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Top Safety Tips for the Oil and Gas Industry

Written by Billy Lowery on June 14, 2018

Oil and gas is an industry with a certain amount of hazard built in. When you’re working with any kind of natural resources and large equipment, you’ll find dangers. Add to that the presence of flammables, fumes, and falls, and you have a major undertaking on your hand when it comes to safety. Given that the hazards inherent in the field aren’t going away any time soon, it’s important to spend a significant amount of time on health and safety promotion.

Here are some tips for getting started.

 

Look at ALL of your health and safety data - Company Wide

This means carefully examining at the reports of small issues, not just larger ones. It means taking seriously reports of incidents that almost happened, not just the ones that did. It means the safety concerns that appeared to be a problem, but that turned out to be non-issues once they were researched more thoroughly.

In many cases, people focus almost exclusively on major safety problems. And this makes sense, to a degree. These are urgent issues that need to be addressed immediately, lest they cause major property and environmental damage, terrible PR, and loss of life. But the bigger picture is also critical.

Small hazards grow into larger ones. Today’s near-misses become tomorrow’s accidents. And the constant presence of things that look dangerous but aren’t means that people become blind to the real hazards when they arise, which in turn results in careless behavior. Keeping the big picture in mind means you can head off major issues before they start.

Custom CloseWatch dashboards will can help you track and analyze all your safety reports. See trends, route information instantly, and react to issues–on a global scale.

 

Examine trends and underlying causes

So you’re looking at all your data, and you’ve got a pretty good grip on what your health and safety situation is right now. But there are two key questions you need to ask yourself if that information is really going to be used to the fullest:


  • Why did this happen?
  • What can be done to prevent the issue?

The first question is about underlying causes. You’ve got a large number of hand injuries in X location. What is the cause of that? Are people failing to wear the appropriate PPE? Is there a lack of training on certain equipment? Have routines changed recently, leading to increased accidents as workers adjust? Only once you know the cause can you really begin to shrink those incidents in a meaningful way.

The second question is related to trends. Can you use the information in your CloseWatch Safety Dashboard to predict future issues? Do vehicle accidents increase whenever shifts are adjusted? Are there certain times of day when hazards are more likely to be noticed? If you notice a trend, you can act on it and get ahead of what might otherwise be your next safety incident.

 

Reflect and respond

You’re working on looking at all of your data, analyzing it, and getting ahead of potential issues before they start. But how is that working for you? If you don’t pause to reflect on the effectiveness of any new health and safety initiatives you’ve taken, you won’t know what parts of them are really serving as intended, and which still need to be improved.

 

Stay in touch.

Of course, all of this works from the assumption that you have an excellent system in place for reporting health and safety issues. Without accurate and up-to-date information, there’s nothing to collect, analyze, or reflect on. And the more difficult reporting is, the more likely it is that people will see little things and think “Eh, it’s not worth the trouble of reporting that.” FirstHand is a reporting tool that is both portable and intuitive, putting the power to build a safer work environment in the hands of each and every worker. Want to see how FirstHand could work for you? Request a demo to learn more.

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