Best Practices for a Safe Working Environment in the Oil Industry

It's a well-known fact that the oil industry's working environment falls well within the high-risk category. Because of this hazardous environment, there are regulations in place to help ensure safe working conditions in the oil industry. Even so, few other industries self-regulate with as much effort and determination as the oil industry to continuously improve health and safety. To guarantee the wellbeing of each and every employee, safety professionals have to rigorously assess day-to-day working practices within a framework of firm regulations. Here are a few tips to help you create a safer workplace.

Maintain dialogue with your employees
No one can understand how an oil rig works or the ins and outs of a rig's working environment better than those directly involved. Health and safety inspections conducted on oil rigs should always include those representing the workforce. As such, you can attain a much better understanding of the risks and where they lie by communicating dialogue with your employees regularly. You could also gain an insight into the type of work your employees feel uncomfortable performing or areas where they would rather not work. With such knowledge, finding and implementing a solution to their misgivings will be a much easier task.

Be aware of all hazards
You should not take anything for granted. Within the close contact environment of an oil rig, even minor risks can quickly escalate into a big issue. Apart from ensuring small incidents are routinely logged, you should be made aware of such events as soon as they occur. In this way, you can easily get on top of the situation and prevent escalation. During your oil rig's health, safety and environmental inspection, even the smallest of cuts is noted, and in-depth investigations conducted. Finding a solution must be the primary objective.

Maintain basic safety measures
In the oil industry, keeping slips, trips and falls to a minimum is one of the best security measures. You can avoid the occurrence of such incidents with good housekeeping. Make sure spills are cleaned as soon as they occur, and walkways are kept clear of tools and debris. Although proper personal protective equipment can prevent eye and back injuries, you should make sure your employees choose their eye and face protection gear based on the type of hazards they encounter. The use of appropriate gloves for certain jobs might serve as adequate protection against hand injuries. Make sure all your employees know you expect everyone to uphold the work practices and safety measures mentioned above.

Never stop learning
Same as almost every other industry, the learning process never ends. Regardless of what industry you are involved in, there's always something new and room to develop. According to Colin Leyden, an industry expert, the need for oil production is an end-to-end process that involves listening to delegates and learning from practical experience. In the oil industry, health and safety are no exception and sharing the best practices for a safe working environment is an ongoing priority. The oil industry should recognize the importance of collaboration and consequently engage the workforce as well as trade unions through onshore networks and offshore safety committees.

Get to the underlying cause of every problem
Finding a short-term solution to both minor and major hazards is an easy enough exercise. However, the oil industry would benefit immensely from a deeper understanding of the cause. For a long-term solution, you must understand the underlying reason for every problem. You can only ensure the safest possible working environment once you have a complete understanding of said issues. Perhaps you can get to the bottom of a given problem by implementing proactive strategies like fostering enhanced communication systems between your employees and increasing safety related training. In this way, you can hopefully ensure a prevention approach instead of the need to find a cure.

Analyze performance
You can attain a much greater understanding of the areas where potential hazards can occur and come up with solutions to prevent the occurrence of such incidents by analyzing the data surrounding health and safety. For instance, you can realize impressive results from the implementation of analytical software. The results could include a near 100 percent increase in pro-active safety reporting.

Improving the health and safety precautions within your workplace should be a high priority for you. Regardless of what industry you are in, you need to gather and carefully analyze the collected data to form solutions that can help you improve the safety of your organization. In so doing, you will inadvertently enhance the health and wellbeing of your workforce. On the other hand, you will only cause unnecessary risk to your employees if you ignore the on-going advancements in risk assessment software and safety equipment.

Jessica Kane is a professional bl ogger who writes for Federal Steel Supply, Inc., a leading supplier of carbon, alloy and stainless steel pipes, tubes, fittings and flanges.