Seasickness in Oil and Gas

“Bella, it’s your turn.”

Bella rose excitedly. She had just learned to skip yesterday but this was already level two stuff.

Today’s exercise required circling a stool while skipping. The stool held her prize; a small bowl of ice cream.

She took the rope and started as strongly as possible. Skipping and circling for a minute, then five, then ten and nearly fifteen minutes before losing her breath. She had beaten everyone.

Her siblings cheered as she fell back to catch her breath. But her breathing wasn’t the only thing amiss at that moment.

She was seeing double. She felt like she was still skipping when she was in fact, now sitting. And she felt dizzy.

But almost naturally, almost involuntarily, she shut her eyes, let her brain rest and allowed her chest beat freely against her rib cage.

The effect was positive. A few seconds later, everything was back to normal. And Bella was ready to take her ice cream.

You may not like to skip, but you’ve probably experienced a condition like this before. Maybe it was in an amusement park, in an airplane or a car.

The condition is what experts now generally refer to as “motion sickness” or more specifically; seasickness, carsickness, airsickness, etc., depending on the situation.

Seasickness is the type of motion illness that afflicts travelers or workers on the sea.

What is seasickness in oil and gas?

Seasickness is a condition that happens to you when the on-sea vessel or platform that you’re in vibrates and moves against the raging sea.

This forces your body to try maintaining its balance against the rocking ship movements amid the 24/7 work activity. And as experts long discovered, the part of the body that deals with balance – the inner ear- might send a message to the brain that contradicts what the other senses, like the eye and the skin, perceived and sent.

This will then result in a conflict of interpretation for the brain. For example, it might struggle to tell if you’re moving or sitting. This is seasickness.

Who can become seasick?

Typically, anyone who works or travels by sea can fall victim. But studies show that some persons, by their nature or by the level of their preparedness, are likelier than others to get seasick. This includes people who are slow adaptors to new and unfamiliar movements, people with bodies that sway more, and women.

Oil and gas professionals who work at sea are also at the risk of seasickness.

Is seasickness fatal for oil and gas workers?

While there are seasicknesses that last for days and weeks, there is nothing fatal about the condition.

Seasickness can either be treated with or without the use of drugs, and it might persist for a few seconds, hours or longer.

Dr. B. Chueng, in a contribution on seasickness to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)’s lecture series titled, ‘NATO RTA “Survival at Sea for Mariners, Aviators, and Personnel Involved in Search and Rescue”, writes,

“The term “sickness” is (also) a misnomer as it carries a connotation of ‘(affected with) disease’. It obscures the fact that motion sickness or seasickness is a normal physiological response of a healthy individual without organic or functional disorder when exposed to the unfamiliar or conflicting motion of sufficient severity for a sufficient period of time. Hence, seasickness and other associated forms of motion sickness (airsickness, carsickness, simulator sickness, and space sickness) can now be defined as a maladaptive response to a real and apparent motion.”

In other words, a seasick person can also be a very healthy person.

How do I know that I’m seasick?

While milder kinds of seasickness usually come with the symptoms of tiredness, balance disorder and dizziness, the more persistent versions have the symptoms of cold sweating, nausea, vomiting, headaches, and stomach ache.

In any doubt, you can always consult the medical personnel on your oil rig.

What are the effects of seasickness?

Falling seasick on an oil rig can affect you, your coworkers and your company’s productivity in a negative way.

Assuming that you’re ambitious and eager to rise through the ranks quickly by working hard, seasickness can be a major distraction.

Dr. B. Chueng notes that seasickness can erode the victim’s ability to work effectively and to participate in group activities while increasing feelings of depression and misery.

Also, there are suggestions – though unscientific – that incidents of seasickness can demoralize other workers on the rig. This could affect their performance and ultimately, the company’s output.

How do I prevent or cure seasickness?

Over the years, researchers have developed several tactics for preventing and curing seasickness. The most common of these tactics include using drugs and medical help, developing a positive anti-seasickness mindset and using acupressure tools like wrist bands.

  • Seek medical help and use drugs.

