Women in oil and gas: A Trinidad Drilling safety leader

Erika Rocha, Trinidad Drilling’s Canadian HSE Compliance ManagerThis is the third post in our “Women in oil and gas” series. 

Erika Rocha, Trinidad Drilling’s Canadian HSE Compliance Manager, started working in the oil and gas industry almost 12 years ago because she was living in Fort St. John, B.C., and there weren’t a lot of other career choices. But Rocha has stayed because, it turns out, she loves the work.

“I’ve been able to understand and learn so many things within the industry, including manufacturing and drilling. I love the challenge. I love how you can learn something new every day and have the opportunity to be creative within the job,” said Rocha, who works out of our Canadian drilling offices in Nisku, Alta., and has been part of Trinidad’s safety team for six years.

The fact that Rocha is female in a male-dominated career path doesn’t really cross her mind. She’s focused on ensuring Trinidad’s operations are in compliance with OH&S standards and industry guidelines and is busy working to continuously improve our company’s safety performance.

“The wonderful thing about Trinidad Drilling is they don’t care if you are a male or a female; they trust that you can do your job and that you do it right,” she said. Continue reading

Safety leaders: This Trinidad Drilling Rig Manager is doing it right

In April, the Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors (CAODC) held a Safety Awards banquet, as they do every spring after the winter-drilling season. One of the awards given out is a special Safety Excellence Award. Individuals who have been nominated by their companies receive this honour. This year, Trinidad picked VanKoughnett.

Leadership recognized at CAODC Safety Awards

The location of Rig 57 in Alberta
The location of Rig 57 in Alberta

Kevin Dobson has proven you can have both safety and performance on a rig; it doesn’t have to be one or the other. Dobson, a Rig Manager on our team, has led Rig 57 to over 600 days without a recordable incident – all while drilling record holes for depth and size in the area where the rig is deployed south of Fort McMurray, Alta.

Dobson’s commitment to safety is the reason he received this year’s CAODC Safety Excellence Award for Trinidad Drilling.

Strong leadership = safe crews

Every spring, the Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors (CAODC) presents safety awards after the winter-drilling season. This tradition has been going on for 34 years. Safety scrolls are given to senior crew members who lead their teams to 200 consecutive days without a recordable incident. Stand-out crews are also nominated by their companies to receive special Safety Excellence Awards (what Dobson received). Continue reading

Guest post: Building a safety culture is no easy job in these unusual times

Trinidad Drilling General Manager of Global HSE Derek Hibbard
Derek Hibbard, General Manager, Global HSE

The last 18 months have been hectic. Coming off the worst recession in our history and trying to rebuild on the fly has definitely posed some challenges.

We have had to simultaneously juggle rig upgrades, address personnel, service shortages, and train hundreds of new Trinidad hands while doing everything we can to keep our best people from pursuing other opportunities in the industry. At the end of the day, none of this is new, just the latest iteration of the madness that reflects the cyclical nature of our business.

So the challenge is, and will continue to be, how do we develop and maintain a world-class safety culture amidst all of the chaos and continual noise?

The keys really are engagement and empowerment. Continue reading

4 steps we took to ensure safety success when rig counts spiked in 2017

4 steps we took to ensure safety success when rig counts spiked in 2017

Our overall utilization rate rose quickly in 2017. Although it was an exciting time for everyone at Trinidad, firing up as many rigs as we did this year after the downturn had its safety challenges.

“Bringing previous employees up-to-speed after some time away from the rigs, and hiring new hands that weren’t familiar with Trinidad’s safety standards were two of our biggest challenges this year,” said Derek Hibbard, our General Manager of Global HSE.

Thanks to the direction of Derek and his team, 2017 was another impressive year in safety, even with a rapid rise in rig activity.

Here are four steps we took to ensure safety success when rig counts spiked in 2017: Continue reading

Trinidad Drilling Rig 121

There are no re-dos when it comes to rig safety

Rig safety has come a long way over the last 30 years. Just ask John Meckert, Trinidad’s Vice President of HSE and QMS, whose years of experience in the industry have given him another level of respect for helping rig hands get home safely.

A professional engineer by trade, Meckert’s interest in safety began at the start of his career while working for Conoco, who at the time was owned by the industrial safety leader and STOP program founder, DuPont.

“Thirty years ago, if you looked at the past few decades’ safety statistics and safety culture, you couldn’t find a better company. I was fortunate to learn the ropes from them so early on.” Continue reading

6 safety ideas worth spreading: 3rd edition

This is the final post in our three part safety ideas series.

Safe working tips and tricks should not be kept a secret, company to company, team to team or rig to rig. By sharing safety stories and past experiences, we can learn from our mistakes and work towards an injury-free workplace together. In our commitment to spreading safety tips throughout the industry, here are a few more of our safety leader’s top tips for you and your teams to share:

1. Commit to good housekeeping practices throughout every hitch

Rig Safety Tip #1 Commit to Good Housekeeping Practices Throughout Every Hitch
Rig Safety Tip #1

Continue reading

Trinidad Drilling Rig 134 celebrates 5 years incident free

Safety first is safety always: a tribute to our crews

Trinidad rigs reach amazing safety milestones

When Trinidad Drilling was created 20 years ago, founder Mike Heier was determined that – along with great performance for its customers and shareholders – his company would be focused on safety.

Trinidad Drilling US Safety Milestones
Trinidad Drilling safety milestones achieved on US rigs as of March 2016

Over the following years, Trinidad developed safety processes and a safety culture that is admired across the industry. Among those processes are T.E.S.T. (essential skills training), where rig hands are trained and assessed on the skills and attitudes required to do their jobs correctly and safely and the reliability triangle, where hands are taught to be proactive when managing all tasks on the rigs. Continue reading

Can safety and business success go hand in hand?

This post is part of Trinidad’s “Focus on safety” blog series. 

A Trinidad Drilling rig hand.

Can a business have a moral compass and still be successful?

We think so. After all, our strong safety values are a key part of our business success.

In last week’s post, we talked to Derek Hibbard, General Manager of HSE for Trinidad’s U.S. and international divisions, about how we’re keeping our international rigs safe. This week, Hibbard explains how Trinidad takes care of its team out of both moral principle and good business practice.

Safety: It’s a matter of morality

Before we start talking about good business practices, let’s first talk about moral principles. Which is fitting because in order to keep workers safe, safety needs to be a company’s top priority, above the bottom line.  Continue reading