Best Practices to Prevent Fatalities


By: Issac Dantin

In light of risks and contributing factors, protecting each other from fatal and serious incidents is a huge challenge.

Our commitment to safety is to always strive to get ahead of incidents. We want to learn how to predict where the weak points are, but it’s not an easy task.

Here are some ways we can tackle this task and proactively prevent fatalities:

1. Stand up; speak up! Our best defense against fatalities may be our willingness to keep the lines of communication open. We must have the strength and character to stand up, speak up and use stop work authority where it’s needed.

2. Consider a high-potential near miss as you would a fatality. We need to learn from potentially fatal incidents that almost happened. Everyone should be encouraged to report things they’ve noticed about incidents that could cause severe accidents, so that we can prevent such a close call from happening again.

3. Be engaged. All employees should be part of the process to prevent fatalities. We should be listening to those closest to the actual work as much as to those writing and approving policy.

4. Job Safety Environmental Analysis (JSEA) Conducting job assessments always reports great results when the assessments are complete and detailed. These are important for every task but particularly important for non-routine tasks with high risks. Often JSEAs are incomplete or non-existent.

5. Training Everyone can make an impact in workplace fatalities by taking training seriously and staying up to date on the latest risks, controls, processes, procedures and policies.

6. Behavior-Based Safety (WATCH cards) While the industry has pushed observations in the corner, we still stress the importance of observing each other on the job. It is our way of ensuring that we are engaging in safe practices.

The Challenge

The only thing worse than a fatality in our industry is repeating a fatality when we should have learned from it.

Where is the fatal exposure in your work area?

A fatality only takes one split second, one look the other way, one misunderstanding or one oversight to occur. We care about preventing the bumps and scrapes. We must be extremely passionate about preventing a fatality.

Issac DantinIssac began his career at Danos in 1996 as a roustabout at the Leeville shorebase and worked his way to shorebase supervisor. He was named Field Employee of the Year in 2007 and was later hired on by Chevron. He returned to Danos in 2010 and currently serves as safety director.


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