Expectedly, there are drugs in existence that can help cure longer bouts of seasickness. There have been medications for seasickness before the 1900s.

A 2015 article in the CNS Neuroscience and Therapeutics publication states that,

“In 1869, the first usage of medications for MS (motion sickness) was a combination of chloroform and tincture of belladonna. Nowadays, there are at least 9 different kinds of drugs used against MS.”

However, despite the increase in medicinal options, there are considerable side effects on drug use.

Of this, Dr. B. Chueng says, “…None of the drugs of proven efficacy in the treatment of motion sickness are entirely specific and all have side effects… The three relatively effective and commonly used drugs (promethazine, dimenhydrinate, and scopolamine) are central depressants that can affect brain activities and cause drowsiness or sleepiness and dizziness. They should not be taken by those in whom an impairment of skilled performance could jeopardize safety.”

Boma Femi Julius, the CEO and founder of Globat Oil and Gas Skills, had a hilarious experience with seasickness medications in his earlier offshore days,  “I once took a seasickness drug on a six-hour boat ride to a rig in Gabon. I slept off and passed my location. When I woke up, I was hours away from my rig.”

That’s why it is advisable to seek medical expertise before taking drugs to prevent or treat seasickness. Luckily, oil and gas drilling explorations always include medical workers who can provide assistance and expertise in this direction.

  • Use Acupressure.

Acupressure, defined as the application of pressure on specific points on the body to control symptoms such as pain or nausea, has long received considerable attention and endorsement as an effective treatment in several studies on seasickness.

For instance, Frederick Bonato, Andrea Bubka and Wesley W. O. Krueger, in their study on motion sickness published in a 2015 volume of the Military Medicine Journal write,

“A common nonpharmaceutical attempt for treating MS (Motion Sickness) entails bracelet-like devices worn around the wrist. It is claimed that stimulation of pressure points such as P6 acts on the central nervous system to provide MS relief. Elastic versions simply employ pressure but more sophisticated devices provide electrical pulses.”

  • Develop a positive mindset.

But what does mindset have to do with falling ill?

Well, legendary self-help author Dale Carnegie already had the answer in his 1948 bestseller How to stop worrying and start living,  in which he wrote that, “Worry can make even the most stolid (calm and dependable) person ill… Worry can put you into a wheelchair with rheumatism and arthritis… Worry can even cause tooth decay.”

And he wasn’t just rambling. Today, medical experts and scientific studies – such as that of Dov Eden and Yaakov Zuv on the impact of self-belief on seasickness among naval cadets – agree that your mindset can determine if you will become seasick or not.

It is now advisable for both travelers and oil and gas workers to believe that they won’t have seasickness. This can build a resistance against the condition.

Did you find this article useful? Kindly share it with your friends and colleagues and follow our blog to learn more about working in the Nigerian oil and gas sector.

References

  1. Carnegie, D. How to stop worrying and start living. Simon and Schuster. 1948.
  2. Chueng, B. Seasickness: Guidelines for All Operators of Marine Vessels, Marine Helicopters and Offshore Oil Installations. Survival at Sea for Mariners, Aviators and Search and Rescue Personnel (RTO-AG-HFM-152). NATO Research and Technology Organisation. 2008; 178.
  3. Eden, D., & Zuk, Y. Seasickness as a self-fulfilling prophecy: Raising self-efficacy to boost performance at sea. Journal of Applied Psychology. 1995; 80(5), 628-635.
  4. Bonato, F., Bubka, A., & Krueger, W. A Wearable Device Providing a Visual Fixation Point for the Alleviation of Motion Sickness Symptoms. Military Medicine. 2015; 180(12), 1268-1272.
  5. Zhang, L., Wang, J., Qi, R., Pan, L., Li, M. & Cai, Y. Motion Sickness: Current Knowledge and Recent Advance. CNS Neuroscience and Therapeutics. 2015; 22 (1).

