How to ace your first day on the rigs

Rig Manager Steve Stewart (far left) with fellow crew members from Rig 42.
Rig Manager Steve Stewart (far left) with fellow crew members from Rig 42.

The first day on any new job can be overwhelming. Day one for new rig hands can be extra intimidating because their new office is a towering rig full of technically-advanced equipment and numerous moving parts. That’s why we work hard to make sure newbies feel comfortable and safe when they start their new gig.

Steve Stewart, Rig Manager of Trinidad Rig 42, is in charge of training new crew members who start on his B.C.-based rig.

“The biggest thing I stress about working on drilling rigs is to be aware of your surroundings, ask lots of questions and work safe,” said Stewart, who has been with Trinidad for 11 years.

To help prepare you for your first day, Stewart shared some advice on what green hands can expect and some pointers on how you can put your best foot forward.

Getting the lay of the land: Your first day on the job

Stewart explained that when new hands come to his rig, they get an introduction to their new drilling family (the crew) plus an orientation and grand tour.

“During the first day, the new hand will be taken around the rig numerous times to get familiarized with the location of safety equipment, tools and the rig’s layout,” said Stewart.

Learning the ropes: It isn’t trial by fire

There seems to be a misconception outside the drilling industry that new hands in the oil patch are thrown into the job and left to either sink or swim. That couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Our Trinidad Essential Skills Training program helps ensure that all rig hands, from newbies to Drillers, are given the training and knowledge they need to do their job correctly and safely. Stewart explained that before a new hand starts a task on their own, they first observe the task being completed safely and then are encouraged to ask questions. When they feel comfortable, they assist with the task. Senior crew members oversee new hands until they are skilled enough to complete the job safely on their own.

“The knowledge and oversight of our experienced rig personnel preforming these tasks helps to ensure jobs are completed in a safe and efficient manner,” said Stewart.

Tips from a seasoned vet

Stewart has four pieces of advice for new hands:

  • Be prepared
  • Ask plenty of questions
  • Work safe
  • Enjoy yourself

“My first day I showed up under-prepared and not knowing what to expect. I was overwhelmed by how much there was to a drilling rig, but I gave it my all, got along with crews and had fun,” said Stewart.

Our advice? Rigs are powerful machines, so respect that it takes training and experience to learn to operate them safely, but don’t be intimidated. As Stewart said, “We were all green hands at one point in our careers.”

Join the Trinidad Drilling team

First days can be overwhelming, but remember that the safety of each of our crew members is our top priority and we have a system in place to ensure each rig hand has the training they need to perform their job safely.

Want your first day to be with Trinidad Drilling? Click here for more info.

Already working with us? We’d love to hear how your first day went! Share it with us in the comments below or on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Your story could be featured on our blog.

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