In May, our Qld. Rig Site Safety Working Group took a deep-dive into the Safer Together resources designed to enhance hand safety awareness and improve hand safety outcomes for everyone in our industry, providing an opportunity for representatives from across the Australian Energy Industry to share knowledge and insights on protecting their hands and fingers from workplace accidents.

Hand and finger injuries continue to make up most personal-injury incidents across our industry. 

Alan Ruff (General Manager for Wells, Arrow Energy) who co-hosted the event alongside Jonathan Martin(CEO, COHO Resources), unphased by the late start prompted by a shuffling of chairs due to a welcome over-subscription of the event, emphasised the importance of hand and finger safety, commenced the event “Hand and finger injuries account for around a third of all reported injuries at Arrow, therefore it is essential for our teams’ safety, and the industry as a whole, to collectively talk, share, listen and learn about what we are all are doing right and wrong.”

Anton Verdell (COO Arrow) delivered the safety moment, which consisted of a video taken from the first Hands and Finger Safety Forum in 2018, prompting discussion about what our industry has done to improve hand and finger safety in the intervening years. Making a case for change - we need to make changes and we need to start today

Three incidents were then presented, designed to help us understand the personal effects behind the data.  Thanks to Chris Johns (BU Leader Well Servicing, MPC Kinetic), Mike O'Connell (D&C Operations Manager, Santos) & Kyle Koziol (Executive GM – Rig & Well Services, Ventia).

Kyle then stayed on stage to launch the new Hands Free Card & Guide,  Based on the structure of Assist & Assure, this card helps frontline workers think, and ask questions to ensure hands and finger safety before starting a task.

Following morning tea, Carlos Montilla (Sales Director, ChampionX) introduced the upgraded Hands & Finger Preservation Portal.

Dr Kieran Rowe, (Hand & Plastic Surgeon) delivered one of the most compelling and confronting presentations we've seen at Safer Together. With "graphic content" warnings, Dr Rowe shared some of the different types of hand injuries and amputations he and his team have worked on. A case study in the brilliance of modern surgical techniques and a cautionary tale to prevent injuries.

After lunch delegates were treated to a Helping Hands session delivered by Dr Matt Henricks (Founder & Organisational Psychologist, Helping Hands). Matt had recently returned from the Philippines and delivering prosthetics from Safer Together sessions.  The visceral experience of building a prosthetic hand as a team, all with the dominant hand out of action proved to be a moving experience.

Thanks to delegates at this Forum, 30 hands were built, and will be delivered to the recipients very soon.

A Best Practice Sharing – Engineering, Tool & Behaviours activity followed, facilitated by Steve Williams (Forum Coordinator, Safer Together). Delegates shared ideas and discussed some of the challenges that industry needs to work on to improve Hand and Finger Safety. The output was collected and will be reviewed by the project team to include in future work.

Our final, most-anticipated speaker was Brisbane Broncos and NRL legend, Petero Civoniceva. (Legend, Brisbane Broncos). A most generous presenter, Petero shared some incredible stories and anecdotes about his career, family, charity work, and life in general. He discussed the risks of injury in professional sport, the rehabilitation processes and the mental health impact a long-term injury can have on a player. 

Jonathan Martin returned to summarise the event, thank all participants and speakers for committing to the day, and invited everyone for post event drinks and networking.

Alan Ruff summed up the event nicely, “Coming together can prevent us all from going backwards.”

Thanks to our event sponsors, Coho Resources and Arrow Energy for their contribution to the success of this event.

Members can access the full slidepack of the event.

If you are interested in joining us at our next Qld. Rig Site Safety Working Group event, get in touch!