Evaluating risk within a pipeline system

Evaluating Ergonomic Risk

Challenge

A natural gas supplier had completed an analysis of their worker’s compensation claims and realized they were seeing a major increase in ergonomic-related injuries to their field workers. Antea Group was called in to discuss strategies for evaluating the risk. Collectively we determined that a good first step was to observe a common activity of their field workers – installing a gas meter - and identify the major risks.

Solution

Antea Group spent a full day observing the activity. Photos and videos were taken of the various steps needed to complete the activity, and employees were interviewed in order to fully understand the potential risks. After completing observation, Antea Group utilized the Rapid Entire Body Assessment (REBA) process as well as basic ergonomic principles to evaluate and rate the various tasks. The REBA process allowed us to assign a value of low, medium, high, or very high risk for each task. We then provided recommendations for lowering the risk for each activity. 

Result

By rating the risk, we were able to give the client a list of prioritized goals in order to eliminate or reduce their risk for the overall task. Our recommendations provided guidance to target their greatest risks first, so time and money were directed at the appropriate efforts. We also had recommendations for specific equipment that would reduce discomfort and limit the risk for injury. Our report identified the best physical position for completing individual tasks, which is a basis for developing a Job Safety Analysis (JSA). The client was able to see, through the videos and photos, where their issues were and could use these tools to re-train their employees on specific issues.