Oil and gas industry determined to buck a safety trend

Claim rates usually rise as activity increases

The downside of an uptick in oil and gas activity is this: injury rates in young, new employees go up. A lot.

After the 2008/2009 recession, Enform analyzed data from the Alberta Workers’ Compensation Board and Statistics Canada. It found that by 2012, the industry’s workforce had increased by 25 per cent (based on person-years). But the injury claim rate had increased by 29 per cent. And the claim rate among workers 15 to 24 years old had soared by 94 per cent. Continue reading

Zero is within energy industry’s grasp

Average claim rates drop 60% or more in 15 years

Zero. Nothing. Nada. Nil.

By definition, zero is the only whole number that is neither positive nor negative. That changes dramatically when you’re talking about safety.

Zero is the ultimate positive goal in Canada’s oil and gas industry. No injuries. No lost lives. No lost production. No loss of equipment. Continue reading

A health and safety executive recounts her son’s injury in oil and gas

First safety was professional. Then it was personal

In the 1980s, safety was professional for Maureen Shaw. And then in the 1990s, it became deeply personal.

Shaw had worked for years in occupational health and safety, including in the oil and gas industry.

But she never imagined those risks would strike so close to home. Continue reading

How to influence safe behaviour through Brain Based Safety

Brain Based Safety comes to Petroleum Safety Conference (PSC)

Safety is complicated and yet for years, safety professionals have looked for magic formulas to reduce workplace injuries, deaths and damages.

Juni Daalmans, the founder and owner of Brain Based Safety in the Netherlands, says effective safety formulas are based on attitudes and behaviours: how we think affects how we act. Continue reading

Black Hawk combat veteran to speak about leadership

Leadership has long been recognized as a key part of safety culture.

And Keni Thomas knows all about leadership.

When the combat veteran speaks at Enform’s Petroleum Safety Conference May 2-4, 2017 in Banff, his audience will hear compelling stories of how taking charge helped save his and other lives in war.

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The fortunate side of Mitch Arsenault’s heart attack

One morning last summer, the night crew on Precision Drilling rig 521 had just finished its shift without incident.

“It was an evening the same as any other,” says Precision rig manager Tim Ismond. “The crew had changed shifts and the safety meetings were conducted. We were going to put our top drive together on the floor of the rig.” Continue reading

How to beat the big ice challenge – on and off the job

Ice makes work in the oil and gas industry bone-chilling for two reasons: one—it’s cold and, two, it’s a slippery and unpredictable hazard.

“The biggest challenge with ice,” says Dave Hanik, a Drumheller, Alberta-based lead mechanic for the Clearwater Business Unit at Encana, “is that you often can’t see it, so you face the unexpected. You may be walking and all of a sudden you start sliding sideways. You might miss an access road in your vehicle and then find yourself sliding on black ice. A pipeline might be frozen, but you don’t know exactly where.”

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Incident command expert urges oil and gas industry to prepare and practice for outlier, extreme events

Facing the black swan of your operations

If you don’t know your company’s black swan, it’s time to face it, says Greg Solecki, an associate director of emergency planning at Sandhurst Consulting in Calgary. The company specializes in training leaders in crisis planning and responses.

A term coined by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, a professor of risk engineering at NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering, a black swan is defined as: “First, it is an outlier, as it lies outside the realm of regular expectations, because nothing in the past can convincingly point to its possibility. Second, it carries an extreme impact. Third, in spite of its outlier status, human nature makes us concoct explanations for its occurrence after the fact, making it explainable and predictable.”

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It’s winter: time to talk tires

Winter, all-weather and all-season tires perform in different ways

The first time you drive on freshly fallen, calf-high snow with winter tires is pretty satisfying. While the car next to you is slip-sliding, your tires grasp the road with a vice-like grip.

It’s like your treads have teeth and they’re chomp, chomp, chomping through snow and slush to gain traction. Suddenly, you are much more connected to the road and a whole lot safer.

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