World Oilfield Forum
Safety professionals hurt their credibility by not being competent and by instituting program slogans and goals that are, on their face, nonsense. As a result they fail to create the buy-in on the job site that is required to get the generally change resistant men in the field.
An example, we have a safety goal of zero HSE incidents. This is only a realistic goal if you can manage to control every variable in the world that can affect operations. Until we recruit Jesus Christ as an operations manager I am not hopeful that such a measure of control is possible. But the idiots in the safety office start to believe their rhetoric after a while and end up assuming that all incidents are avoidable with reasonable effort. So they come out with observations like, "had truck not been occupying the same part of the road as the dear it would not have collided with the dear." It must have, therefore been the drivers fault for putting the truck on that spot of road at that time. It doesn't take many such safety idiots to discredit the program in the eyes of the workers. Once that happens change is much more likely to be resisted even if it is good. With a lack of credibility, the burden of proof lies with the safety program.
I have went through OSHA Technology Technician Program of Odessa College a few years back so I can look at stuff from a safety mans point of view. I am now working for a company far from the oilfield til I get back out there. I was thinking of a change for a while. As far as safety concerns you tell these people who there is a safety concern and they address it then write it on a White erase board where it sits until most of the workers forget get about it or get tired of hearing about it although the last words you hear for the day are "Have a Safe Day". Safety is not an option if you want to go home so it's a way of life not a way of thinking. As far as Safety Hands go if they know about the job they r preaching about then they would realize that to make a job safer is not to put a ridiculous mandate on it Kind of like wearing a hard-hat in a car wreck will help save your life, Ha now that's funny.
I’m amazed that my question has had the many responses it has, and I’m thankful for the feedback you all give.
I am in the safety profession and that’s why my question means a lot to me. I started working as a roustabout building board roads at the start of my oilfield career and then I rough-necked on land and offshore before I was asked to move to safety.
Ultimately, I believe, like many of you do, that a safety position in the oilfield should be held by those that have been a “Hand”. That may sound insulting to my fellow safety friends who never threw a chain or climbed a derrick but I’d rather be candid.
There are exceptions – I met men and women in this profession who pay attention to the jobs, ask questions, and learn vicariously. They have surprised me both at their knowledge and their ability to see the real hazards on a drilling rig, not just the gauge on a fire extinguisher.
Some of the very best safety people I’ve met haven’t even been in the safety profession; I’m talking about Company Men, Tool-Pushers and Drillers who have the backbone to stop the job if it’s unsafe regardless of what it cost or what bonus might be snatched away from them. Anyway, I got long-winded, just wanted everyone to know how much I appreciate the feedback.
I think a lot of people are missing the point of a safety man. He is not there to criticize or shut down a job. A proper safety man will teach safety culture. The manner of working safe. How to recognize hazards. How to think with safety in mind. It is the job of senior personnel to set procedures, ensure their personnel are following proper safety procedures. That they report hazards and correct them. Every job must start with a plan. This plan should have been formulated by senior personnel. If a plan starts to go off track then the job should be stopped and a new plan made. This is part of the safety culture. It has been found through accident investigations that most accidents happened because the plan changed or was altered during the job. Safety culture is the recognition of these changes.
So basically what I am saying, it is up to senior personnel to ensure the safe working conditions and procedures are in place for personnel to follow and it is their responsibility to ensure these are corrected as necessary. A stop job policy is one of the best tools to help encourage a good safety culture. The safety man is a tool to aid these people in the understanding and implementing of the correct procedures and help train personnel in the procedures they would use. So a safety man does not have to be oilfield experienced to be able to do a credible job but it would be advantageous.
The majority of the rig Safety Personnel DO NOT have the required training or expertise to perform the job.
I work many places around the globe. Many say 'what do you know'. I answer to them, 'I have been in 'many'operations before we had 'Safety' personnel on board', over the last 35++ years.
NOW we have people who cannot even interpret the 'STOP' (or whatever company terminology is used) information that is submitted. I have seen the mis-interpretation of these 'cards' so many times, purely because the Safety personnel DO NOT understand what the person who is submitting the card is trying to express.
This leads to less participation by the crew. An other frequent 'demand' by Safety is the call for AT LEAST one card submission per day, or Service Hand time sheets are reviewed negatively. This also DOES NOT improve the quality of Safety, it becomes a NUMBERS game to fulfill quotas for statistics.
Accidents and incidents are on the RISE, NOT REDUCING, as can be seen on discussion sites like 'Drilling Ahead'.
