Terminology used in safety at work at height

Trabajos en alturas


As low as reasonably practicable, or ALARP is a term often used in the regulation and management of safety-critical and safety-involved systems. The ALARP principle is that the residual risk shall be reduced as far as reasonably practicable

Area Owner

A singular individual responsible for completion of scheduled DROPS inspections and required maintenance within a specified area per company standards


Systematic verification of one’s own activity

At Height

6 feet (1.8 meters) above ground level or where there is potential for a person or equipment to fall 6 feet or more below the work surface or into a body of water


A function or safeguard planned to prevent, control, or mitigate undesired events or accidents

Barrier Owner

An individual responsible for creation or maintenance of a healthy barrier

Bridging Document (i.e., Interface Agreement)

A documented plan that defines how diverse organizations agree on which safety management elements are used when co-operating on a project, contract, or operation


The individual, partnership, firm, or corporation that incorporates dropped object prevention into existing safety management systems

Competent Person

An individual who is capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards in the surroundings or working conditions and who has the authority to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate them


The individual, partnership, firm, or corporation that comes to a contractual agreement with an Operator to provide goods and services


An industry collaborative organization that supplies supporting material and recommended practices for managing dropped object hazards. This may refer to the organization itself or endorsed principles

Dropped Object Prevention Scheme (Scheme)

A set of principles and methodologies that are put in place as part of a company’s safety management system to identify potential dropped object hazards, prevent their occurrence, and mitigate their outcome. In this document, the terms Dropped Object Prevention Scheme, Dropped Object Scheme, or Scheme, may be used interchangeably

Dropped Object

Any item with the potential to cause injury, death, or equipment/environmental damage, that falls down or over from its previous position. Dropped Objects may be further classified as static or dynamic.

Dynamic Dropped Object

Any Dropped Object whose failure may be attributed to applied forces (e.g., from the impact of equipment, machinery, or other moving items, severe weather, or manual handling)

High Potential (HiPo) Incident

A near miss or other incident that has a strong potential to cause a fatality, life altering injury, major equipment or asset damage, severe environmental harm, or significant operational loss

Human Factors

The range of physical, psychological, social, or organizational influences which affect Human Performance and how people carry out their activities. It is also a scientific discipline that focuses on the design of equipment, processes and work activities to reduce mistakes and increase efficiency.

Human Performance

What individuals do as part of their daily activities and how they carry out individual and group tasks. Identification and management of Human Performance ensures robust operations.


An unexpected event or chain of events that has resulted in or has the potential to cause harmful consequences, such as injuries, illnesses, property damage, or environmental impact

Independent Auditors

Independent auditors are recognized Subject Matter Experts and build assessments based on a company’s scheme as well as original equipment manufacturer (OEM) recommendations and recognized best practices. Independent auditors have no connections to the company which they are auditing


The process of dynamically transferring stored energy to free stuck drill pipe

Lagging Indicator

Lagging indicators measure the impact of workplace incidents after an incident has occurred; examples include number of fatalities, number of injuries, and severity rates or potential severity rates

Leading Indicator

Leading indicators are proactive, preventative, and predictive measures that monitor and provide current information about the effective performance, activities, and processes of a health, safety, and environment (HSE) management system that drive the identification and elimination or control of risks in the workplace that can cause incidents and injuries

Management of Change (MOC)

A process utilized to ensure that safety, health, and environmental risks and hazards are properly controlled when an organization makes changes to their facilities, operations, or personnel.

Maintenance Management Program

A process utilized to keep specified equipment in proper working order. Specifically relating to dropped objects, inspection points during routine maintenance can be pointed out and verified in compliance

Near Miss

An event or chain of events that has not resulted in injury, illness, physical damage, or environmental damage, but had the potential to do so in other circumstances


The individual, partnership, firm, or corporation having control or management of operations on the leased area or a portion thereof

Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM)

A company that creates a part or subsystem that is utilized within another company's product or package

Picture Book

A detailed visual guide showing specific equipment and its proper methods of retention. This may be created by a company, independent auditor, or requested of an OEM in a contractual agreement at time of initial purchase

Primary Fixing

Principal method by which an item is installed, mounted, and secured to prevent the item from falling (e.g., bolted connections, screws, pins, buckles, clips, welds)

Qualified Person

An individual who possesses the knowledge, experience, and training to fulfill the competencies of the defined role(s)

Reliable Securing

The appropriate selection, application, and management of fastenings and fixings

Risk Management Process

A procedure within a company’s safety management system that formally evaluates potential for Dropped Objects within given circumstances and/or areas

Risk Register

A document created during the early stages of planning that is utilized as a tool for tracking known or found issues and eliminating or mitigating risks as they arise

Safety Management Systems (SMS)

A systematic approach to managing safety, including the necessary organizational structures, accountabilities, policies, and procedures

Safety Securing

An additional mechanism for securing the item to the main structure that restrains the item or its components from falling (e.g., rated steel, synthetic nets, lanyards, baskets, wires, slings)

Secondary Retention

The engineered method for securing the primary fixing to prevent loss of clamping force or displacement of fastening components (e.g., locking washers, locking wire, safety pins)

Static Dropped Object

Any Dropped Object whose failure may be attributed to gravitational or natural forces (i.e., without an applied force, unsecured items, or failure of fixings)

Subject Matter Expert

A person who has proven through experience or training to be an authority in a particular area or topic

Third Party

The individual, partnership, firm, or corporation, who provides a service outside of the scope of the contractual agreement between the Operator and Contractor


The process by which an individual gains the required level of skill and knowledge to perform a function or task


The physical act of running a drill string in or out of the wellbore

Source: DROPS