Ergonomic exposure on a drilling rig

Carsten Jensen, Chris Jensen

Publikation: Bog/antologi/afhandling/rapportRapportForskning

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Resumé

The offshore oil and gas industry is characterized by a constant focus on safety at work in
order to reduce the number of work‐related accidents. In companies, the management
systems and commitment, which include safety courses for all personnel, formal safety
procedures, work permits, near‐miss reports and published statistics on lost time injuries,
have contributed positively to prevent work‐related accidents. The authorities have a
similar focus on safety at work offshore. These efforts have resulted in a relatively low
frequency of injuries causing absence from work compared to many onshore industries.
For instance, in 2004 the frequency of lost time injuries on offshore installations in the
Danish Sector of the North Sea was 7 per million working hours. Onshore, the frequency
was 36 for shipyards and 20 per million working hours for construction work (Danish
Energy Authority 2005).
However, absence from work due to other health problems may not show a similar trend
towards lower absenteeism. Sickness absence was reported by Maersk Contractors to have
increased among their drilling rig personnel in the Danish Sector of the North Sea from
2000 to 2004 (Steffensen 2005). Their statistics were based on sick leave reported by the
personnel during their home period. It was not possible to conclude whether these health
problems were related to conditions at work. Clearly, infectious diseases, spare time
injuries and a number of other health problems have no association with working
conditions, but for some of the most frequent problems, such as musculoskeletal problems,
it is difficult to determine whether the causes are work‐related or not.
As manual handling (lifting, pushing, etc.) in awkward body postures increase the risk of
developing musculoskeletal disorders, it should be expected that work‐related health
problems contribute to sickness absence in the offshore industry, if these working postures
are common. However, also work‐related psychosocial factors, personal factors and other
factors may contribute to the development of lower back disorders, which often have a
multifactorial background. In a relatively old study on American drilling rigs it was
indicated that lower back problems was a frequent cause of absence (Clemmer et al. 1991).
Most of the incidents causing lower back injuries were associated with heavy lifting or
pushing/pulling objects by roustabouts, floorhands, derrickmen and welders. In a more
recent study based on Norwegian registers of personnel employed in the Norwegian
offshore sector, it was also emphasized that musculoskeletal problems are frequent causes
of sickness absence (Mehlum and Kjuus 2005). The Norwegian data also indicated that
other work‐related health problems than acute injuries were much more frequent than lost
time accidents. The number of injuries occurring offshore and reported to the Norwegian
authorities in 2004 was 351, whereas it was estimated, that there were as many as 2900‐
4600 cases of sickness absence, certified by a medical doctor, which were at least partly
due to work‐related health problems. This corresponded to 59.000‐94.000 absence days.
This indicates that removal of risk factors for developing musculoskeletal disorders at the
work place may have an impact on sickness absence. And it is worth noting that removal
4
of such risk factors may not only reduce the risk of developing health problems, but it may
also reduce sickness absence by removing barriers for work resumption of employees with
pain or discomfort, who cannot perform heavy manual handling.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
Udgivelses stedEsbjerg
ForlagThe Research Unit of Maritime Medicine
Antal sider46
ISBN (Trykt)87-90866-13-4
ISBN (Elektronisk)87-90866-13-4
StatusUdgivet - 2006

Fingeraftryk

Drilling rigs
Ergonomics
Medical problems
Personnel
Accidents
Statistics
Industry
Shipyards
Gas industry
Contractors

Emneord

  • sundhed på arbejdspladser
  • Rygsmerter

Citer dette

Jensen, C., & Jensen, C. (2006). Ergonomic exposure on a drilling rig. Esbjerg: The Research Unit of Maritime Medicine.
Jensen, Carsten ; Jensen, Chris. / Ergonomic exposure on a drilling rig. Esbjerg : The Research Unit of Maritime Medicine, 2006. 46 s.
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Jensen, C & Jensen, C 2006, Ergonomic exposure on a drilling rig. The Research Unit of Maritime Medicine, Esbjerg.

Ergonomic exposure on a drilling rig. / Jensen, Carsten; Jensen, Chris.

Esbjerg : The Research Unit of Maritime Medicine, 2006. 46 s.

