The oil and gas industry is one of the most hazardous industries in the United States. A combination of flammable chemicals, powerful equipment, and processes leads to dangerous and deadly incidents, all thanks to high temperatures. And, that’s the reason why supervisors and managers need to identify and communicate safety controls.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (2015) shed light on 120 workplace deaths in oil and gas extraction and mining. Out of 120 accidents, 74 of these occurred with the oil and gas operations support activities.
And that’s where the importance of safety programs step in. The enforcement of these programs helps address the worker safety issues with ease. It helps in reducing the rate of workplace injuries and accidents.
But, the real question arises: How to improve worker safety? Well, the below-mentioned are sure to enumerate some to-dos:
1. Work in Coherence with the Local Emergency Response Community:
Maintaining overall employee safety should be the topmost concern of any industry. All you’ve to do is develop a good relationship with a local emergency response organization and work consistently to establish an ongoing communication flow.
The results will be visible only when your company resources are capable of handling emergencies successfully and swiftly. And, to make that possible, ensure that your emergency responders, health professionals, and rig hands work together as a team.
By doing so, you’ll be able to discuss the specific health and safety hazards at the drilling location. With this, you’ll know the maxims of assisting one another during these emergencies.
Also, take your emergency responders on a drilling site tour to clear ideas about approaching potential emergencies with complete ease.
2. Invest in Safety Programs for Uniting Workers:
Always encourage an environment in which employers deal with the employees respectfully. Embrace a personal approach to safety training for allowing workers to communicate with one another with ease. Indulging in such maxims, workers will build emotional connections to build friendship and trust, which will improve overall worker safety.
“Do not think because an accident hasn’t happened to you that it can’t happen.”
– Safety saying, early 1900’s
3. Actively Monitor Worker Mental Health:
One of the factors that negatively impact worker safety is company culture. Thus, it’s time to eliminate the age-old stereotypes and promote a transparent and open environment for worker’s safety. One such step can be indulging in numerous training techniques and team-building exercises. Also, build a sense of trust and community with workers. These will make it easy to seek help, admit mistakes, obey laws, and advise to create a positive and safe environment for employees.
Research conducted on mobile workers in Alberta Oil Sands revealed the definition of masculine work cultures and what it takes to be a man in these environments. Men can only internalize their feelings of stress, exhaustion, and more while leaving their mental and physical well-being hanging on a thread unless it’s too late. Thereby, ensure that this isn’t the case in your organization.
4. Oil and Gas Insurance:
From land leasing to sound operations, every company has some unique risks with different insurance requirements. Oil and gas companies, too, need some coverage for safeguarding their workers’ life and well-being.
These can be a general liability to cover damages to the life and property of the employees. With oil and gas insurance, companies can protect their workers by paying for employee medical bills, lost wages, in addition to other benefits in case of injuries. You can also ensure your workers from pollution liability. The workmen need it specifically if your critical work involves fossil fuel supply chain, product failure, or oil/gas spills.
5. Ensure Worksite Familiarities:
Before hiring any person, ensure everybody has a clear understanding of their role and responsibilities, in addition to the safety precautions. Your workers need some procedures and hazard checks to understand the functioning of the enterprise and their roles and responsibilities. These also come in handy during a shift in handovers and changes on work sites.
6. Consistent Housekeeping:
You surely don’t want workplace accidents. So, the bare minimum you can do is implement clear signage for directing workers to safety and emergency equipment for combating hazards. By doing so, you can reduce the chances of fatal accidents by keeping pathways, floors, and work areas clear of unwanted items. With this, the possibilities for falls and struck-by hazards become negligible.
For instance, you can equip the problem areas with spill kits during oil or chemical spills.
7. Think of a 5S System
Experts suggest using a 5S system for improving workflow and reducing waste. The best you can do is apply strategic labeling techniques for directing, warning, and communicating information with workers.
You can also think of color-coding workplace materials. By doing this, workers can quickly identify equipment, specific tools, and other things essential for work performance.
8. Provide Visual Communication Channels:
Eliminate miscommunication and confusion using reliable and legible signs to convey dangers and safety instructions. Create custom signs for communicating procedures specific to work for sites and crews. Just replace the illegal, worn-out, and outdated signage as soon as possible. Also, the floor marking, if faded, needs re-application.
9. Reevaluate Safety Signage during Project Transitions:
When projects, worksites, and crews change, always take time to assess labels in correct areas. After this, communicate procedures and present hazards to your workers before initiating the next project. By doing so, they’ll know the details and dangers of specific locations.
10. Stay a Step Ahead with Machine Maintenance:
During offshore working, machines are your organizations’ life-blood, especially when you’re thousands of miles away from the shore. The best you can do is conduct regular machinery checks to ensure worker safety and premature machine failures.
Communicate to your team the essence of regular maintenance checks. Once all your workers are on the same page, you’ll be making accident prevention your number one intention.
Safety supervisors and managers need to have resources for maintaining optimal safety at all times. After all, it’s about your worker’s safety and your organization’s reputation. A sound business will always take steps for having resources that are the most optimal for their safety operations while including best practices guidance.
Hopefully, the tips mentioned above work wonders for ensuring top-notch employee safety during all times. In the end, good worker health should always be your most incredible wealth!