In the dangerous oil and gas industry, safety training is one of the best ways to manage risk. Training addresses the #1 root cause of energy industry fatalities and injuries: Human error.
These errors wreak havoc on oil and gas companies, costing lives, an average of $1,026,000 per fatality, and long periods of lost productivity. Poor safety training has also been a contributor to some of the world’s biggest ecological disasters, like Deepwater Horizon.
OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, created an online training program called OSHAcademy to help U.S. workers receive high-quality, low-cost training on health and safety issues. Here are some highlights for oil and gas companies.
Offshore Orientation Training
From the moment a new oil and gas worker arrives on site, they’re barraged with potential safety risks. This orientation guides them through the basic safety issues for offshore workers: accepting instruction from authority, incident reporting, safety meetings, alarms, emergency egress, personal protective equipment, drug-free rules, and specific company procedures.
Drugs - both illegal and prescription - are a major threat to the safety of oil and gas operations. This seminar outlines the tough-but-fair policies their employer must follow to ensure workplace safety. They’ll learn about: the importance of sobriety, what’s prohibited, testing procedures, random and incident-related testing, reasonable suspicion, and disclosure of prescription medications.
Hazard and Incident Reporting
This training, which is broken up into two seminars - hazards, and incidents - focuses on how to report dangerous situations. It discusses empowering employees to report risks, following near-miss and incident reporting rules, and using company-provided technology. Employees are educated about industry standards for incident reporting, like: notifying a supervisor within 1 hour, doing written reports within 4 hours, doing preliminary reports within 24 hours, and completing investigations within 7 days.
Behavior-Based Observation Training
Many oil and gas employers now use behavior-based observation, which observes workplace behavior and makes modifications to reduce risk. This seminar educates workers about why their employer may be watching their behavior, how it contributes to better safety, and addresses employees’ common concerns.
Job Planning Training
Organized job planning is important, because “on the fly” decisions can lead to unsafe practices. This seminar teaches on-site oil workers how to plan jobs in advance and put safety procedures into place before work starts. Best practices include: using barrier tape and warning signs, providing correct tools and protective gear, analyzing safety risks, preventing trips and falls, securing permits, and providing work-specific instructions and training.
Contraband Items Training
Some items are prohibited from oil and gas work sites, like firearms, knives, explosives, pressurized containers, incense, and alcoholic beverages. This training seminar focuses on why these items are banned and how violations are handled.
Oil and Gas Safety Quiz
OSHAcademy also provides a wrap-up quiz for oil and gas workers to take after they complete all the training modules listed above. The quiz focuses on key concepts and ideas. While it’s not a guarantee that workers will always follow safety procedures, it’s a good indication of whether or not they grasp the essential concepts.