Why Safe Working Practices are Important in the Bolting Industry

Safety is Important

It’s widely known that using hydraulic and high-pressure equipment can provide risks in the working environment. There are numerous methods used to tighten, maintain and loosen bolts and connectors. However, there are now accredited bodies and professional training programmes in place, globally, to ensure that all technicians follow safe working procedures that follows industry standards.

Bolting Regulations and Standards

Leadership and staff of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) have been working to address a recurring problem that raises serious safety and environmental hazard concerns, faulty connector bolts in safety-critical equipment currently deployed offshore.¹ The material and strength of bolting for critical and harsh environments, such as subsea, includes references to agencies and bodies:

  • Standards
  • Specifications
  • Recommended Practices

Although standards represent only minimum requirements, it is understood that they must be met. It’s these standards that are an integral part of the design process that must include identification and review of all applicable standards that must be followed, as well as best practices.

Hazards

Where tools come into consideration to reduce hazards, it’s the tools themselves that can introduce other types of hazards. Therefore, careful selection of the right equipment for the job is imperative to ensure the work is optimised and risks are reduced.

Hydraulic torque wrenches and tensioners are hand-controlled tools with power precision to tighten and loosen bolts. If the operator isn’t careful when the tool is live, there is the possibility of minor and fatal injuries occurring. Some of the dangers involved when using hydraulic tools are:

  • A jet of hydraulic oil injection
  • Equipment that isn’t serviced or maintained
  • Pushing the equipment to full capacity
  • Not releasing stored pressure
  • Hand related injuries (crush and pinch point)

When using hydraulic tools and systems, safeguards should be implemented to avoid accidents and improve production levels.

Safeguard

HTL Groups designs tools and test in-house to ensure that bolting tools that are to be used in high-risk environments are safe. Harsh environments such as subsea and working at height can be made safer by implementing tools that are specially designed for the job at hand.

When looking at safety by design, HTL’s tools have built-in and add on features which enable operators to carry out challenging applications safely and more efficiently. Although many companies may offer similar solutions, being safety-focused and providing premium quality equipment is HTL Group’s priority.

With safety at the forefront, there are several choices of controlled bolting equipment that HTL offers, all of which are designed to facilitate bolting operations.

Working at Height

Working at height poses a risk of injury to the operator and the work environment due to dropped objects. Within the UK alone, dropped objects still rank in the top three of the UK’s workplace hazards with over 7,000 non-fatal injuries being reported.

HTL offers a range of working at height bolting solutions designed to dramatically reduce operator risk by supporting tools required to carry out operations at dangerous heights.

  • HTL’s DSX Hydraulic Torque Wrench
  • Hands Free Bolting safety accessories

Subsea Operations

Working Offshore is considered one of the most dangerous jobs in the Oil and Gas Industry. As operators are at high risk to accidents, caused by the complexity of deeper drilling depths, they require specific tools for subsea bolting operations.

  • HTL’s Subsea Tensioners
  • HTL’s 3-in-1 Hydraulic Torque Wrench

Safety by Design

Choosing HTL as your dedicated supply partner provides companies with the highest quality equipment, that is tested and designed with in-built safety features. To maintain the ultimate safety standards, HTL offers decades of expertise and industry knowledge to support the needs of customers for all controlled bolting applications.

www.htlgroup.com/products/

References:

¹https://www.bsee.gov/what-we-do/offshore-regulatory-programs/emerging-technologies/bolt-and-connector-failures