Best Practices To Prevent a Dropped Object Incident

If you work in oil and gas worksites, you are more than likely aware of the possibility of a falling object on and offshore (DROPS). Incidents occur when there is a lack of knowledge regarding safety procedures and guidelines especially in potentially hazardous or high severity areas. The article will explain DROPS and some of the best practices you need to know to prevent a dropped object incident.

When working on a jobsite where the potential for falling objects exist, the employer needs to provide adequate warning for both the employee and other people who may enter the jobsite. For this reason, dropped objects have played a principal role in oil and gas incidents both onshore and offshore facilities. In like manner, a dropped object can occur anywhere particularly in exposed areas for instance:

  • Working at height
  • Stacking and storing
  • Lifting operations
  • Transportation
  • Maintenance



Especially relevant, an implementation and prevention program can help keep safe those that are in the jobsite. Similarly with any industry, site safety managers should:

  • Schedule regular dropped object inspections
  • Record improved actions
  • Implement procedural development
  • Raise awareness

As a result, acting in advance and knowing the preventive measures are an important part of any safety program. According to Dropped Object Prevention Scheme (DROPS), an object that weighs less than three pounds if dropped from a height of 30 feet can be fatal. Injuries and fatalities account for around 35% of all safety related incidents.

What is DROPS?

“DROPS is an industry-wide initiative focused on preventing dropped objects, with the ultimate goal of delivering a second nature dropped objects prevention strategy across our industry.”

The scope applies to all personnel, instillations and facilities, as well as customers, contractors, and outside agencies. DROPS policies and procedures reflect industry best practice.

What are the best practices to prevent a dropped object incident?

There are a few things you can do to minimize dropped object incidents at the jobsite including inspections before and after working shifts to help identify potential risks. In brief, here are a few suggestions according to DROPS that should be considered for both onshore and offshore jobsites:

  • Use the DROPS Calculator which is a guide that provides a general idea of the potential threat of a dropped object
  • Practice the “Hierarchy of Controls” which is used to rule out or minimize exposure to hazards
  • Be aware of  “No-entry” and “Restricted Access Zones” where hazards exist
  • Monitor and measure performance to help you track trends and locate specific areas where the risk is greater
  • Practice risk-mitigation training for personnel in hazardous areas
  • Organize regular hazard inspections
  • Ensure careful securing
  • Assist the progress of orderly learning and continuous improvement

Consequently, these are just a few suggestions that are helpful to your own dropped object prevention program to ensure a safer worksite. The more you are informed and take action, the fewer incidents are less likely to occur to produce safety and productivity in the workplace.


For more information on DROPS recommended practice or for any related services please visit the OCS Group website and / or DROPS online.

For General Enquiries, Membership and Campaign Team.

DROPS Chapters and Steering Committees are active worldwide:
Contact DROPS Global
Contact DROPS Asia-Pacific
Contact DROPS North America
Contact DROPS Oman

Contact DROPS Saudi

For all Steering Committee activities and liaison with Regional Chapters.