How you define 'Normal & Abnormal' Conditions and 'Routine & Non-routine' Activities

S

samsung

#1
Normal and abnormal conditions relate to identification of Environmental hazards (14001 Annex-A) whereas Routine and Non-routine activities find reference in 4.3.1, Hazard identification (OHSAS 18001:2007).

I'm not sure how to define them unambiguously.

Please share your views, possibly with few examples to clear my doubts.

Thanks.
 
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#2
Re: How you define 'Normal & Abnormal' Conditions and 'Routine & Non-routine' Activit

Hi,

There are many examples for normal and abnormal conditions.

Just take the case of a chemical reaction. The normal condition is that the temperature and pressure are as per the standard reaction conditions; if the temperature and pressure (or one of them) increase (or decrease), then the condition is abnormal.

In general normal condition is that which has been observed (or taken from a reference) and recorded in standard operating procedures and the like; a deviation from the normal condition is abnormal.

Normally our effluent quantity is 600 KL per day - that is a normal condition. Today the effluent quantity has come down to 100 KL per day - that is an abnormal condition.

Normally we use furnace oil to fire the furnace - that is normal condition. Today we have used HSD for firing the furnace - that is abnormal.

Similar examples may be given for routine and non-routine activities.

e.g. Routinely we use electrical heating; there is a power-cut today, we will use LPG for heating (this is non-routine)

We do not have routine night shifts for our operations; but for maintenance purposes we will have a night shift (non-routine) for a day.

Hope the above helps.

With kind regards,

Ramakrishnan
 
S

samsung

#3
Re: How you define 'Normal & Abnormal' Conditions and 'Routine & Non-routine' Activit

Thanks Dr. Ramakrishnan for your clear & straight forward reply. Currently we are reviewing our plant wide Aspect/ Hazard inventory and there is lot of discussion and confusion on what actually constitute an 'Abnormal' condition (EMS) and a 'Non-routine' activity with particular reference to OHS.

e.g. Some people argue that the plant 'start up' and 'shut down' (if it's planned) should not be considered an 'abnormal' event. But my point is that it does give rise to abnormally high pollution, energy use, waste generation, poor product quality etc. (albeit for a limited time). However, there is a reasonable agreement about the 'breakdowns', manpower shortage, power cut, adverse weather etc. i.e. these should be taken as 'abnormal' conditions.

Should machine/plant breakdowns, overtime working, touring for business purposes, engagement of temporary labours be considered 'non-routine' activities w.r.t. OHS risk assessment? Similarly there are certain activities which are carried out on regular basis but the frequency remains low, e.g. once in 3 yrs. or sometimes once in 5 years.
 

somashekar

Staff member
Super Moderator
#4
Re: How you define 'Normal & Abnormal' Conditions and 'Routine & Non-routine' Activit

Should machine/plant breakdowns, overtime working, touring for business purposes, engagement of temporary labours be considered 'non-routine' activities w.r.t. OHS risk assessment? Similarly there are certain activities which are carried out on regular basis but the frequency remains low, e.g. once in 3 yrs. or sometimes once in 5 years.
Samsung.
Examples said above do not perhaps happen daily, but still it is in the capacity of the assessors of the OHS risks to consider them, as they form part of the business activity happening at some intervals and can be visualized.
On the contrary an activity like construction of an industrial shed within the site based on need to expand; The factory premises is permitted for a film shooting as a part of the corporate presentation package; A grand function is planned to be organized within the site to celebrate the silver jubilee; such I consider to be non-routine activities which needs a seperate risk assessment when confronted and suitably addresed
 
#5
Re: How you define 'Normal & Abnormal' Conditions and 'Routine & Non-routine' Activit

Dear Samsung,

BS 7750 (precursor to ISO-14001) did identify "Start up" and "Shut down" as two conditions under which one was supposed to identify "effects". It is possible under certain circumstances the "effects" are significant. For example in certain GEN SETS "Starting" will cause excess air pollution which will come down with the continued use. Your friends may have some such points. Please check.

With kind regards,

Ramakrishnan
 
S

samsung

#6
Re: How you define 'Normal & Abnormal' Conditions and 'Routine & Non-routine' Activit

Dear Samsung,

BS 7750 (precursor to ISO-14001) did identify "Start up" and "Shut down" as two conditions under which one was supposed to identify "effects". It is possible under certain circumstances the "effects" are significant. For example in certain GEN SETS "Starting" will cause excess air pollution which will come down with the continued use. Your friends may have some such points. Please check.

With kind regards,

Ramakrishnan
Yes, exactly there are similar points in our people's mind and the problem is how to incorporate such issues in the existing system. e.g. planned and unplanned maintenance (B/D and hence non routine activity).

I have attached the Risk Card of one of the Maintenance Deptts. I will very much appreciate if you go through the attached document and advise where & how can I incorporate the effect of non-routine activities or abnormal conditions. Or anything else that you can suggest for further improvement.

Thanks,
 

Attachments

#7
Re: How you define 'Normal & Abnormal' Conditions and 'Routine & Non-routine' Activit

Dear Samsung,

I was on tour and have just returned home. I saw your posting and quickly went through the excel sheet. I shall try to respond to you, at least partially, by tomorrow evening.

With kind regards,

Ramakrishnan
 
#8
Re: How you define 'Normal & Abnormal' Conditions and 'Routine & Non-routine' Activit

Hi Samsung,

For want of time I shall take one example for now; the example of "heating of bearings in an oil bath" as the activity.

Here "Start up" is when you start heating the oil bath; and "shut down" is when you stop heating the oil bath (when the job is over).

Environmental Aspect (Start up): Burning of fuel (or use of electricity) to raise the temperature of the bath to the desired temperature (Impact may be - depletion of non-renewable resources, air pollution etc.) (you may be able to identify more aspects using the input-output model)

Environmental Aspect (Shut down): Wastage of heat (impact may be: depletion of non-renewable resources, air pollution etc.)

Hazard - Start up: Potential to splutter (if the oil contains / absorbed water)
Hazard - Shut down: Potential for accidental handling without realizing that the object is hot

Hope the above helps. I wish I spend more time to explain a few more examples. Please bear with me; I am just rushing to get ready for a tour starting early morning tomorrow.

In case you need more clarification please do let me know through the forum.

With kind regards,

Ramakrishnan
 
S

samsung

#9
Re: How you define 'Normal & Abnormal' Conditions and 'Routine & Non-routine' Activit

Hi Samsung,

For want of time I shall take one example for now; the example of "heating of bearings in an oil bath" as the activity.

Here "Start up" is when you start heating the oil bath; and "shut down" is when you stop heating the oil bath (when the job is over).

Environmental Aspect (Start up): Burning of fuel (or use of electricity) to raise the temperature of the bath to the desired temperature (Impact may be - depletion of non-renewable resources, air pollution etc.) (you may be able to identify more aspects using the input-output model)

Environmental Aspect (Shut down): Wastage of heat (impact may be: depletion of non-renewable resources, air pollution etc.)

Hazard - Start up: Potential to splutter (if the oil contains / absorbed water)
Hazard - Shut down: Potential for accidental handling without realizing that the object is hot

Hope the above helps. I wish I spend more time to explain a few more examples. Please bear with me; I am just rushing to get ready for a tour starting early morning tomorrow.

In case you need more clarification please do let me know through the forum.

With kind regards,

Ramakrishnan
Thanks Dr. Ramakrishnan for your analysis that makes sense and helps me to understand what I really needed to.

I hope you will provide some more insight whenever you are free from your busy business schedule.

Thanks.
 
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