HOW TO GET A JOB IN THE NIGERIAN OIL AND GAS SECTOR

If you’re a new graduate, a skilled technician, or a professional looking to break into the oil and gas industry, you’re in luck. Getting a job in this industry is not as impossible as many think. Oil and gas companies still recruit on a regular basis and the mix of activities in its operations ensure that engineers, marketing managers, and even medical personnel are regularly engaged in meaningful work and well paid.

But as in every other sector, you’ll need to possess the needed skills, the appropriate qualifications, and the right persona to get your big break.

This is because most employers only look to hire workers that they can trust and invest in the long term. If you can tick all these three boxes – skills, qualifications, and an attractive personality – then you will get your break.

BUT I DON’T HAVE ANY CONNECTIONS.

It can’t be denied: those who know powerful people will always get a head start in any job search. It is difficult for the average person to compete with this rule.

But there are two implications to this:

Implication 1: You can win without networking.

This option is harder but it can be done. The caveat is that you must be brilliant, be able to wow interviewers and have an almost magnetic personality.

Scaling through the tough interview process for most oil and gas job openings without any internal or powerful reference means that you must be impressive.

If your academic background and interviewing abilities are top-notch, this could work in your favor.

Implication 2: You can win by networking better.

What this means: if a competing job applicant gets a referral from a Junior Manager, you should get yours from a Senior Manager.

Sadly, many people think of networking as cheating. It’s not. Assuming you’re a skilled and qualified job seeker who is willing to learn and doesn’t pay – in kind or with cash – for the position that you want, it’s simply smart networking.

Here’s why networking is important:

  • Not all jobs in the oil and gas sector get advertised. If you know a worker in the industry, he might inform you of an opening. Naturally, these kinds of jobs attract lower competition.
  • You can get relevant references from successful professionals in the industry when applying for a job. This will ultimately help your resume stand out.
  • The people in your network can serve as mentors.

The first step to effective networking is getting your mindset right. Accept that it takes time to build a reliable network of willing, helpful professionals. You may not see results in three or six months. But this is normal.

If you stick at it long enough, your network will be useful to you throughout your career.

How to Network Properly

You can follow these practical steps to networking as outlined by Lisa Tynan of TopResume.com:

  • Identify the networking style that suits your personality. Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
  • Be professional. Don’t ask for a job or an interview at the first contact. Be genuinely concerned about their work. Show enthusiasm and an obsessive willingness to learn.
  • Use social media and the internet wisely. Follow pages, threads, and groups in the industry. Be active. Let your connections know that you’re searching for employment in the oil and gas sector but don’t shove it down their throats.
  • Be helpful to your growing network. Do small things that show you care. Join non-profits targeted at the Nigerian oil and gas industry and tell your network about it.
  • Be consistent and patient. Most of the people you are trying to reach will be busy. Those who appreciate your efforts may not be in the best position, physically or emotionally, to reply quickly.

And finally, when building your contact list, try to be realistic. While it’s possible, don’t bother reaching out to the CEO of a multinational oil and gas firm yet if you’re looking for an internship spot. Connect, instead, to entry-level staff members or to interns in other companies. If you want to get an internship, network with other interns.

BUT I DON’T HAVE THE SKILLS/ I DID NOT STUDY ENGINEERING OR ANY OTHER RELATED COURSE IN THE UNIVERSITY.

You don’t need an engineering degree, or a science-related degree, in fact, to work in the sector. Workers in oil and gas are drawn from a wide range of disciplines – law, accounting, communications, geology, engineering, medicine, etc.

This is possible for three reasons:

  • Diversity of roles.
  • Different requirements for different jobs.
  • Oil and Gas Courses by Training Providers.

Diverse professions are needed.

Typical offshore projects, for example, need workers from other disciplines, not just engineering and geology, to be efficient. Administrative roles may be filled by graduates from the sciences and arts. Also, kitchen staff and medical personnel are employed to cater for the feeding and health needs of workers on the rig.

And that’s just a snapshot of the diverse opportunities in the offshore segment.

Every stage in the oil and gas supply chain – upstream, midstream and downstream – is populated with professionals from different disciplines too.

You don’t even need to be a University graduate.

