Especially in a constantly evolving industry like ours, companies must focus on the basics when thinking about HSE and training. “Please don’t let this be misconstrued as doing things the way we did 20 years ago. I find this to be a common misperception,” cautioned Dan Rabun, Ensco International chairman, president and CEO.
“The ‘basics’ must evolve and take into account the increased risks in our business, the increased profile in the environments in which we operate, the technological innovations,” Mr Rabun said in his opening address to the 2010 IADC Health, Safety, Environment & Training Conference on 26 January in Houston.
Employees today face a barrage of distractions that make it easy for them to lose focus on the daily execution of their jobs: the global recession, layoffs and job security; volatility of demand for oil and gas and of commodity prices; media, government and public attention on global warming and alternative energy. To stay focused in the midst of these distractions, it’s absolutely critical that safety is a core value of any organization in the industry, he said.
Safety is “simply the right thing to do. And it’s good business because I firmly believe that safe rigs are more efficient, more productive and more reliable,” Mr Rabun continued. Safety as a value “must be properly instilled in every person, understood and accepted in a multicultural work force.”
There are also too many factors in this industry that can’t be controlled. “So we need to concentrate on the things we can control, like culture, safety and operational efficiency,” he said.
Industry also must dedicate more time and resources to training because the risk levels of our operations continue to go up, not down. “Software and automation have become as important as mechanical knowledge, and that implies a complete change in our work force and how we can improve and train for the future,” he said.
“We need to make sure we stay one step ahead in terms of implementing safety measures and processes to prevent injuries to personnel, property and the environment. This will absolutely require collaboration between a number of different parties, which is why we’re all here (at the HSET conference) today.”
Drilling contractors may be competitors in the marketplace, but he pointed out that their futures are also interrelated. “Safety-conscious crews protect the reputation of our industry. Demand for our services will be determined by the world’s perception of the sustainability of oil and gas resources, and governments around the world will formulate their energy policies in part on their perception of our industry’s ability to deliver safe, reliable and environmentally friendly energy.”
“It’s up to each and every one of us to protect our industry’s reputation through our collective actions.”