Essar Oilfield Services India Limited (EOSIL) has lost time incident-free (LTI-free) records because of its globally benchmarked safety practices. Among others, it has implemented best practices like the HAZ-ID (hazard identification) program, the critical lift plan, the near miss reporting campaign, time out for safety, safety for working at heights, effective communication with crew members, regular inspection and maintenance program for safety critical equipment, including crane, hydra and vehicle safety checks. EOSIL believes these programs are key contributors to enhancing performance and developing a positive HSE (health safety and environment) culture on its rigs.
Its onshore drilling rig MR 2, deployed with Essar Oil on a drilling contract in a CBM field in Raniganj, West Bengal, reported 365 LTI-free days on February 18, 2013. Its semi-submersible Essar Wildcat rig completed four years with no LTI on November 25, 2012; mobile rig MR 1, also currently on the Raniganj CBM drilling contract, achieved two years without LTI on December 6, 2012; and mobile rig MR 3 achieved 365 days with zero LTI on May 17, 2012.
|Specialized gloves have oil resistant palms allowing for safe grip and offer protection for the full hand while using hammers and wrenches.|
Innovation for safety
Among the hi-tech innovations for safety introduced at Essar Oilfield Services are the 'finger saver tools' and the 'push and pull' sticks allowing for hands-free working. The Kong Gloves and the Kleen Guard G60 Gloves, used by the Main Deck and Rig Floor crew members, offer protection for the full hand, with special attention to the fingers and knuckles. The gloves have oil resistant palms allowing for improved grip. The finger saving tool is used by workers to protect the hand and the fingers while using hammers and wrenches.
'Push & Pull' safety sticks have been introduced to allow hands-free guiding, spotting and landing suspended loads, maneuvering all types of tubular or pipe products and snagging taglines and sling legs. This ensures greater safety to workers engaged in such operations. In addition, installation of the 'Iron Roughneck' for the Wildcat rig operations has also allowed hands-free drill pipe stabbing operations. This pipe handling system — from the pipe rack to the drill floor — has helped to minimize the risk of human injury on the rig to a large extent.
Innovation has also been applied to setting up systems. Guidelines for Wildcat operations were drawn up in line with the standards stipulated by the International Association of Drilling Contractors for mobile offshore drilling units (IADC MODU); this attracted special recognition by Conoco Phillips when Essar Oilfield.
Hazard and environment-sensitive identification systems were also developed with the help of external experts at International Risk Control Asia (IRCA).
One of the most innovative systems introduced has been the 'Near-Miss Incident' or 'Early Warning' system. Under a campaign introduced in 2012, all crew members are empowered to report such 'near-miss' incident — and even a reward system has been put in place to promote such reporting. Alongside, a 'no blame' reporting system has been instituted, so that no action is taken on reporting of what may prove to be a false alarm. With this, the organization has seen a steady rise in 'near-miss' reporting and a reduction in incidents that cause injury.
Essar Oilfield Services strictly follows all safety norms stipulated by national and international legal and regulatory authorities.
These include the Oil Mine Regulations and Directorate General of Mines Safety for onshore operations and Safety of Life at Sea Regulations by IMO (SOLAS) for offshore operations. Standards developed by the International Association of Drilling Contractor (IADC), the American Petroleum Institute (API) and International Maritime Organization (IMO)/Flag/Class rules and regulations for rigs; the Wildcat Rig and other Offshore Rigs must also meet norms under the Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit Safety Certificate.
In addition, there are the safety-specific requirements stipulated in each contract.
Beyond the mandate
Training, competency and communications programs focused on safety are de riguer for all Essar Oilfield operations. Since most operations are in the field, diligent safety preparations are undertaken before each field tour and target each task. Such planning also includes arrangements for moving the rig.
Training sessions not only cover awareness of mandated practices but also concentrated of specific activities such as handling chemicals, operating specific and special equipment, preventing falls and the best ways to avoid hurt if a fall occurs and use of various types of personal protection equipment (PPE). Industry-specific and specialized training also includes hazard identification, risk assessment, incident investigation, emergency planning and fire fighting. Advanced courses cover training for controlling wells, working at heights, rigging and slinging and advanced fire fighting.
Basic training for all crew members includes, among other things: Basic Offshore Safety Induction Emergency Training (BOSIET), including training for survival in the sea; Helicopter Underwater Escape Training (HUET); Gas testing training; and entry and working in confined spaces.
Safety practices at the rigs emphasise 'Time Out for Safety'; this requires employees to stop work if they perceive any likelihood of it being unsafe. This initiative, which has the full support of management, has meant that exhaustion-induced incidents are almost unknown.
All training courses are repeated periodically, so that recall of — and adherence to — safety practices remains constant. All training programs are in line with the 'rig pass' program of IADC.
Performance monitoring and risk analysis are critical elements of the safety measures undertaken at Essar Oilfield Services. Inspections are also conducted regularly to ensure use of PPEs, condition of safety equipment and that safety norms are being observed diligently.
On-site risk assessment involves both formal and non-formal assessment, a procedure that makes for double-barreled benefits — from experts and from employees who can assess safety concerns hands-on. 'Risk Assessment Prompt Cards' have been introduced at every offshore rig for employees to carry out informal risk assessment before starting tasks, especially manual handling and lifting activities. Simultaneously, Job Safety Analysis (JSA) is conducted as a formal risk assessment tool on rigs.