Can you improve on the safety hardware you use?

SSI always endeavours to ‘value add’ when our trainers and technical writers are contracted by our clients. A recent example comes from a large mining company in Papua New Guinea where our staff were on site training and mentoring PNG nationals in Authority to Work (ATW)/Isolation and assisting in shutdown ATW planning.

Whilst not on site to look at safety hardware, but after observing what isolation related hardware (locks and tags) was currently in use, our trained staff could quickly recognise opportunities for improvement and cost savings.

At first glance, standardising the types of tags used may not seem to be a big change or offer any significant improvements, but when you are talking about seven (7) different types of tags in use and over 157,000 tags ordered within a calendar year there was definitely scope to improve upon what was currently being provided.

Given each tag is used for a different purpose a review of many different criteria was required including assessing the following aspects:

  • What was the current quality and durability of the material the tags were manufactured out of and was it appropriate for each different application?
  • Identifying what the most appropriate sizing was for the tags to ensure consistency as all the tags were different heights and widthsOk Tedi tag review case study pic
  • Risk assessing which tags required to have durable eyelets and which ones could be managed by hole punching (safety verses cost savings)
  • Risk assessing what material should be used to affix the tags (string or elastic ties) given the different applications
  • What tag wording was easy to understand and appropriate so that essential information was conveyed quickly and clearly
  • Writability, how easy they were to write on and how much space needed to be provided to convey essential information
  • And then finally, researching what companies could supply all the requirements at the most competitive price


Importantly, once all these criteria were assessed, it was determined that one extra tag was required, (and assuming no reduction in the total number of tags ordered each year) the result was a standardised suite of tags and projected cost savings of $95,000 Australian Dollars per year (60% saving), a favourable outcome on many fronts.

“Excellent and professional work by SSI in a short time. Really impressive. SSI are very knowledgeable in this field...” – Process Superintendent – Tier 1 mining client.

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