Rig safety: How to beat the heat

Working outside is something a lot of people love about being a roughneck, but you have to be prepared if you want to work safely with Mother Nature.

“When people think about rig safety, they often think about safe work practices around equipment, but part of keeping our crews safe is ensuring they are protected while working outside in the elements as well,” said Darryl Hostyn, HSE Manager for Trinidad’s Canadian Drilling Division.

It doesn’t matter if you’re working in southern Texas or northern Alberta, at this time of year rig crews need to be on the look out for heat-related illnesses such as:

  • Heat cramps
  • Heat edema
  • Heat rashes
  • Heat stress
  • Heat exhaustion
  • Heat stroke and heat hyperpyrexia
  • Heat syncope

How to prevent heat-related illnesses on the rigs:

Here are a few of the preventative measures Hostyn advises his Canadian crews to take:

  • Wear loose-fitting clothing that is light in weight (in Canada, Trinidad provides seven-ounce coveralls for the summer and nine-ounce coveralls for the winter)
  • Reduce your pace of work and take rest intervals
  • Keep hydrated by drinking lots of fluids
  • Drink water that is cool, but not cold. Diluted fruit juice, tea or lemon teas are the best choices in hydrating fluids. An alternative to these drinks is a diluted electrolyte-replacement drink
  • As a rough guide, workers working under hot conditions should drink approximately one cup (250 ml) of fluid every 20 minutes
  • Be on the lookout for signs of dehydration such as dark-coloured urine and feeling the need to urinate less often and in smaller quantities

Drilling in extreme heat:

Trinidad’s rigs drill in Canada, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and the U.S. Certain regions deal with extreme heat and need to take additional precautions to keep workers safe.

In south Texas/Louisiana, where the heat index can get to 130 F (54 C), workers fill out a “Heat Sheet” hourly. On the sheet, Trinidad employees track what they have eaten/drank and urine colour. This helps both the worker and the supervisor identify signs of dehydration. In that region, Trinidad also uses large fans in areas where employees are working. Cooling trailers are often located on rig sites. Field hands are required to take mandatory breaks, and we provide electrolyte replacements and water for our workers.

Trinidad’s commitment to safety:

Trinidad is an industry leader in terms of its TRIF (total recordable incident frequency) because we utilize advanced technologies on our rigs, provide our teams with the training they need to do their jobs safely and are committed to creating a proactive safety culture across our entire company.

“The reason Trinidad operates some of the safest rigs in the industry is because our No. 1 priority is keeping every single member of our team safe every single day,” said Hostyn.           

Read more about Trinidad’s commitment to safety here.

Want to work for a safer drilling company? Join the Trinidad Drilling team today.

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