Category Archives: Oil and Gas Safety

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.”

Continue reading

Going to pot

Knowing marijuana’s risk

It’s not just a joint . . .

Canadians’ increasingly casual attitude to marijuana has prompted the federal government to promise it will make the substance legal on April 4, national marijuana day, lifting a 97-year-old prohibition on weed.

With its growing acceptance, lots of people might think marijuana is harmless.

But a growing number of experts don’t. One of them is Diana Dow-Edwards, the distinguished visiting research chair in Brain Science and Child and Family Health and Wellness with the Fulbright Canada-Palix Foundation, who’s studied marijuana for more than two decades.

Continue reading

Legalized marijuana will become a matter of policy

This August, Health Canada introduced regulations to make cannabis more accessible for medical purposes. This spring, the federal government plans to make the recreational use of marijuana legal. Continue reading

Marijuana and workplace safety: question and answer with Cameron MacGillivray

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has promised his government will legalize, regulate and restrict access to marijuana. The Liberals announced plans to introduce legalized marijuana on April 20, 4/20, or national cannabis day, and expect to introduce legislation this coming spring. Continue reading

66th Annual Petroleum Safety Conference (PSC) – May 2-4, 2017

66th Annual PSC call for speakers

If you were at last year’s Petroleum Safety Conference (PSC) in Banff last year, you may have noticed a smaller, more intimate gathering where great conversations about safety issues were had. We are continuing the tradition at next year’s Conference, set for May 2-4, 2017. This marks our 66th year (yes, you read that right), and will once again be held in Banff.

Continue reading

When lightning strikes

It’s true. You’re more likely to be hit by lightning than win a lottery jackpot.

For the record, your chances of being struck by lightning are slim. Still, Environment Canada says lightning kills roughly 10 Canadians every year and injures between 100 and 150 others. Your odds increase if you work outside. And they can soar if you find yourself in the wrong place when a thunderstorm rolls through. Continue reading

Avoid these traps

Some 50,000 commercial trappers harvest about 750,000 wildlife pelts (badgers, coyotes, wolves and more) in Canada every year.

Many work in areas with oil and gas operations: from prairies and foothills to boreal forests and mountains across the country. Continue reading

Avoiding the nightmare of roadside wildlife

It’s almost fall. And just as sure as the leaves change colour and the days get shorter, you can expect to see more wildlife on the road.

For big game, the fall is rutting season, a time when they’re intent on mating and nearly oblivious to traffic. Deer and moose can be downright unpredictable, making driving hazardous. Continue reading

Mental health in the workplace: what to watch for, how to help

Are you up for a discussion about mental health in your workplace? If it’s not a topic you’ve given much thought to in the past, you’re not alone.

Continue reading

Alberta bear risk is increasing – why, and what to do to stay safer

Encountering a bear might seem like an adventure for a tourist, safe within the protective shell of a vehicle, but for anyone working outside in a remote area, it can be a terrifying matter of life and death. And for oil and gas workers in Alberta the chances of such an encounter are increasing. Read on to find out why that is, and what you can do to work safely in bear country.

Continue reading