to words and observing people’s actions, children come to understand that words have meaning and they develop a sense of how words fit together. The child’s mind picks up all nuances and different meanings of words in its mother tongue. Even when a child grows up in a bilingual environment, it will learn to speak both languages fluently. Most experts agree that the earlier a child is introduced to a second language, the greater the chances are that the child will become truly proficient in the language.

LEARNING A SECOND LANGUAGE People who learn a second language differ from children learning their first language in a number of ways. Perhaps the most striking of these is that very few adult second-language learners reach the same competence as native speakers of that language. Children learning a second language are more likely to achieve native-like fluency than adults, but in general it is very rare for someone speaking a second language to pass completely for a native speaker. In addition, some errors that second-language learners make in their speech originate in their first language.


IN OUR LINE OF WORK, CONFUSION CAN BE HAZARDOUS These errors can lead to confusion. And in our line of work, confusion can be a dangerous thing. If instructions are misinterpreted because of unintentional language errors, incidents or even accidents might occur. Given the fact that most of us have not grown up bilingually but rather have learned English at a later age, we will not be as proficient as a native speaker. Therefore, always beware of potential misinterpretation!

MICROSOFT AND GOOGLE REAL TIME SPEECH TRANSLATION Recently, Dutch tv news reported on Microsoft and Google developing software for real time speech translation. However, these software programmes still have flaws. For instance, translation of the Dutch sentence: “Jan houdt van appels en Piet van peren” results in “Jan loves apples and Piet of pears”. A telling example of the grammatical differences between two languages and the translation problems this implies. Still, this kind of software will help enormously once perfected. Hopefully this will happen in the near future. Until then, we do the best we can!

Thera Idema




“The introduction of fixed guidelines was a big step in greatly reducing the number of incidents with ships that service the platforms in the oil and gas industry”, says Loek Sakkers. He works as Southern North Sea (SNS) Pool Fleet Manager at Peterson SBS.



COST SAVINGS “Peterson SBS is a logistic provider for the oil and gas industry and is a part of the Peterson Control Union Group. We operate worldwide with branches in such countries as the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, India, Brazil and Qatar. For over ten years now we have acted as the independent service provider of the SNS Pool in the Netherlands. Within the SNS Pool ships are shared for supplying goods to around 130 large and smaller production platforms of nine different operators that are active in the Netherlands. We also supply a limited service to one operator who is active in England.” “The Vessel Sharing Concept was started in 1989 by Mobil and Amoco Nederland, where I was working at the time. Both companies had just one location each, which is why their ships were docked for five to six days a week. It made perfect sense to share one ship together. This idea gradually expanded to other operators and led to the creation of the IJmondpool. The original purpose was purely cost reduction. Later on flexibility also became very important. Within a pool of multiple ships there is always one that can be used on a flexible basis whenever this might be required.”

“The SNS Pool was created in January 2002 from a merger of the IJmondpool and the pool from Den Helder. By now we have one single location in Den Helder where the ships are loaded and offloaded. In this way we can share all resources and manpower and materials as efficiently as possible. Furthermore, Den Helder is a more optimal location than IJmuiden since most offshore locations are situated to the northeast of Den Helder. The offshore locations can now be reached better and faster with less use of fuel and lower emissions of CO2. On one journey the ships may go past two or three different operators. I believe that if there was no pool then the various companies would need twenty to twenty-two ships. Now we have just sixteen.”




FIXED GUIDELINES “Up until 2006 each country had its own guidelines that the ships had to meet and that specified how a platform should be approached. And besides these each operator also had its own specific requirements. This results in the crew of the ships not being able to see the wood for the trees anymore. Everywhere things were done slightly different. In 2006, after consultation with all of the operators, the guidelines were merged into the North West European Area Guidelines for the Netherlands, England, Denmark, Norway, Germany and the Irish sea. This lead to a huge improvement.” “The Guidelines specify what the crew of a ship should do when the ship arrives at a platform. This information is summarized in a checklist. The crew also has platform data charts at its disposal of each location it visits. These contain specific details, such as the position of the crane on the platform and how the platform is stationed in relation to the direction of the wind. It is very important for the crew of the ship to have a clear understanding that every time the same procedures should be followed. Despite whether they are working for one operator or the other.”

After all we have to work together to safely deliver goods to the platforms.

