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5 Tips for Protecting Your Lone Workers in the Oil and Gas Industry

ATHOC / 07.27.17 / Jason Yacey

The oil and gas industry is hazardous. It is a difficult task to provide guaranteed safety at oil and gas sites. The larger they are, the more difficult the job becomes. As the project intensifies, it is necessary to bring in extra help in the form of lone workers and contractors. These additional parties bring more safety implications.  The underlying question as a manager on the job site is how to ensure lone workers’ safety on your facility.

During a survey in 2017, 60% of utility professionals reiterated the need to improve on the current safety culture. 52% of respondents demanded an improved oversight of contractors. Systems must be set up to accommodate these changes.

Below are the common challenges encountered by professionals in the oil and gas industries and probable solutions to them.

1.    The Challenge: Multiple legal systems are working independently, which poses communication challenges from one party to another, incurring unnecessary delays between parties. When critical alerts are not responded to immediately, a lot of time is wasted between an incidence occurrence and the emergency response from national support teams and first responders. Even for groups on the same site, there is a likelihood of delayed communication and response.

The Solution: Integration. An integrated system makes it possible to send mass warnings, monitors digital displays and gas, tracks inventory and checks on other systems functions.  You will be able to identify and solve cases of duplication and integrate different systems for efficiency. Systems that integrate with your employee database and are able to send real-time, mass alerts are the most ideal.

2.    The Challenge: It is difficult to account for and provide safety to all workers on site, especially lone rangers who are unfamiliar with your site.

The Solution: Automation. By having a live employee database, kept current each day, you will be able to account for everyone on your facility. BlackBerry AtHoc is a system that integrates with employee databases, making it possible to know exactly who is present on your facility at any time of the day. In case of a potential threat, you will be to provide an accurate account of those potentially affected.

3.    The Challenge: Keeping current data records is a challenge. These records help solve incidences of redundancy, inefficiency, service interruption and accidents.

The Solution: Besides the leadership team, all employees should be responsible for the smooth running of your facility. By encouraging personal responsibility, all employees will be empowered to report on their work progress as well as alert others on any issues within the facility. Even with an elaborate emergency response strategy, it is better to manage the situation than to avoid it.

4.    The Challenge: To maintain a healthy relationship with your employees on-site, surrounding authorities and communities, you must provide a communication channel that keeps all parties current on the information you want to share. 

The Solution: Create an effective communication campaign especially on hazardous materials and related incidents or accidents. By providing real-time communication, you will be able to get a faster response from all parties. When communities are involved in the news about your facility's activities, they learn to trust you and will not disrupt your operations.

5.    The Challenge: In case of incidences or accidents on your facility, operations may be halted momentarily even in areas that aren’t affected. This stall costs your business, and you need to be able to isolate and manage affected areas without disrupting work in non-related areas. A targeted, automated system can be the solution to this.

The Solution: BlackBerry AtHoc is a system that can help you isolate and manage incidences. The system provides real-time feed on your facility including the staff, area affected and the cause of the issue. With this information, your response efforts will be targeted on the affected area only while the other areas on your facility operate as usual. BlackBerry AtHoc relays information on events and reports over a map on which you can track the source of information, type of information and the contact details of the personnel in charge. From the data, you can coordinate the relevant personnel teams to mitigate the impact of the incidence.

Jason Yacey

About Jason Yacey

Senior Director, BlackBerry AtHoc Sales