The public perception is that oil and gas jobs are notoriously hard to get into in Nigeria. But not every role in the industry needs to be filled by a Straight-A student from a reputable university. There are jobs with lower entry requirements.

Reasonably, these jobs don’t come with fat checks. But after getting enough work experience, and studying purposefully, those who fill these brown collar jobs can become well-paid professionals too.

For example, a high performing roustabout with years of experience can rise to become a Foreman and ultimately earn a bigger paycheck.

You can take good Oil and Gas Training Programs.

Training programs are a great route to get into the industry and we at Globat highly recommend it.

A good training program will expose you to the realities of the oil and gas work environment, help you gain the required skills from experienced oil and gas professionals who might even double as mentors.

But how do you find the best training programs in Nigeria?

The best training programs usually have these features:

  • Highly qualified trainers with diverse experience from the world’s leading exploration and production companies.
  • Certification from the Nigerian Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR).
  • A flexible program syllabus tailored to your special needs.
  • Rigorous hands-on training sessions.
  • Proximity to major oil and gas companies in Nigeria.
  • State-of-the-art audio/visual equipment to facilitate interactive training sessions.

I DON’T KNOW HOW TO START.

If you’re stuck about how to start your job hunt in the Nigerian oil and gas industry, then you can consider the following tips below as a starting point:

  1. Join a good oil and gas training program. Ask your trainers to share their job hunting success tips with you and follow their advice. You can also ask them to refer you to professionals within the industry.
  2. Network with workers in the industry and discover what worked for them. Be passionate, enthusiastic and persistent in your interactions with them.
  3. Write your cv properly without any typos.
  4. Get an internship with a company if you’re a recent graduate or if you’re about to participate in the National Youth Service Corps Program.
  5. Combine your sources of information for job openings: use online job boards, your network, newspapers, trade journals, and even social media.
  6. Hire the services of a reputable oil and gas recruitment agency.
  7. And finally, you should get a temporary job while trying to get into the sector to foot your current expenses.

WORKER FATIGUE IN OIL AND GAS EXTRACTION: HOW SUPERVISORS CAN STOP THIS SILENT KILLER.

WORKER FATIGUE IN OIL AND GAS EXTRACTION: HOW SUPERVISORS CAN STOP THIS SILENT KILLER.

Do careless accidents constantly occur on your offshore or onshore rigs? Do members of your crew always seem unmotivated, absent-minded, or slow in responding to situations? Are your productivity levels down? Then workplace fatigue might be a major cause.

In a report on workplace fatigue in the Industrial Psychiatry Journal, Khosro Sadeghniiat-Haghighi and Zohreh Yazdi writes that fatigue not only “influences directly on many people’s physical and mental abilities needed to carry out even simple tasks”, but that it has also been “estimated that fatigued workers in workplaces are costing more than 18 billion dollars a year in the US.”

And that’s in the US alone.

The writers also called fatigued workers “potentially dangerous” and easily irritated. They concluded that fatigue was responsible for the occurrence of some of the most horrible accidents in workplaces. “The world’s worst nuclear power accident occurred at Chernobyl on April 25, 1986, at 1:23 am. The accidents at Three Mile Island, the oil spill from the Exxon Valdez, all occurred between midnight and 6 am. These accidents, along with many transportation accidents on roads, were raised from humans’ fatigue.”

While it is quite tricky to define, many researchers on fatigue agree that it is worse than feeling tired or sleepy and that its common signs include:

  • Excessive tiredness or drowsiness.
  • Physical, mental, or physiological stress.
  • A lack of energy and mental awareness to perform at the required level in its victims.
  • Lack of concentration in victims.
  • Fatigue can’t be solved with motivation or experience. It can happen to anyone.
  • Fatigued workers make more mistakes and can cause serious accidents.

It can happen over a short period, one day; or a long period, weeks and months.

FATIGUE IN OIL AND GAS

Fatigue is a universal problem. It affects every kind of workplace; although there are some sectors that, by the nature of their activities, expose their workers to fatigue.

One of such sectors is oil and gas.

