User-friendly digital solutions strengthen the safety culture in the company because it becomes easier to make safer choices. It prevents accidents and production interruptions so that safety and financials go hand in hand.
Extreme weather conditions far out at sea, obvious dangers at the production site... Many things make lifting, loading, and unloading challenging. The oil and gas industry has always been associated with significant risk, as well as world-leading work with health, environment, and safety (HSE).
Lifting equipment entails several challenges for owners and users of equipment.
The requirements for safety and controls are as strict as for the cranes they are used on. However, because each individual unit is relatively inexpensive, lifting equipment tends to receive less attention than cranes and other large devices. It is usually far from where the user manual is kept to where the lifting equipment is to be used. And it is often as far as the documentation for the last inspection of the equipment.
When documentation and instructions for use aren't stored in a uniform and orderly manner, the problems linked to geographical distance are further intensified.
Difficult access to documentation about lifting equipment can create dangerous situations - has it been tested and approved, and is it used correctly?
It's said that the devil is in the details. When it comes to documentation around lifting equipment, there is a lot of detail. But can there be "salvation" in a piece of software?
Ensuring the safety of handling lifting equipment presents its own unique challenges, but innovative solutions such as advanced software can play a crucial role in reducing risk and improving HSE standards.
Challenges when handling lifting equipment
Lifting equipment is essential to facilitate the movement, loading, and unloading of heavy materials. A slight mishandling or neglect of maintenance can lead to catastrophic accidents, endangering lives and causing huge financial losses.
The physical wear and tear that lifting equipment undergoes over time is inevitable. However, the severity of the consequences can be exacerbated by inadequate supervision, testing, and maintenance. Without good methods and tools for overview and control, the risk of equipment errors increases. This could potentially put employee safety at risk.
Real and potential consequences for security and finances
The consequences of inadequate handling of lifting equipment can therefore be serious. From a safety perspective, an accident can lead to death or serious injury. This not only has a profound human cost but can also lead to legal implications, insurance claims, and even shutdowns, leading to significant financial losses.
Also from an economic perspective, the burden of non-optimal handling of lifting equipment is significant. One thing is the direct costs associated with repairs or the purchase of new equipment. Something else is the indirect costs linked to delays and interruptions. Companies can also face fines and regulatory sanctions for not complying with local, national, or international safety regulations when using and maintaining lifting equipment.
How software can solve the challenges and create real business value
With these challenges in mind, advanced lifting equipment control software has proven to be a godsend for the oil and gas industry. This type of software can track and document tests and maintenance for various types of lifting equipment, and you'll be notified before important deadlines. This reduces the risk of unwanted incidents.
With QR codes on the equipment and an app on the mobile phone, the person who will be using the equipment can immediately know whether the equipment is approved and have access to the user manual. Both parts reduce the risk of unwanted incidents.
The most important part of the functionality of our software, Onix Work, is:
- The supplier loads the necessary documentation directly into the platform
- The inspectors document controls in the same solution
- The user always has access to the correct documentation
- The owner has a full overview of the stock of lifting equipment
- The owner knows where the equipment is located
- The owner knows the condition of the equipment
- The owner is notified before equipment is to be checked or renewed
When the culture of safety takes root
At a deeper level, lifting equipment management software has the potential to improve the overall safety culture of an operating company. When the relevant data is so easily available, and documentation of controls so efficient to handle, we experience that practical and actual safety is becoming increasingly important to our customers. Once safety has become an obvious part of the culture - and how each individual thinks - then it's at the back of the mind to prevent unwanted incidents.
From an economic perspective, effective management of lifting equipment through software can provide significant cost savings. By preventing costly accidents, delays, and downtime, an investment in safety can also yield significant financial gains.
Safety and finances should never be a trade-off. With smart digital solutions for lifting equipment, the two considerations can instead be mutually reinforcing.