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Good safety management depends on risk assessments and controls designed to reduce exposure to danger. Risk assessment operates on similar principles to safety assessment of the whole site but this time the focus is at the level of the individual project or contract, and the risks identified relate to each step of the construction process carried out by each worker. A risk is the likelihood of the potential hazard being released and causing damage or injury. A control is a recommended or prescribed way of carrying out the work that, if followed, should reduce the risk.
Section 3.3 identified the hazards of access management, the various operations that need to be carried out on site that have the potential to cause harm. There are several ways of calculating risk and evaluating severity, all of which use different scales to estimate the frequency with which events will happen and the severity if they do. Substantial – work should not start until these measures have been reduced to a tolerable level. For each of these tasks a generic risk assessment describes how to work safely in a way that ensures that work is carried out effectively and the risk is reduced to a tolerable level. As a manager, you must contemplate how these generic risk assessments will apply to the particular task under way on the site you are managing. As well as adapting the existing controls, it is frequently necessary to come up with a new procedure or solution for an unusual working situation.
Larger footpath clients and contractors will meet annually with their teams to review health and safety. A hazard is a potentially damaging physical event, phenomenon or human activity that may cause the loss of life or injury, property damage, social and economic Disruption or environmental degradation. Risk describes the possibility that human, material, economic or environmental losses can be caused by a potentially damaging event or phenomenon.
Hazard is the inherent characteristic of a material, condition, or activity that has the potential to cause harm to people, property, or the environment. Risk is the combination of the likelihood and the consequence of a specified hazard being realised.
These two terms are often used to describe the same or similar things, but this isn’t entirely accurate as risk and hazard relate to very distinct concepts. Hazard: The innate property of a physical object, substance or an organism which enables it to cause harm. We live surrounded by hazards and therefore, constantly perform risk assessment to make our decisions. The fact that a chemical is deemed to be a hazard does not necessarily mean there is a risk.
Risk assessments are scientific analysis to determine the level of exposure to a hazard which is safe and the level which is dangerous. Exponent staff has broad experience performing LNG hazard analyses, as well as qualitative or quantitative risk assessments for LNG plants.
Exponent has performed thermal radiation hazard distance calculations, for spills into impoundments as well as spills over water, using a variety of models, such as LNGFIRE3 and other variations of the solid flame model. Variations in gas quality can raise reliability concerns for pipeline companies, multi-user LNG import terminals, LNG traders and marketers, gas distributors, and especially end users of natural gas fuel such as power-station owners.
This section concentrates on the evaluation of the risk involved, and how to quantify the level of risk and apply controls that reduce the risk, by either reducing the frequency of an accident happening or reducing the potential severity if there is an accident. It is the responsibility of both the client and the contractor to compile risk assessments before any task is undertaken, to submit these to the planning supervisor and to receive their approval before work commences. A simple task such as moving boulders to form a crossdrain may hold a high likelihood of the worker trapping a finger.
The system described here is loosely based on the BSI 8800 Safety Management System: Risk Assessment Method.
Situations where a tolerable risk may become moderate or substantial should be avoided; for instance, in wet weather, when tired or when work is being carried out in a rush.


If the resources are not available to reduce the risk to tolerable, the work should not be undertaken. This may involve redesigning the path, finding a new method of moving materials, carrying out the work at a different time of year, or looking for an entirely different solution.
It is usually necessary to adapt the generic controls to suit conditions on the site, or highlight particular parts of each risk assessment that are relevant.
For instance, on the Craig to Diabeg path, block stones from a nearby scree slope had to be removed to the work site in bags with strops by helicopter.
It is therefore an essential part of risk assessment to review the actual experience of safety on site and identify whether the risks were as predicted.
It may be possible to come up with a simpler but equally safe solution that can be used on the next project. This is a good opportunity to consider the effectiveness of current risk assessments, and spot any that need to be changed.
The scientific approach defines risk as the probability and extent of damage due to a particular hazard. If humans or the environment are exposed to a hazardous substance or ingredient above a certain safe level, this means that the odds are  more likely for the individuals  to be at  increased risk for harm. For example, a wild and dangerous animal will always represent a hazard, but as long as it remains properly caged it will not represent a risk. The chemical’s built-in ability to result into harm classifies it as hazardous in some cases, however, if it is handled safely and under controlled conditions, it is safe for use in appropriate applications. A safe limit also known as an acceptable daily intake (ADI), tolerable daily intake (TDI) or Derived No Effect Level (DNEL – REACH terminology) provide levels below which there should be no adverse effects. The potential for downstream problems related to imported natural gas is compounded by a lack of industry-wide agreement on parameters for measuring and assessing gas quality and interchangeability. It is the responsibility of the planning supervisor to ensure that the risk assessments are comprehensive, and that everyone working on the site is fully aware of the safe procedures for work. The severity of the injury depends on the size of the stone and its momentum when the finger is trapped. It uses a simple matrix to read off the risk level, based on your own estimation of frequency and severity. Work should not commence on site until you are confident that risks can be reduced to a tolerable level.
It is often necessary to look around for a new solution or an alternative way of carrying out this work. Moderate risk activities are often tolerable if they are carried out in good conditions, in good weather, with a strong team and where additional help is at hand.
It is usually not possible to reduce substantial or intolerable risks just by providing better safety techniques. As the damage is potential, but the outcome uncertain, it is wise to use the precautionary principle.
For most sites, there are also tasks that do not fall within this list, and for which no standard risk control is available. The risks and the controls necessary to carry this out safely were significantly different from the standard way of moving aggregate used elsewhere on the site. The techniques of path work are changing, and numerous risk assessments will be needed, or old ones amended to take this into account. For instance, risk assessment of a new site may very easily identify poor path condition that is a hazard to users.
Our intent is to help you implement programs that obtain sustainable positive impact's to the bottom line of your organization. Some hazards, like those related to food intake or of travel cannot be avoided - unless we choose not to eat or not to travel in which case new hazards and risks would have to be negotiated. Frequency and amount of exposure are two important elements to consider when determining the level of risk derived from exposure to a particular substance.


