Dropped Objects Prevention Scheme (DROPS)
DROPS (Dropped Objects Prevention Scheme) is a worldwide initiative focused on preventing dropped objects, with the ultimate goal of delivering a second nature dropped objects prevention strategy across a wide range of industries.
DROPS is essentially a Global Work Group, represented by 200 operators, contractors, service companies and industry bodies, all sharing commitment and enthusiasm for the common goal of dropped object prevention.
NLG is proud to be an active member of the DROPS community.
Events this year
- 22nd January 2021 – Train the Trainer (CST) Online: Houston
- 28th January 2021 – Webinar, DROPS Asia
- 4th February 2021 – Webinar, DROPS Canada
- 10th February 2021 – Train the Trainer (GMT) Online: UK
- 17th February 2021 – Train the Trainer (GST) Online: Dubai
- 10th March 2021 – Train the Trainer (CST) Online: Houston
- 12th March 2021 – Train the Trainer (GMT) Online: UK
- 24th March 2021 – Train the Trainer (GST) Online: Dubai
DROPS Campaign Team
Banchory Business Centre
Burn O’Bennie Road
How DROPS Works
The basic remit of DROPS is to consider all avenues available for improving the industry’s dropped object prevention performance.
DROPS then distil and identify the key learnings and deliver these back into the industry in the form of awareness, best practice, recommendations, lessons, tools and techniques.
Specific focus groups within DROPS work each key issue to its conclusion as an effective deliverable product, eg a presentation, a best practice, a poster, a procedure etc. DROPS members meet at regular forums where progress is reviewed, focus areas are prioritised, new technologies/services are presented and we all share best practice and lessons learned are shared in an open and collaborative environment.
The DROPS Calculator provides a common benchmark in the classification of the potential consequences of a dropped object. One of a number of similar tools, the DROPS Calculator is endorsed by the DROPS Workgroup. While other ‘calculators’ exist, they all follow the same principle – plotting the mass of a dropped object against the distance it falls to determine its possible consequences.
This Recommended Practice was developed by a coalition of oil and gas professionals with the aim of setting basic requirements for Dropped Object prevention that can be incorporated into existing company Safety Management Systems (SMSs).
This revision of our ‘Best Practice’ handbook consolidates Reliable Securing as Industry’s principal source of dropped object prevention recommendations and risk management guidance.
Since the late 1990s, DROPS has evolved and developed becoming a widely acknowledged global resource in dropped object prevention. Here’s a quick look back:
As part of a UK Oil and Gas safety initiative known as “Step Change in Safety”, studies were made into key areas requiring improvement in our Industry. Among the raft of focus areas identified was that of dropped object prevention. To look into the subject, a small workgroup was formed comprising several operators (BP, Shell, ExxonMobil etc) and several drilling contractors (KCA Deutag, GSF etc). The group identified the drilling sector and in particular the derrick as the source of most dropped object incidents.
They recognised that the problem was huge and not restricted to the UK. Feeling restricted under the “Step Change in Safety” banner, they agreed to establish an independent workgroup and they sought assistance with the implementation and facilitation of the new international workgroup.
The DROPS Workgroup, based in Aberdeen, was duly established. The mission was agreed – “to ultimately deliver a permanent and ’second nature’ dropped objects prevention strategy within the Drilling sector”. A structure and operating model was established for the group. This saw BP initially take the helm and the group’s focus was on identifying best practice. Around 20 companies formed the membership. Regular forums were held and small action groups formed to identify and implement improvements in the Drilling Sector.
A pilot inspection and management system developed by BP and KCA Deutag was recognised as an excellent way forward and this became the basis of the DROPS Management System still in use today, ie derrick zones, inventory, control and mitigation measures, inspection checks, picture books, review and improve. The guidelines were duly published and made available throughout the Industry.
Still focused solely on the Drilling Sector, DROPS buy-in and membership steadily grew and began to embrace other European regions with new members joining, including Statoil, Maersk, Norske Hydro etc. The model of regular forums and small action groups looking at individual improvements continued and many new DROPS products emerged from the Group… DROPS Calculator, Tools at Height Toolkits and Procedures, Tour of Duty Workshop, Poster Campaigns, Checklists, etc.