Valerie Jones of Rigzone.com notes eight to nine of the fatigue risk factors published in a special report by the US National Safety Council in 2017. Doing shift work, working during high-risk hours, working on physically or mentally demanding jobs, doing long shifts, working for long weeks, sleep loss, no rest breaks, low rest breaks between shifts and long commutes from residence to the workplace – all these can be found among workers in the oil and gas industry.

“Working in oil and gas construction projects is both challenging and hazardous due to the remote and hostile work environment and the demanding shift work schedules, which often necessitate daily adaptation.” writes Margaret Chan in *The Construction Management and Economics*. “These occupational hazards are often associated with fatigue, and stress-related risk factors and accidents are a possible outcome.”

Already, oil and gas companies that wish to improve their workforce productivity have started to invest in systems and to empower their supervisors to manage fatigue among their employees.

Shell Nigeria is reputed for successfully using a Fatigue Risk Management system to improve its workers’ performance across departments.

WHY FATIGUE IS VERY DANGEROUS

Managing a team of extraction or construction workers are naturally demanding. Supervisors must work to reduce accidents, increase the rate of productivity among workers, and monitor their work progress. They should also design an effective schedule all-around mechanical pressure, noise, long work hours, under any weather condition, around high-risk chemicals and gases and under the risk of unexpectedly extended work hours.

You’ll need to manage fatigue among your team and to personally avoid it too if you want to achieve your goals with lesser hassle.

Here’s what might happen if you don’t:

Accidents

When working with dangerous equipment, heavy tools, or under a hazardous environment, the most hazardous thing to do is lose your concentration.

But fatigued workers do this all the time. They might even misplace materials, fall asleep, or forget to use safety gear.

Which is why accidents, and terrible ones at that, have long been associated with the oil and gas sector. This is worse when you consider that without human errors, the offshore and onshore work environment would still be a dangerous place to work.

A guide on managing fatigue in the workplace published by the International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association (IPICEA) and International Organisation of Oil and Gas Producers backs this up:

“Investigations into some of the worst industrial and environmental accidents of the past 30 years have identified fatigue as a major contributory factor to the incident. In some of these cases, fatigue was not the sole cause. Rather, there was an initial difficulty such as a technical fault. But because the operators were fatigued, they did not manage the situation adequately, and the situation escalated to an accident.”

Margaret Chan also says that “Working in oil and gas construction projects is both challenging and hazardous due to the remote and hostile work environment and the demanding shift work schedules, which often necessitate daily adaptation. These occupational hazards are often associated with fatigue, and stress-related risk factors and accidents are a possible outcome.”

Fatigue kills productivity

This is proven in the article. “U.S. workforce: prevalence and implications for lost productive time” which notes that the majority of lost productive time is caused by a fall in performance rather than worker absenteeism.

Low productivity can cause you headaches by forcing you to work harder to achieve targets that you used to hit easily. It will also endanger your progress in the oil and gas industry as an extraction supervisor.

HOW SUPERVISORS CAN MANAGE FATIGUE

Fatigue is difficult to avoid in the average workplace. Particularly in oil and gas construction or extraction because the factors that cause it are an integral part of the work.

However, experts and stakeholders have been able to develop a flexible strategy to support oil and gas companies in managing fatigue. This strategy is called the Fatigue Risk Management System (FRMS)

The Fatigue Risk Management System (FRMS)

A fatigue risk management system helps you to manage fatigue and to reduce it from happening to your workforce by considering the unique challenges in your workplace and your company’s objectives. It is custom-made by experts for your special situation because, as studies have shown, there is no one-size-fits-all solution to fatigue.

FRMS also includes regular risk assessment strategies so that you can identify if progress is being made, and how far.

According to the guide by the International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association (IPICEA) and International Organisation of Oil and Gas Producers on managing worker fatigue in the oil and gas industry,

“A clear advantage is that the FRMS approach provides greater operational flexibility, rather than adhering to strict hours-of-work restrictions. It can be designed to accommodate staff and their requirements best; and so is much more flexible, while at the same time more robust at managing the risks from fatigue. Unlike approaches based on compliance with legislation, the FRMS approach considers the work activity and environment and provides a mix of controls, metrics, and KPIs as a means of determining effectiveness.”

