In these days of well-planned operations, the words “Stop the Job” should rarely be heard. When I first started in the industry, each individual party in the project would do their part of the loadout without having to fully consider the other disciplines working on the job. Of course, with the introduction of Toolbox Talks, Risk Assessments and Method Statements etc., this has now turned full circle. In this blog, I would like to share some recent instances where we have, effectively, ‘stopped the job’.
At the last minute, a client requested that we witnessed the loading of a pressure vessel to a trailer. The loading took place in the factory where the pressure vessel was built. We were informed that nothing would happen until we were on site and, of course, after the Toolbox Talk. We duly arrived on time to be greeted with the pressure vessel in mid-air and the driver and business owner positioned under the load with no PPE. Our Engineer took one look at the slings angles and shouted “Stop the Job!” – not exactly the best way to win friends and influence people. After some heated debate, the pressure vessel was lowered back to its original position and our Engineer departed to an office to work out the correct sling loads. His calculations confirmed his worst thoughts – the slings had been vastly overloaded. The most worrying factor was it took the pressure vessel engineers some time to realise their mistake. In the end, the operation may have taken an additional three hours to complete but it was done in a safe and controlled environment.
The second case involved a colleague and myself. Both of us were to organise shipments of steel sections from one facility to another. The supply of the crane was in our scope but the supply of lifting equipment, lift plans and the riggers were for the manufacturer of the steel sections. Although we were assured it had been correctly assessed and engineered, we noted that some of the lifting points were unusually positioned. It was getting near the end of the first shift and we started to lose the light. The soft slings and shackles were attached to the last unit when I noticed as the strain was taken by the crane, the soft slings came into contact with the sharp edges of the unit. Those three words had to be used again – “stop the job”. Once again the manufacturer took some convincing that anything was wrong. The local rigger even told me he had lifted units heavier than that before and it did not matter if the soft sling comes in contact with the sharp edge. However, after visually demonstrating the damage to the slings and sketching out the lift properly, it was agreed to re-position the lifting points overnight and safely complete the lift first thing the following morning.
Both cases clearly show the value of Toolbox Talks, Risk Assessment, Method Statements,
Lift Plans and suitable trained employees. Although they may be time-consuming and labour intensive, these extra precautions are worth the time and energy to get it right first time.
It should be noted here that our Site Operation team are not only very well trained in their field but have strong knowledge of other disciplines and trades which is why we are in such high demand with our clients worldwide.
Steven Thornley is Sales Director at Malin Group – a collection of companies offering a comprehensive range of services to the marine industry. To keep up to date please follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook or on our Instagram, for a steady stream of eclectic and interesting engineering images.