This post is part of Trinidad’s “Focus on safety” blog series.
It doesn’t matter if your rig is in the Saudi Arabian desert or the boreal forest of northern Alberta, we all go to work for the same reason.
“That’s the common thread that international companies have: You have different languages, different cultures, different customs, but the one common thing is that we all work and want to make our lives better and that of our families,” said Derek Hibbard, General Manager of HSE for Trinidad’s U.S. and international divisions.
That common thread, explained Hibbard, is the reason safety is important no matter what country you are operating in.
Here’s what we’re doing to ensure our safety values always travel alongside our rigs to their international destinations.
Safety values are the same in any language
That’s why Trinidad is taking core safety tools that have been effective in the U.S. and standardizing them for our international operations – tools such as equipment inspections, effective safety meetings, job safety analysis procedures (JSAs) and the Look Out program (which teaches crew members to look for, stop and report unsafe activities).
“Our predominant focus is on proactivity. All of the things that lead up to the work are the things that are most important to completing the work safely,” Hibbard said.
“It’s all about making sure the people involved in the work very clearly understand their specific roles in it, what hazards are present, how to control those hazards and that they are taking time to review the work properly.”
Hibbard also explained that, just like in the U.S. or Canada, strong safety leadership from Drillers and Rig Managers is instrumental to ensuring that safety becomes embedded in everything our teams do.
“I used to work on rigs, and I remember someone once saying, ‘if it’s important for your boss, it will become important to you,’” he said.
Accounting for cultural differences
Trinidad is not just dropping existing programs into another country and expecting them to work. Hibbard is taking safety tools we know are effective and implementing them in a way that fits the area where we’re operating.
“Things like risk tolerance and the perception of what’s safe and what’s not safe is very, very different culturally in different places,” he explained.
So, part of Hibbard’s job involves getting to know what motivates local workforces so his team can ensure every person on our rigs is fully engaged in safety.
Safety at Trinidad Drilling
“We all go to work for the same reason, and we all want to go home for the same reason,” Hibbard said.