A day in the life of a Floorhand: safety edition

This is the first post in our “Day of Rig Safety” series, where we’ll be looking at the various steps Trinidad employees take to make sure everyone goes home at the end of the day.

Name: Paul Oake

Location: Rig 58, north of Fort Nelson, B.C.

Years with Trinidad: 6

Trinidad Drilling Rig 58

Paul Oake begins every single day with safety on his mind.

Oake is a Floorhand on Rig 58, one of Trinidad’s newest triple rigs north of Fort Nelson, British Columbia. It’s way up north, near the 60th parallel.

An average workday for him involves tasks like drilling and manipulating sections of pipe or drill stem at the rig floor, removing and replacing strings of pipe or drill stem and assisting in setting up and taking down the drilling rig and equipment.

Safety precautions are also a huge part of his job.

“As a Floorhand, my responsibilities are to make sure the floor is ready for connections,” and to ensure no one trips over equipment, said Oake. “When I come on shift, the first thing I do is check all my equipment to make sure it is all in good condition and working properly.”

The equipment Oake checks daily includes slips, dog collars, hand tools, tongs, cables and slings.

“I make sure that if we start to get low on things, I put them on the want list,” said Oake.

In addition to checking equipment and safety on the floor, Oake participates in all the safety preparedness that occurs daily and weekly on the rig.

“We do man down drills every week and ERP (emergency response plan) drills as well to prepare for worst case scenarios. We do safety training all the time, to keep it fresh in our heads.”

Getting set up for safety

Yet before any of those duties are performed, getting dressed for safety comes first.

“My safety gear I use every day includes a hard hat, flame-resistant (FR) coveralls, safety glasses, steel-toed boots and an FR wetsuit,” said Oake.

Just as safety gear is a crucial part of Trinidad’s safety focus, so is Trinidad’s Look-Out program, which teaches crew members to look for, stop and report unsafe activities.

“Our biggest concern out on the rig is everyone’s safety. If any new hazards appear throughout the shift, we address them right away,” said Oake.

Trinidad’s safety culture is the most important part of our daily operations. We hold safety meetings on every shift, encourage everyone to watch out for each other, and provide training on an ongoing basis.

Oake is fully on-board with that, and incorporates safety principles into every moment on the job.

“There are safety procedures for everything we do, safety is always number one and we are always looking out for one another,” he said.

Oake works 12-hour shifts, two weeks on and two weeks off. When he’s not on shift, he’s back home in Nova Scotia with his wife and three children. And this is why safety is so important to Oake and Trinidad Drilling.

Check out other safety blog posts to learn more about what we’re doing to make sure everyone who goes to work with us goes home safe.

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