Publikation: Bog/antologi/afhandling/rapportRapportForskning

TY - RPRT

T1 - Ergonomic exposure on a drilling rig

AU - Jensen, Carsten

AU - Jensen, Chris

PY - 2006

Y1 - 2006

N2 - The offshore oil and gas industry is characterized by a constant focus on safety at work inorder to reduce the number of work‐related accidents. In companies, the managementsystems and commitment, which include safety courses for all personnel, formal safetyprocedures, work permits, near‐miss reports and published statistics on lost time injuries,have contributed positively to prevent work‐related accidents. The authorities have asimilar focus on safety at work offshore. These efforts have resulted in a relatively lowfrequency of injuries causing absence from work compared to many onshore industries.For instance, in 2004 the frequency of lost time injuries on offshore installations in theDanish Sector of the North Sea was 7 per million working hours. Onshore, the frequencywas 36 for shipyards and 20 per million working hours for construction work (DanishEnergy Authority 2005).However, absence from work due to other health problems may not show a similar trendtowards lower absenteeism. Sickness absence was reported by Maersk Contractors to haveincreased among their drilling rig personnel in the Danish Sector of the North Sea from2000 to 2004 (Steffensen 2005). Their statistics were based on sick leave reported by thepersonnel during their home period. It was not possible to conclude whether these healthproblems were related to conditions at work. Clearly, infectious diseases, spare timeinjuries and a number of other health problems have no association with workingconditions, but for some of the most frequent problems, such as musculoskeletal problems,it is difficult to determine whether the causes are work‐related or not.As manual handling (lifting, pushing, etc.) in awkward body postures increase the risk ofdeveloping musculoskeletal disorders, it should be expected that work‐related healthproblems contribute to sickness absence in the offshore industry, if these working posturesare common. However, also work‐related psychosocial factors, personal factors and otherfactors may contribute to the development of lower back disorders, which often have amultifactorial background. In a relatively old study on American drilling rigs it wasindicated that lower back problems was a frequent cause of absence (Clemmer et al. 1991).Most of the incidents causing lower back injuries were associated with heavy lifting orpushing/pulling objects by roustabouts, floorhands, derrickmen and welders. In a morerecent study based on Norwegian registers of personnel employed in the Norwegianoffshore sector, it was also emphasized that musculoskeletal problems are frequent causesof sickness absence (Mehlum and Kjuus 2005). The Norwegian data also indicated thatother work‐related health problems than acute injuries were much more frequent than losttime accidents. The number of injuries occurring offshore and reported to the Norwegianauthorities in 2004 was 351, whereas it was estimated, that there were as many as 2900‐4600 cases of sickness absence, certified by a medical doctor, which were at least partlydue to work‐related health problems. This corresponded to 59.000‐94.000 absence days.This indicates that removal of risk factors for developing musculoskeletal disorders at thework place may have an impact on sickness absence. And it is worth noting that removal4of such risk factors may not only reduce the risk of developing health problems, but it mayalso reduce sickness absence by removing barriers for work resumption of employees withpain or discomfort, who cannot perform heavy manual handling.

AB - The offshore oil and gas industry is characterized by a constant focus on safety at work inorder to reduce the number of work‐related accidents. In companies, the managementsystems and commitment, which include safety courses for all personnel, formal safetyprocedures, work permits, near‐miss reports and published statistics on lost time injuries,have contributed positively to prevent work‐related accidents. The authorities have asimilar focus on safety at work offshore. These efforts have resulted in a relatively lowfrequency of injuries causing absence from work compared to many onshore industries.For instance, in 2004 the frequency of lost time injuries on offshore installations in theDanish Sector of the North Sea was 7 per million working hours. Onshore, the frequencywas 36 for shipyards and 20 per million working hours for construction work (DanishEnergy Authority 2005).However, absence from work due to other health problems may not show a similar trendtowards lower absenteeism. Sickness absence was reported by Maersk Contractors to haveincreased among their drilling rig personnel in the Danish Sector of the North Sea from2000 to 2004 (Steffensen 2005). Their statistics were based on sick leave reported by thepersonnel during their home period. It was not possible to conclude whether these healthproblems were related to conditions at work. Clearly, infectious diseases, spare timeinjuries and a number of other health problems have no association with workingconditions, but for some of the most frequent problems, such as musculoskeletal problems,it is difficult to determine whether the causes are work‐related or not.As manual handling (lifting, pushing, etc.) in awkward body postures increase the risk ofdeveloping musculoskeletal disorders, it should be expected that work‐related healthproblems contribute to sickness absence in the offshore industry, if these working posturesare common. However, also work‐related psychosocial factors, personal factors and otherfactors may contribute to the development of lower back disorders, which often have amultifactorial background. In a relatively old study on American drilling rigs it wasindicated that lower back problems was a frequent cause of absence (Clemmer et al. 1991).Most of the incidents causing lower back injuries were associated with heavy lifting orpushing/pulling objects by roustabouts, floorhands, derrickmen and welders. In a morerecent study based on Norwegian registers of personnel employed in the Norwegianoffshore sector, it was also emphasized that musculoskeletal problems are frequent causesof sickness absence (Mehlum and Kjuus 2005). The Norwegian data also indicated thatother work‐related health problems than acute injuries were much more frequent than losttime accidents. The number of injuries occurring offshore and reported to the Norwegianauthorities in 2004 was 351, whereas it was estimated, that there were as many as 2900‐4600 cases of sickness absence, certified by a medical doctor, which were at least partlydue to work‐related health problems. This corresponded to 59.000‐94.000 absence days.This indicates that removal of risk factors for developing musculoskeletal disorders at thework place may have an impact on sickness absence. And it is worth noting that removal4of such risk factors may not only reduce the risk of developing health problems, but it mayalso reduce sickness absence by removing barriers for work resumption of employees withpain or discomfort, who cannot perform heavy manual handling.

KW - sundhed på arbejdspladser

KW - Rygsmerter

KW - Maritime Health, Health Promotion, IMHA, Seafarers

KW - Ergonomics

KW - occupational health

KW - Back pain

M3 - Report

SN - 87-90866-13-4

BT - Ergonomic exposure on a drilling rig

PB - The Research Unit of Maritime Medicine

CY - Esbjerg

ER -

Jensen C, Jensen C. Ergonomic exposure on a drilling rig. Esbjerg: The Research Unit of Maritime Medicine, 2006. 46 s.