How Rig 9 went 1,400 days without an incident

If you want to know the secret to operating a safe rig, ask Orland Cook. He is the tool push on Trinidad’s Rig 9, which has worked over 1,400 days* without a recordable injury.

“As long as I have run a crew on the rigs, whether it was drilling or as a Rig Manager, I have always believed that if you are organized and work at a comfortable pace, that you can be safe and efficient every day,” said Cook, a 19-year veteran of the drilling industry.

Here are some of Cook’s secrets to safety success.

A Rig Manager’s 4 secrets to safety success 

1. It’s about the team 

The culture on a rig is instrumental to safety. Rig hands need to genuinely care about taking care of themselves and each other.

“I think a lot of credit can be given to my guys for this achievement,” said Cook about Rig 9’s impressive safety record.

Cook’s rig ­– which operates around Virden, Man., for Tundra Oil and Gas – has a low turnover rate, which helps create a safe work environment because the team knows how to work together to do the job safely.

2. Be organized

Cook, a Manitoba native, explained that being organized and working at a safe speed help ensure no one gets hurt.

“It’s when you’re trying to make (up) time that things tend to go wrong,” said Cook, who has worked on rigs throughout the Prairie provinces. “I try to teach my guys to always have things ready, and then you don’t have to rush to make up time.”

3. Safety policies make a difference

“Trinidad has a very successful safety record company wide, and they have several useful safety tools in place,” said Cook.

He explained that following policies such as safety meetings, JSAs (job safety analysis procedures), Lockout/Tag out (LOTO) and safe work permits all help keep crews safe. Safety tools such as Look-Out cards and hazard identifications (reporting potential hazards) make a difference as well.

“Using these (tools) on a daily basis and having the right work atmosphere seems to be working for us,” he said.

4. Leading by example

Leadership from Rig Managers plays a key role in keeping crews safe. Cook didn’t say this (he’s too humble), but we added this point because it’s important. When Rig Managers like Cook set the safety bar high, less-experienced hands will work to reach it.

Safety matters at Trinidad Drilling

Operating safe rigs happens in the field, but it starts with a commitment from corporate leadership. At Trinidad, we work to keep our team safe by ensuring every employee knows that taking care of each other is the top priority.

Want to learn more about Trinidad’s commitment to safety? Read these posts:

* Canadian drilling safety milestones are measured in days (not years, like on our U.S. rigs) because Canadian rigs often shut down for spring break up.

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