Staying safe in Saudi: Faraj Othman breaks it down

Since making the trek from our U.S. division to Saudi Arabia in 2014, Rigs 126, 127 and 128 have been in good hands. Not only did all three rigs and their crews ace their recent health and safety audits, but they also celebrated two years with no long-term incidents. No easy task given our joint venture operations in the Middle East began just over two years ago.

Faraj Othman, our Regional QHSE Manager in the Middle East, and his team’s primary focus over the last two years has been to teach Trinidad’s safety programs and tools to crew members from all over the world. A task he describes as “working together to direct many different cultures into a beautiful and effective mosaic.”

Trinidad Drilling International Saudi Arabia

Our core safety tools such as our safety meetings, job safety analysis procedures, Go-Cards, and Look Out program, are being used, but Othman and his team have implemented them in a way that works in Saudi Arabia. Here’s what else they’ve been up to…

Multiple languages, one safety vision

To keep our core safety message the same as we expand internationally, we’ve translated our T.E.S.T. program as well as our safety policies and procedures to include Arabic and Spanish. We’ve even adjusted the way our safety training is delivered so everyone is clear on what is expected of them.

“Having our safety meetings and training done by native Arabic speakers has been one of our huge keys to success, given how critical effective communication is to everyone’s safety on the rigs,” explained Othman.

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Team building and safety debriefs

Our crews in Saudi Arabia participate in team building sessions with our HSE and operations teams every quarter during crew changes in Dhahran. The purpose of these sessions is two-fold. Not only do they bring those just starting their rotation up to speed, but they help build the bond crews need to keep one another safe.

“Our team building sessions are a great way to bring everyone together. We enjoy coffee and breakfast and brief one another on things well done, areas for improvement, operational updates and any policy changes,” described Othman.

In sensitive safety situations, Othman reminds us that it’s important to keep the water calm and that “spending time building team cohesiveness and trust have helped the crews do just that.”

HSE campaigns to raise awareness and using our essential tools

Othman’s team has also implemented quarterly HSE campaigns to aid mindfulness in routine and non-routine tasks on the rigs. These campaigns have included raising awareness on hands and fingers, heat stress (how to work smart in 50⁰C / 122⁰F), working at heights, fall protection and dropped object awareness. The campaigns have been so well received our clients have even started to participate.

Our safety vision

Our vision to become ‘The Safest Drilling Contractor’ may sound simple, but to accomplish it will not be easy, by any means. Othman notes it’s going to take the collaborative will and effort of all – something we, as a team, know is possible.

“Our crews have done an excellent job in Saudi Arabia and we expect nothing less going forward,” summarized Othman.

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

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