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Why Safe Working Practises using bolting tools within the oil industry

Posted on 26 June 2020

Why Safe Working Practises using bolting tools within the oil industry

It goes without saying that the use of hydraulic and high-pressure equipment can provide risks in the working environment, especially within the oil industry. There are numerous of methods that are used to tighten, maintain and loosen bolts and connectors. Thankfully, there are number of accredited bodies and professional training programmes in place across the globe, than can ensure all technicians follow safe working procedures that follows industry standards.

Regulations and standards around bolting

Bodies of the Bureau of Safety and Environment Enforcement (BSEE) have been working to address the frequent issues, that raise serious safety and environmental hazard concerns, faulty connector bolts in safety-critical currently deployed offshore. The material and strength of bolting for critical and harsh environments, such as the oil rigs, includes references to agencies and bodies.

  • Standards
  • Specifications
  • Recommended Practices

Despite that these standards only represent minimum requirement; they should still however be met.  It is these standards that are an integral part of the design process that must include identification and review of all applicable standards that must be followed, as well as best practices.

Hazards around bolting

While the tools themselves are developed to reduce hazards, the tools themselves also introduce other types of hazards. Therefore, careful selection of the right equipment for the job is imperative to ensure the work is optimised and risks are reduced.

Hand-controlled tools such as Hydraulic torque wrenches and tensions, uses power precision to tighten and loosen bolts. If the operator isn’t careful when the tool is live, there is the possibility of minor and fatal injuries occurring. Some of the dangers involved when using hydraulic tools are:

  • A jet of hydraulic oil injection
  • Equipment that isn’t serviced or maintained
  • Pushing the equipment to full capacity
  • Not releasing stored pressure
  • Hand related injuries (crush and pinch point)

Safequards should be implemented when using hydraulic tools and systems to avoid accidents and improve production levels.

Safeguard of tools

Companies such as HTL Group design tools and test them in-house to ensure that their bolting tools are safe to be used in high-risk environments. Harsh environments such as subsea and working at height can be made safer by implementing tools that are specially designed for the job at hand.

Considerations for safety by design, their tools have built-in and add on features which enable operators to carry out challenging applications safely and more efficiently.

Working at heights

Operators within the UK, working at height are at a risk in injury due to dropped objects, dropped objects still rank in the top three of the UK’s workplace hazards with over 7,000 non-fatal injuries being reported.

Subsea Operations

Working Offshore is considered one of the most dangerous jobs in the Oil and Gas Industry. As operators are at high risk to accidents, caused by the complexity of deeper drilling depths, they require specific tools for subsea bolting operations.

Safety by Design

When your dedicated supply partner, should ensure you’re getting the highest quality equipment, that is tested and designed with in-built safety features. To maintain the ultimate safety standards, companies such HTL offers decades of expertise and industry knowledge to support around all their tools to help ensure the safety of operators.