Other Tactics

You can:

  • Reassess the time of shifts, lengths, your work environment and its effects on workers, and what the solutions are by consulting with experts on fatigue.
  • Encourage senior management to sponsor training programs on fatigue for workers.
  • Encourage workers to sleep well and to exercise regularly.

P.S.

Depending on your organization, you may not have full authority to make these changes.

The smart option is to inform senior management of the need for a fatigue risk management system and to ensure that they support the fight against fatigue with the adequate budget and professional support.

References

  1. Chan M. Fatigue: the most critical accident risk in oil and gas construction. Construction Management and Economics. 2011; 29(4): 341-353.
  2. IPICEA/OGP. Managing fatigue in the workplace: a guide for oil and gas industry supervisors and occupational health practitioners. 2007.
  3. Ricci JA, Chee E, Lorandeau AL, Berger J. Fatigue in the U.S. workforce: prevalence and implications for lost productive work time. J Occup Environ Med. 2007;49(1):1–10.
  4. Sadeghniiat-Haghighi K, Yazdi Z. Fatigue management in the workplace. Ind Psychiatry Journal. 2015;24(1):12–7.

Risk Management in the Oil and Gas Industry

Risk Management in the Oil and Gas Industry

What is risk management?

Risk management is the identification, evaluation, and prioritization of risks. It is accompanied by coordinated and economical application of resources to minimize, monitor, and control the probability or impact of unfortunate events or to maximize the realization of opportunities.

The above definition is a general definition for most (or all) businesses. For every business however, this definition may be tweaked to suit that businesses niche.

What is risk management in oil and gas?

Risk management in oil and gas is basically the identification, evaluation, and prioritization of risks in the oil and gas sector. This may be on the drilling rigs, semi-submersibles, engineering equipment, refineries, etc.

There are three major categories of risks in the oil and gas sector. They are:

  • Economic risk
  • Political risk and
  • Environmental risk

ECONOMIC RISK:

Oil and gas economic risks are hugely affected by money, the economy at every given point in time. Some factors that can affect oil and gas economically are:

  1. Oil price collapse. The rise and fall in the price of oil greatly affect the economy and in turn, affects products made with oil and gas raw materials. When there is a rise in the price of oil, there is almost always an equal rise price of other products.
  2. Capital cost overruns. These are “one-time bill payments” that later cost way more than was originally envisioned in the budgeting phase.
  3. High operating costs. This is no news. The cost of running and maintaining an oil rig is pretty high.


POLITICAL RISK:

A small change in a country’s management or political philosophies can result in a re-evaluation of the country’s oil and gas reserves. Some changes include: change in taxation structure, change in economic terms and revision of production shares.


ENVIRONMENTAL RISK:

Environmental risks involving oil and gas are not foreign to many. For example pollution, flood, fire, ecological damage, etc.  

Managing risks in the oil and gas industry involve more than just identifying the risks. Therefore it requires dedicated workers that would assess portfolios for optimization and using complex mathematical models, assess various risk-return relationships. Using a probability profile to evaluate risk make better-informed decisions than making single point evaluations.
In conclusion, learning about the intricate details of managing oil and gas risks will enable you to do more for yourself, the society and the planet. Join forces with those who strive hard to make the oil and gas industry a low-risk venture. Learn about health and safety with the Globat Skills Health and Safety training course.

oil workers should follow safety tips at all times

10 Safety Tips for Offshore Oil Rig Workers

One of the most hazardous jobs is working on an offshore oil rig. Oil rig injuries occur despite the most careful situations. There are numerous occurrences of falls, fires, explosions and deaths on oil rigs. Oil rig injuries do not occur in Nigeria alone. In the global oil and gas industry, the rate of workplace deaths that occurred during activities for oil and gas operations is 62%.

The international oil and gas industry has adopted the “safety first, job second” culture to reduce the rate of accidents and fatalities on offshore oil rigs. If you’re looking to significantly lower your risk of oil rig injury, here are 10 safety tips for offshore oil rig workers that can help.