“Shortly after the Guidelines were introduced, in late 2006 and early 2007, there were five collisions between a ship and the platform. The recurring theme in all of these incidents was that the captain did not come onto the bridge until the last moment and that it was unclear who was in charge. Because of this, for example sea currents were not observed well or consistent enough. We then researched these incidents and this showed that not all of the crew member were in fact aware of the new Guidelines. We have asked for more attention to the Guidelines and also decided to hold regular audits on board of the ships. This has resulted in a great improvement. Collisions are now very rare.”


LEARNING FROM INCIDENTS “I think it is very important to learn from each other’s incidents. Every two years we invite all ship owners, captains, crane drivers of the platforms and the service contractors for a full day packed with lectures and presentations on safety. Incidents are shared between one another. We have a very open culture for such things. In doing so we also pay attention to even the smallest of details. And we observe whether a certain trend can be established.” “At one point for example we noticed a huge increase in the number of loose objects which were being found. On a ship leaving port a pair of pliers or a knife can still be present on top of a container. A loose object that falls down from a certain height is effectively a murder weapon. In 2011 we organized a joined campaign which led to a huge decrease in the number of reports. We supplied all locations with a total of two hundred thousand placemats, so everybody could see the safety message whilst eating. And during the safety briefings short slideshows were presented about the dangers of loose objects on board.”

“A good cooperation with the ships is very important to us. We regularly get good and positive comments from the crew of the ships about how it is very clear for them what should be done. After all we have to work together to safely deliver goods to the platforms. On August the 25th of this year we were fortunate enough to celebrate one thousand days without incidents (LTI) at Peterson SBS. We are very proud of this. After all we want to see our people return back home safely after a day’s work.”






Northern Petroleum Plc

“Periodical calamity exercises are important in order to be able to take appropriate action when something really goes wrong”, says Nico Tielens, Operations Manager and Coordinator of the Emergency Response Team of Northern Petroleum Netherlands BV (NPN). Together with HSEQ Coordinator Rik van der Zee and the NPN operations team he was involved in the last calamity exercise in which the NAM calamity equipment was deployed.

YEARLY CALAMITY EXERCISE Nico Tielens: “In 2007 Northern Petroleum Netherlans took over the gas production locations around Waalwijk from Wintershall. This is also the location of the central control room from where all NPN locations are controlled. One of these is the gas production location Geesbrug. This is where on September 6, 2012 we held a calamity exercise in which the NAM calamity equipment was deployed.” “Just like the other onshore operators in the Netherlands, we have an agreement through NOGEPA with the NAM to be able to lay claim on the NAM calamity equipment in the case of a large scale calamity. In reality the NAM calamity equipment is never really used. That’s just as well. It does make it all the more important to hold a periodical exercise. This can be done at the NAM, but it is also important to test the lines of communication and the interaction between other operators and the NAM calamity organization.”




“Geesbrug was an interesting location for us to hold the calamity exercise because we want to drill two more wells there starting in 2013. The exercise was held in the existing situation, one week before we started to modify the location for the additional drillings. We simulated that during wireline activities a mobile crane fell over and hit the production tree. This caused the equipment, consisting of the wireline lubricator which was placed at the top of the production tree, to break. Tools were stuck in the well, right on top of the open valves. This meant that the valves could not be closed. In this worst case scenario there was an open flow of gas which eventually caught on fire. Two personnel members were involved in this. These victims could not escape from the scene in time.”

CAPACITY SUPPORT “In such a scenario our supervisor on location will start the emergency procedures according to our emergency and fire fighting plan. Through 112 he calls in the regional emergency services and through the NPN emergency number he informs the internal emergency organization of the NPN. The NPN can then arrange for support and assemble its Emergency Response Team. A fire fighting crew was supplied for the calamity exercise at Geesbrug by Post Zwinderen from the Fire Service Coevorden. They carry a plan of action on the fire truck. As soon as they arrive on location they take over command from us in order to bring the situation under control.”



“During a calamity the Serving Officer of the fire service, our supervisor and the Emergency Response Team in The Hague stay in close contact. It is decided in consultation whether deployment of the NAM calamity equipment is required. This procedure is started from the NPN office in The Hague. It is important to inform the NAM of an incident in an early stage and whether deployment of the NAM calamity equipment might be necessary. The commander of the NAM fire service can then directly come to the location to assess the situation. The NAM calamity equipment normally needs a few hours’ time to fully mobilize. This was of course prepared in advance for the calamity exercise. On location the NAM calamity equipment mainly supplies capacity support for the regional fire service.”

Rik van der Zee: “After the arrival of the calamity equipment the set up went very quickly. At that moment you suddenly have a lot more water supply on location. The NAM retrieved the required water from the prolonged part of the Hoogeveense vaart. A lot of equipment is then set up on the road and hoses of thirty centimetre thickness are laid out, which obstruct the road passage. For this exercise we blocked the road and set up a diversion in consultation with the local authorities.”