Statistics showed that the efforts made had delivered significant improvements in the drilling sector – Drilling was no longer the worst performing sector! DROPS recognised that the focus had to change from Drilling only to cover all operations. The Chevron/DROPS ‘Through the Supply Chain Roadmap’ was developed highlighting the challenges in every phase of our supply chain. Emphasis slowly began to change from Static to Dynamic dropped objects, eg collisions, interference, moving equipment, cargo handling.
Now with a membership of around 40 companies, and a Steering Committee of 8, DROPS focused on all sectors of the Industry and not just Drilling. The emerging new DROPS products had a far broader impact, eg DROPS Roadmap, Forklift Pocket Dangers, Cargo Handling Guidelines, etc. Through the efforts of Statoil, our Reliable Securing standard was published, for the first time giving recommendations and best practice for the primary and secondary retention of equipment held at height. Importantly, the requirements could be fed back to designers and manufacturers such that new equipment arrived with secondary retention provisions.
The DROPS Training course was launched, delivered and cascaded throughout the membership and beyond. Facing similar problems to Oil & Gas, the Marine Sector began to engage with DROPS with new marine members joining and a new cross-industry exchange opening. DROPS put emphasis on showcasing technologies and products that could help drive improvements, eg Go Home Safe Workshops, Safe Bolting Technologies etc.
The focus turned to globalise DROPS across all regions of the world. DROPS Forums were hosted in the USA and in Asia. DROPS Training was also brought to the USA and Asia and momentum in these regions began, with many new members joining from both areas (membership exceeds 80 companies).
Independent groups for DROPS USA and DROPS Asia were established, both with their own Steering Committees and objectives, to bring regional direction and focus on the DROPS movement. Products emerging from DROPS included the updated Reliable Securing Standard, SGB’s Cost of Accidents DVD, the Hazard Hunt toolkit, Rogues’ Galleries etc.
DROPS (Global) focus on Common Inspection Standards and Seasonal DROPS Campaigns. DROPS USA and DROPS Asia formally kick-off their programme of Forums and events.
DROPS introduce the programme to the Middle East Region, and pursue opportunities for exchanges and shared learnings across other regions and industries.
Membership now exceeds 120 with most new member companies emerging from beyond Europe. Several Associate members mark the stronger ties with other industry bodies and related industries, eg construction, lifting, logistics etc.
DROPS training spreads worldwide, with DROPS Train-the-Trainer courses delivered regularly in all regions. Cascading from this, Company and asset-specific dropped object prevention training grows on a global basis.
DROPS Asia host numerous events throughout the Region, including China, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, South Korea and Singapore. Hundreds attended each event, demonstrating the huge appetite and support for dropped object prevention.
Membership exceeds 160 and reflects the global diversity of the DROPS campaign. DROPS offer a greater variety of translated DROPS materials, including best practices, awareness posters and reliable securing booklets in several languages.
DROPS Campaign Pack annual updates go digital, affording DROPS members and pack subscribers access to the full portfolio and historic catalogue of DROPS materials.
DROPS publish Revision 3 of Reliable Securing booklet with 50% more content.
DROPS website overhaul and relaunch with member promotions and enhanced communications systems.
DROPS Train the Trainer: content updated, enhanced and extended. Worldwide schedule of training events and customised asset-specific training sessions deliver opportunity to cascade the materials further afield.
DROPS digital Rogues Gallery developed and issued, replacing previous static displays in regional heliports.
Diamond Offshore welcomed to DROPS Global Steering Committee, DROPS membership reaches 200.
DROPS Reliable Securing (Revision 4) Workgroup established to review and update DROPS Best Practice guidance.
Closer collaboration with Industry bodies and associations, including IADC, SfS, LEEA, IRATA and the Certifying Authorities. There was wider interest shown in DROPS by other industry sectors.
200 attend DROPS Middle East Forum in Dubai (March).
Repsol Sinopec welcomed to DROPS Global Steering Committee.
Marketing support extended to include DROPS promotional materials, banners and activities, available for DROPS member use at events.
DROPS North America Chapter reinvigorated with an Operator-led Steering Committee, focusing on the development of a DROPS Standard Reference document.
Broader industry engagement with Renewables Sector.
Publication of DROPS Recommended Practice, a concise guide to establishing Dropped Object Prevention schemes.
Establishment of Regional Chapters in Saudi Arabia and Sultanate of Oman.