Even going above this limit occasionally does not mean there is a risk since large safety factors are incorporated in these levels which relate to daily exposure for a lifetime.
Your ability to accurately carry out risk assessments relies on practical experience in the field and writing it up so that other people understand.
Moderate risks may be tolerable in good conditions but more risky in poor conditions on site; these tasks should be carefully timed and stopped if conditions deteriorate.
Substantial risks are unlikely to be tolerable, even in good conditions, and therefore a different approach will be needed, whatever the situation.
If intolerable risk activities are taking place on site, they must be stopped immediately and preventative measures taken to stop them recurring, such as removing equipment from the site or restricting access to parts of the site.
Conversely, tolerable risk tasks can become substantial risk tasks if they are carried out by one person alone on site – the potential frequency of occurrence may be the same, but the seriousness of the consequences are much greater.
If you are unsure of the risk of an activity, do not carry it out until you have the information you need to accurately estimate its impact. For each risk assessment you prepare, make up an additional sheet that provides specific detail on how the general assessments are applied on this site, highlighting the most important features for workers to be aware of. For instance, there has been a move towards using small-tracked excavators to carry out borrow-pit digging and material grading, often on sites not using excavators to dig and lay the path itself. However, the gradual, continuing erosion of the site will increase the risk over time, but this may not be noticed by a manager who is unfamiliar with the condition of the site.
If exposure remains within this limit, and this is typically the case, then there is no risk.
You must use your experience to predict, protect and avoid exposure to danger for less experienced workers and for workers whose safety you are responsible for engaged in other parts of the project. This simple process of identifying the risk, assessing its severity, applying a control and considering whether that control is sufficient to reduce the event to a tolerable risk is what risk assessment is all about. In reality, most high-risk project activities are avoidable and alternative solutions can be found; the majority of management effort goes into reducing moderate risks to tolerable levels. It is not sufficient to wait until an accident happens before changing your risk assessment or controls.
Ten years ago this work would have been carried out manually, and the use of machines is speeding up work and taking some of the drudgery out of material digging. Similarly, risk assessment may help avoid intolerable risk to workers digging a borrow pit, but it might not predict the long-term impact of several years’ excavation work that results in inflamed or arthritic joints for site workers. Interchangeability is the ability to substitute one gaseous fuel for another without materially changing the performance and safety of pipeline systems and end-use equipment.
A short review involving the planning supervisor, the client and the contractor should be carried out during or at the end of each project. Remember, risk assessment is the best approach for hazard control, but it is not the whole solution for safety management. Common parameters that have been used to define an acceptable operating range are gas heating value, the “Wobbe Index,” specific gravity, and restrictions on components such as heavy hydrocarbons and inert gases (nitrogen and carbon dioxide).
Risk assessment has been revised to ensure that these pits are situated well away from the path line, that there is a safe operating zone around them, and that the power carriers coming to collect materials do not enter that zone until the operator signals. Be on the look out for long-term, slow-changing or less visible impacts that also need to be managed and reduced. Solutions need to be found that protect the performance, safety, and emissions of natural gas equipment without unduly restricting the LNG supplies that can be used.Related PublicationsMorrison DR, Hart RJ, Kytomaa HK.
American Institute of Chemical Engineers, 2012 Spring National Meeting, LNG Plant Safety and Protection Session, Houston, TX, April 1–5, 2012.Morse TL, Kytomaa HK.
Modeling the vapor source term associated with the spill of LNG into a sump or impoundment area.



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