“Of course we hope that we never have to use it but the industry is prepared!”



LEARNING FROM PRACTICE Rik van der Zee: “We are satisfied about how the exercise went. But you always run into things which can be improved. In this case we learned the importance of speaking the same language as the regional fire service. In particular where hazardous substances are concerned that are present at the location. If it is not fully clear which substances are concerned and what the hazard classes are then the fire service will not enter the location. Even when there are people in direct and urgent distress.” “It turned out during the calamity exercise that the fire service was not able to find the correct information in the available safety information documentation, the MSDS sheets, which slowed down access to the location. By the time the fire service finally went onto the location, it would have been too late for the victims in a real situation. In response to this, we are now revising the information sheets for all of our locations to make sure that the fire service directly has a summary of all specific data at its disposal.” Nico Tielens: “It was interesting and important for us to be involved in an exercise of the NAM calamity equipment to be able to test the theory to practice. Recent incidents such as the one in the Gulf of Mexico and, closer to home, on the Elgin platform show that you have to be prepared for anything. In the Dutch and German oil and gas industry not only were there agreements made for the employment of the calamity equipment, but also for support with personnel and means between operators according to the OCES agreement.” Rik van der Zee: “Of course we hope that we never have to use the NAM calamity equipment, but the industry is prepared!”

Rik van der Zee QHSE coordinator Northern Petroleum Nederland B.V.





Safety is the central theme in HSElife UNIO. This not only means that everyone in our industry should work safely, but also be able to travel safely to and from the workplace. Extra attention is required in the winter months. The weather in the wintertime with snow, ice and heavy gusts of wind can wreak havoc on the roads. Here at HSElife UNIO we have put together a number of tips to help control the risks of driving in winter conditions. These can all be found on the website

The most important aspect of safe driving under slippery conditions is a good preparation. Plan your trip carefully and question the necessity of your journey. When the weather requires increased attention because of slippery conditions caused by snowfall, glaze ice, icy rain or freezing, thunder, rain, heat, gusts of wind, whirlwinds, waterspouts or fog, than the KNMI issues a warning. These range from code yellow for dangerous weather to code orange for extreme weather and code red for an actual Weather Alarm. On the website you can find out what exactly these different codes mean.



On the road it is important to keep plenty of distance and adapt your speed. Cars slip and slide because the speed is too high for the circumstances at that time. On the website you can find the most important tips for safe driving in the snow and what to do in snowplaning. And we also go into the use of winter tyres during the autumn and winter seasons. These do not only help on snow and ice. Also on wet roads and at temperatures below 7 degrees Celsius they offer more grip than summer tyres.

THE MOST IMPORTANT ASPECT OF SAFE DRIVING UNDER SLIPPERY CONDITIONS IS A GOOD PREPARATION Besides the tyres there are more aspects of the car to take into account. During the wintertime the ANWB Road Service is extra busy dealing with failing batteries, frozen locks and frozen handbrakes. Many of these problems can be easily avoided. Find out what should you pay attention to in order to prepare your car and yourself for the winter!



for industry, by industry HSE LIFE is a forum for those working in the petroleum and natural gas industry. HSE LIFE focuses particularly on those working wherever HSEW is really an issue or really should be an issue: on the shop floor. HSE LIFE magazine is published by: The WAT Group B.V. P.O. Box 20033 7302 HA Apeldoorn The Netherlands Mobile: +31 (6) 462 95 25 6(7, 8, 9) On this issue worked Maartje Ouwehand, Thera Idema, Natascha Bruti, Marjou Janse, Marcel van Spronsen, Veselin Raznatovic, Ramon Roelofs, Pier van Spronsen, StÊphanie van Stockum, Janine IJssel de Schepper, Bob Janssen, Marc van Baasbank, Paul Schilperoord and the Members of the HSElife UNIO Steering group: Piet van Dam, Ronald Pijtak, Jan Jager, Sietse Wijnstra, Gerard Burgers, Sander Floore, Rik van der Zee, Felicia Wolting, Edwin Harteveld en Frits van der Wilt. Please e-mail any comments about subjects discussed in this magazine to attn. Janine Ijssel de Schepper. Articles may not be taken from this publication within the meaning of Article 15 of the Netherlands Copyright Act.; Š The WAT Group B.V. 2012

HSElife Magazine No 8 UK edition  

Health, safety and environment magazine for Gas & Oil Industry

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