My interpretation is, the SAFETY personnel are NOT experienced, they DO NOT get outside enough (as they are transferring data from cards to electronic so the department in town has figures to play with), where they should be to observe and encourage the crew.
MOST inductions I have seen worldwide are 'hurried' because, 'I have seen it before' and 'I need to get to bed, or I am needed outside'.
While a NEW inductee to an operation is having his first drink (coffee/tea) after the induction, ask him/her which lifeboat they are assigned to, MOST will not be able to answer. Try it, then believe me.
Knowledge of drilling operations without experience does not make a good safety man.
A safety man without rig hands-on experience cannot coach rig crews properly on safe practices.
A safety man should know the specific risks and hazards associated with the different operations and the safe working procedures so that when he makes an observation (or read an observation) he acts on the basis of knowledge and previous hands-on experience.
just wanted to add to the forum, new to the site. I've got 15 yrs experience, from galley,rsbt, floorhand,derricks, motorman. I'm going into the safety department to ( help ) make a safer work place. I will be open minded and open to all suggestions. thanks Jerry
I am a Safety Compliance Specialist for a Major Oil Company in North Dakota. I agree with alot of the post below. The biggest problem is the young guns coming into the field with no clue how a rig run much less safety. I have worked as a roughneck in the LA swamps and Gulf deepwater,and I have all my OSHA Certs. So I have the right to feel this way, and understand how the roughnecks feel. I once hated to see THE SAFETY MAN OUTSIDE. I try to bring a postive spin on safety with the rig hands. I understand that they have a job to do and a hole to drill, my goal is to see each of the guys go home at the end of the hitch. I can say I the best crews and rigs in The Bakken, they are smart and safe workers. But I feel the most important time is rig up and testing, there is not room for short cuts during this time. But yet the company want to hurry up and spud, yes I will shut down the job if the BOP's dont test or leak. Yes I have the backing of the backing of the Company Man to do so. They key is to build a postive relationship with each one on location and proof that one cares abouth the well being of the crew members. But it boils down to the Rig Manager and Driller to over see the safety of the crews while on duty. Im just a extra tool for them while on location. I have not where I begin, and very thankful to be back on the rigs.
Jim Riggs Nailed it Down " Management Has Failed Big F " I Have been on Rigs for over 25 years and just in the last 15 yrs or So this "Safety man term-position has come-up" First time I saw a Safety man it was a Tool-pusher that got his arm ripped off in a catline.. Part of the settlement to Keep a Job..! sad thing was the Driller and Crew refused to use the catline rope Because it had Fraid hanging strands and the Tool-pusher and management refused to Buy Anything and I mean anything..12 cold Shots in a Spinning chain broke 4 times the last time it hit me making up a mouse hole connection we Mutinized on the tool-pusher a real worthless jerk that was drinking buddy with the owner,Anyway he came up to critasize How we made up our Joints, How Hard I must have been getting on it All That,... I Was on the backside of mouse hole next connection..LOL SORRY just thinking of the A-Hole anyway spinning up good right up to were Jerk chain started to move and POW right in the Kisser Knocked out 3 front teeth and some Bone, Never seen him again and got a new spinning chain that day Hotshoted a spinning chain..Got my tool pushing job that day and did'nt even have a Near miss for over 2 yrs until it stacked. Thinkers,, All My Hands think before and think out the Reaction to the Action intended..It Works and can be tought... Anyway Safety jobs ARE NOT Given to those By What they Know BUT WHO they Know ! thats a Fact. I have made the Offer to STEP DOWN to SAFETY PAY they made $1000 less then a Driller..! back then, No way " Office Patterson Quote" You take things alittle to serious" Really- Yes I Will tell a Wormy Driller to SLOW Down and Wormy Pusher to get rid of that Accident Waiting to Happen..! I Don't care if he is your brother's kid..! And Finally all the men Falling outta the Derrick in North Dakota crying shame..! Who and I mean Who Let him Go up there..? And I have Never seen Any safety men Climb to the board and check it out during operation. Enough makes me sick. I am still in the patch and act like a Professional should act on these Multi million dollar Operations and My Hands Love working for me.My Hands are the1 out of a 100
Quit giving us old guys a hard time for No Good reason, The old days a Whipping owners over Pay checks and Cocky derrickhands getting whipped and whipping that Late everyday driller relief are over.
Blow the Blood off the
Floor and let's Get Back in the Hole...