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Drilling It Safely

Research project aims to improve safety by learning from success

Figure 1: This simplified model for success, failure and variability illustrates how individuals handle deviations from normal variation in work performance.

Many theories, concepts and perspectives are available to the petroleum industry to help it understand failure. Similarly, there is a rich array of methods to analyze the causes of accidents and critical events. A great effort is put into such analyses and dissemination of results, by the industry and by national authorities. However, when it comes to successful operations, the industry lacks the language and theoretical “infrastructure” to conceptualize success. Further, there is a scarcity of methods for analyzing and learning from successful operations.

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Improved techniques, mixing units can minimize crew exposure to caustic soda on drilling rigs

Many companies in the drilling industry still use traditional techniques for mixing caustic soda. This includes using 55-gal barrels with connected paddles to facilitate the mixing operation. Some drilling companies, however, have upgraded their units by adding an electrical motor for agitation purposes, instead of using manual handles.

Hazardous substances cause 74,000 work-related deaths in EU countries each year. This indicates that more people die from dangerous substances than from workplace incidents. Caustic soda is one of the hazardous substances. A significant number of employees are away from work due to caustic soda skin burns, which can take weeks or months to heal.

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Kenny Baker of Cactus Drilling wins IADC Chairman’s Anniversary Award

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Kenny Baker, Drilling Superintendent for Cactus Drilling, received the inaugural IADC Chairman’s Anniversary Award on 5 November at the 2015 IADC Annual General Meeting in San Antonio, Texas. The award recognizes individuals working in the field who have helped improve performance for the drilling industry. In this video, Mr Baker recounts his work at Cactus that led to this award, as well as lessons he’s learned about safety during his career in the industry.

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