Anyone can do that...or can they?

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Why do we think that no-one but a properly qualified electrician should work inside a switch room cabinet, or no-one but a properly qualified mechanical technician should change the oil in a gear box, while at home anyone can change an electric plug or oil in their car.  Offshore we are not allowed to change an electric plug or change the oil in a gear box, not because we don't know how to, but because we are not qualified to do so. 

During an offshore trip, a mechanical technician asked me to manually lift a heavy crate into his workshop.  When I asked why, he said: "You're a lifting guy, so it's your job to lift things."  When I explained that manual handling was part of everyone's job, he stormed off leaving the crate lying there.

Two days later, I caught him using a beam clamp, chain block and slings to place an electric motor onto a trolley.  The load was suspended and he was pulling it over with one hand and operating the gypsy train to lower off with the other.  I stopped him and asked what he was doing.  With a red face, he said: "It's only rigging, anyone can do that!"

But it turned out he hadn't signed out the equipment, or asked anyone to help him install it, nor had he created a lift plan and his permit didn't ask for rigging assistance.  I reported his actions to the supervisor and he was reprimanded according to his company's disciplinary procedure.

Unfortunately, a large percentage of our offshore workforce think they can safely carry out lifting and hoisting operations, regardless of their qualification.

Too many people think 'anyone can do that' when it comes to rigging.

In our workplace, the law requires people to be properly trained, so being a rigger is just like being an electrical or mechanical technician.  If you haven't been trained and don't meet the requirements, you shouldn't touch rigging equipment, let alone operate it.  

So the next time you think 'anyone can do that', STOP and remember that NOT everyone can.