An inherently risk-prone industry will never have its hazards entirely mitigated, but it can be made as safe as possible and that’s what industry-leaders are pursuing today. The benefits of this improved safety are two-fold, in that fewer accidents mean fewer people killed or injured, but it also means a diminished number of environmentally-damaging events, as well. The team here at TriStone Holdings Ltd, an emergent UK oil company, wanted to look at some of the industry risks, and what’s been done about them.
What Are The Risks?
Firstly, then, we should establish what some of the most commonly cited examples of risk are within the oil and natural gas industries. There are few industries where safety is further from merely hoop-jumping exercises than the oil industry. A failure to adhere to adequate health and safety measures can have catastrophic consequences. This isn’t hyperbole, this is a fact. Industry hazards present themselves in various forms, including:
- Vehicle collisions
- Caught-in/between incidents
- Explosions and fires
- Working in a confined space
- Machine hazards
This is by no means an exhaustive list and just goes to show both how brave the professionals within this industry are, and the importance of putting safety at the forefront of any drilling operation, something which is imperative to the team at TriStone Holdings Ltd. What then, has the industry put in place to help reduce the number of these accidents?
How The Industry Is Keeping Workers Safe
Many of the accidents and fatalities suffered in the oil industry is as a result of vehicle collisions. The oil industry is one which comprises several large logistical cogs, long-distance travelling is one of those cogs. Oil is often welled in remote places, meaning transport drivers have to drive incredibly long distances, placing them at significant risk of fatigue and, therefore, at an increased risk of accidents. Though it seems simple, one of the best things that can be done is communicating to people the risks of fatigue, and educating them on the importance of getting enough sleep. The onus is also then on the employer not to push workers beyond what would be reasonable in terms of driving stints, purely for the sake of profit.
Further to this, the industry is placing greater emphasis on the importance of on-site communication between employers and employees. GPS technologies are being implemented and handed out to drillers so that should they need to be found, or an accident is known to have occurred, time will not be wasted in efforts to locate them. Moreover, the developments in drone technologies don’t only benefit pipeline maintenance, they help give a greater overall bird’s-eye view of a site, helping to pinpoint risks and hazards before they further develop. Stricter regulations and HSE guidelines are also making workers and employers think twice about cutting any corners as the repercussions are now more severe than they were a decade ago. This commitment to doing things ‘by the book’ will invariably reduce the number of avoidable accidents occurring moving forward.
Recent Industry Safety Statistics
The oil and gas industries have had a rocky relationship with health and safety, traditionally, to say the least. We can, however, be optimistic that the industry is very much headed in the right direction today. That is what matters. In fact, according to the International Association of Oil & Gas Producers, their latest annual safety report (compiled in 2018) found that annual fatalities had decreased from 30 in 2017 to 27 in 2018 (this with an increase in average hours worked, as well, it’s worth noting). Whilst the industry must, of course, strive to bring this number down to zero, it’s encouraging to see that safer practices are being adopted across the board in the oil and gas industries, and that said methods are having a demonstrable impact.
So, if you’d like to find out more about our work, and how we plan to keep our teams safe as a UK oil company, then get in touch! Contact us today on 0800 055 7079.