 

Cultivate a “Safety First” Mindset

Prioritising safety should be forefront in the minds of the rig manager, supervisors, and most importantly, the workers. Regardless of their position, upholding a safe environment should be instilled into each rig worker. This includes strict adherence to standards that may prevent possible hazards. Also, ensure your staff know what to do in cases of accidents such as fire outbreaks.

Oil rig contractors, subcontractors and executives should follow the guidelines for a safe work environment. If they commit to safety procedures, workers will emulate their footsteps.

Collaborate with Local Emergency Response Community

Develop a relationship with local emergency response organisations. Handle emergencies swiftly through arrangements with first responders, rig hands, health professionals and local emergency response communities.

Discuss the most common hazards and determine how best they can help in cases of emergency. If possible, take them on a tour of the drilling site and highlight efficient ways to handle an emergency. Both teams should work together and utilise their resources in the event of an emergency.

Set up Training Sessions for Workers

Workers need regular training on current safety policies in the oil and gas industry. Therefore, ensure your workers attend regular oil and gas safety training.

Partner with top petroleum skills outfits to provide necessary onsite or offsite training for your workers. Your dedication to safety will rub off on your workers and help them make more conscious efforts to keep the work environment safe.

Carry Out Standard Site Maintenance

The floors, passageways and corridors should be cleared to avoid struck-by hazards. Fluids that may drip on the floor of the rig during pipe handling operations should be cleaned up. Display signs to direct workers to the necessary tools which can be used in cases of emergency. Ensure all areas with higher rates of falls and spillage are equipped with spill kits.

Actively Monitor Mental Health of Workers

Research conducted on oil rig workers in 2014 revealed masculine work cultures caused men to internalise their feeling of exhaustion and stress. Their physical and mental health hangs by a thread until it’s too late.

Eliminate the “tough guy” stereotype typically associated with workers in the oil and gas industry. Promote a transparent and open environment through training techniques and team exercises. Male oil rig workers find it easier to ask for help when the work environment promotes a sense of community.

Wear Personal Protective Equipment

Qualitative protective gear is essential to avoiding injury. Workers must wear compulsory personal protective equipment. This includes steel boots, safety goggles, hard hats, hand gloves, and fireproof outfit. Many workers do not wear some of their protective gear because it makes them uncomfortable. Insist on them wearing it or they do not enter the site. It is better to be uncomfortable than to suffer an accident.

Reward Reports about Safety Concerns

Encourage employees to report safety concerns and reward them for their efforts. Management should take these reports seriously. It is easier to cultivate an atmosphere of safety-first when employees can report hazardous conditions without the fear of punitive measures.

If the report includes a safety hazard, work must stop. Although this might seem counter-productive, protecting an employee from a dangerous condition supersedes production.

Install an In-Vehicle Monitoring System (IVMS)

Motor vehicle accidents account for the highest number of fatal incidents in the industry. A recorded 40% of oil and gas workers killed on the job were as a result of a highway vehicle incident while transporting to and from wells. Monitor driver behaviour to analyse poor driving habits. It helps you ascertain what to do in order to increase the productivity of your drivers.

Regularly Communicate Safety

health and safety manualHold frequent safety talks for your teams. Safety measures cannot be over-emphasised. Organise lectures and use small interactive groups. Encourage them to ask questions. Publish the latest safety procedures and distribute them as compulsory reading material for staff.

Keep Machinery Well-Maintained

While working on offshore rigs, it is of utmost importance that machines are in top shape. To avoid untimely breakdown and keep your workers safe, conduct regular maintenance machinery checks.

Convey the significance of inspection and maintenance to your workers. Proper maintenance prevents the sudden breakdown of the machinery that could potentially cause hazards. Fix or change faulty or weak machines immediately. Implement a health and safety programme that includes occasional examination, tests and quality control processes.

Final Thoughts

Safety consciousness is one of the most important aspects of working on an offshore oil rig. Most of the accidents that occur in offshore rigs are preventable. Implement these guidelines to reduce the likelihood of accidents on your next oil and gas project.