Neal Stone, director of policy and communications for the British Safety Council, with Pete Sheves, general manager of on-site machining & bolting for Stork Technical Services, being presented with the £5,000 winner’s check by Les Linklater, team lead for Step Change in Safety and Robert Paterson, health and safety director for Oil & Gas UK. (Photo: Stork).
Stork Technical Services has won the first ever ‘Ideas in Safety’ prize at this year’s UK Oil and Gas Industry Safety Awards.
Stork’s on-site machining & bolting team received the award for its innovative hot bolt clamp system, which enables the safe removal and replacement of corroded bolts on live flanged connections which have eight bolts or less.
The award recognizes an individual or team working on a UKCS offshore facility who have developed an original idea for improving safety in the workplace focusing on hydrocarbon leak reduction. The presentation, in front of more than 400 industry leaders and guests, was made by Neal Stone, Director of Policy and Communications for the British Safety Council, at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Center.
Stork’s technology hydraulically clamps pressurized bolted pipeline flanges together, so that corroded stud bolts can be safely removed without exerting additional force to the gaskets. Once all of the bolts have been replaced, the hot bolt clamps are de-pressurized and removed. Change out of the bolts is achieved without taking the flanges out of operation, disruption to the standard line pressure or danger of hydrocarbon release.
The hot bolt clamp system removes the potentially time-consuming activity from planned or unplanned shutdown programs, thereby reducing downtime and minimizing personnel required on-board when bed space is at a premium. Most importantly, the clamp system improves the safety for offshore operatives and the asset as a whole by reducing the likelihood of hydrocarbon releases, which can have a devastating impact offshore.
Stork is donating the £5,000 it received for winning the award to the charity Create Aberdeen, which supports the rights of adults with learning disabilities to be healthy, fulfilled, and active participants in community life.
“On behalf of Oil & Gas UK and Step Change in Safety, I’d like to congratulate Stork on winning the first ever Ideas in Safety Prize – designed to recognize new and creative approaches to reducing risks,” said Robert Paterson, Oil & Gas UK’s health and safety director. “With the theme of this year’s prize being hydrocarbon release reduction, Stork Technical Services’ On-Site Machining and Bolting Team has developed a fantastic proven concept, which has the potential to be widely adopted across the industry.”