Stork wins first ever ‘Ideas in Safety Prize’ at UK Oil and Gas Safety Awards

Stork 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 that enables the safe removal and replacement of corroded bolts on live flanged connections that have eight bolts or less.

The award recognises an individual or team working on a UKCS offshore facility that 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 yesterday’s glittering ceremony at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre.

Stork’s technology hydraulically clamps pressurised 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-pressurised 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 programmes; thereby reducing downtime and minimising 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.

The system has been extensively field-tested and was successfully utilised by Stork operatives for a recent project on a Chevron North Sea Limited operated asset in the North Sea.

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.

Mike Mann, SVP – Global HSSEQ for Stork, said: "Winning the first ever Ideas in Safety prize is a great achievement and demonstrates our commitment to developing innovative technologies that improve the safety of our operations. Corroded and substandard bolts can lead to hydrocarbon releases and our industry-first hot bolt clamp system provides a safe, efficient and cost-effective method of rectifying this issue.”

Oil & Gas UK’s health and safety director, Robert Paterson, said: “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 recognise new and  creative approaches to  reducing risks. With the theme of this year’s prize being hydrocarbon release reduction, Stork’ On-Site Machining and Bolting Team has developed a fantastic proven concept which has the potential to be widely adopted across the industry.”

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