Safety Performance Review

Fatalities reported in 2019/20 YTD

During 2019 unfortunately 3 fatalities occurred to our colleagues reported in Europe while undertaking normal work activities detailed as follows:

  • May 2019, Spain: A contractor was exposed to Ammonia during preparations for storage tank periodic testing.

  • June 2019, Russia: A 3rd party heavy vehicle suffered a tyre burst which then collided with a gas company truck. The driver and passenger in the gas company truck died.

In addition, SAC was made aware of an employee fatality from a non-EIGA member in which the individual was hit by a ruptured flexible hose.

SAC was also informed in 2019 of a further 5 fatalities involving third parties in contact with our industry in Europe resulting from 4 road traffic accidents.

  • January 2019, Sweden: A passenger car, while travelling in wintry conditions, collided head on with a CO2 tanker and the passenger car driver died.

  • February 2019, Poland: A passenger car lost control on a bend, impacted a third-party tanker and then impacted a gas company tanker and the passenger car driver died. The driver was found to be under influence of alcohol and not wearing a seat belt.

  • July 2019 Finland: Passenger car came into lane of CO2 truck with high speed resulting in a head on collision in which the drive of the passenger car died.

  • December 2019 Romania: Passenger van collided with rear of cylinder truck resulting in fatality to driver of van and passenger.

During 2020 YTD SAC has been informed of 1 fatality in Europe as a result of a road traffic accident.

  • February 2020 Slovakia: Cylinder semi-trailer collided with passenger car resulting in fatality to driver of car.

Road transport continues to be the activity by which we in the gas industry and others interfacing with our equipment are most at risk of serious injury or fatality. The recent focus by gas companies in telematics, cameras and coaching can only help reduce such events.

EIGA Safety Performance Lost Time Injuries (data from WIST)

see above Fig 1 : Numbers of Lost Time Injuries and LTI-Frequency Rate

Conclusions: There is an increase of incidents compared to last year which is disappointing and is approaching the high in recent years of 163 as reported in 2016. We have also seen over the last 12 months that the rate is again increasing to 2.1 and shows the plateaux we are on as an industry following an improvement in the last calendar year reported figures.

see above Fig.2 : LTI-Frequency Rate per category members

Conclusions: While the combined incident rate for all categories is not shown here in recent years it is relative flat between 1.8 and 2.1 as shown in Figure 1.

In 2018 there had been a significant reduction in the incident rate for the smaller category C companies/organisations which was impressive, however this has not been maintained when looking at the rolling rate of the last 12 months.

The larger Category A and B companies/organisations when considered together are at best on a plateau or as indicated in the latest statistics available over the last 12 months increasing slightly. There is however some improvement in Category A with the first positive change in several years which is encouraging.

It remains concerning that there is a still a gap between Category C companies and the rest together with the trending increase in Category B. This highlights the focus needed for EIGA moving forward which is:

1. Move Category A and B into further improvement (if taken together they are on a plateaux)

2. Address the gap between Category C and the rest.

We need to look at the detail however if robust management systems and structure of a company is in place then improvements are harder to realise. We all have challenges in Human Factors as most of our incidents are in this area.

As we continue to focus on attitudes and behaviours it is important that we keep this at the forefront of our membership and the 2021 winter seminar on Behavioural Safety provides an excellent opportunity to achieve this.

EIGA Safety Performance Recordable Injuries (data from WIST)

See above Fig.3: Numbers of Recordable Injuries and RWI-Frequency Rate

Conclusions: We should remember that recordable injury is a better measure of overall safety performance than lost time. This is because in some countries the rules are applied differently in terms of what is defined as a lost time. In 2019 we have seen our largest increase in recordable injuries since 2016 which is concerning and does show the importance of reviewing recordables rather than lost times as the key metric in our industry. The corresponding frequency rate has increased from 3.8 to 4.1.

see above Fig.4: LTI/RWI-Frequency Rate per member

Conclusions: Summarising RWIFR by member category three of the seven category 1 members demonstrated improvements in RWI frequency versus the prior year further demonstrating the challenges faced by the industry. The RWI frequency is the measure in which EIGA determines the Company Award. In 2019 this award goes to Nippon Gases.

Incident Statistics (calendar year 2019)

Analysis of the incidents reported to EIGA do not show any dramatic changes to prior years data review. The specifics for 2019 recordable injuries are as detailed below:

Where did the incidents take place?

  • 43% Cylinder filling and storage

  • 23% Outside locations (customer premises and public roads)

see also above Fig.5: Place of Recordable Work Injury

Type of exposure causing the injuries:

  • 23% Slips, trips, falls (at same level)

  • 35% Contact with moving/static objects (e.g. falling cylinders)

  • 15% Incorrect Body Position

Injury root causes:

  • 72% Human Factors

o 56% skill-based error (including mistakes)

o 17% Violations by IP (intentional and unintentional)

  • 19% Failure of Management Systems, Design, Construction and Equipment

This is not surprising when you compare to prior years. The reasons for focussing attention to Human Factors and Manual/Cylinder Handling is simply because this is where the main activity areas and causes are found. Interesting is the category of failure in management systems, design, construction and equipment. In these areas we as leaders need to ensure we have the correct systems in place and have our people operating correctly designed, installed and maintained equipment. With the increase in ‘Incorrect Body Position’ as a type of exposure this highlights the need of our active AHG on Industrial Hygiene to address such issues and the focus of this team currently on correct manual handling techniques should address 2 of our major exposure types.

To be successful SAC and EIGA need to focus in these areas but look creatively around what other actions we can take and in what direction we can move to maintain focus and drive improvement. In this area getting the balance between Safety I (avoiding things that go wrong) and Safety II (concentrating on things that go right and accepting deviations) is paramount and initiatives are progressing within SAC in this area.

The graphical representation shown on the chart included in above Figure 6 can also be considered as a traditional Bradley Curve as we strive for Zero accidents. It is realistic to say our larger companies and organisations are more towards the right of the graph while the smaller companies and organisation operate in and have more challenges to the areas to the left of the chart

Identifying the key objectives for SAC (see section 2.4 of the main SAC Report) as:

Category A, B:

  • Need to focus on Human Factors and leadership to further drive improvements in Safety

  • Consider Safety II approach to look at different ways of addressing Safety performance. Consider what is going right despite all changes that occur daily that can impact on Safety?

Category C:

  • Help these companies by focussing on structure, organisation and management systems

  • More engagement / closer working with SAC

In addition, SAC needs to continue to leverage WG17 Transport Safety to focus on technology and coaching to minimise road accidents.