Women in oil and gas: Meet Rig 39 medic Erin Johnson

Erin on horse

 

Erin Johnson is passionate about taking care of living things, human or animal.

That passion originally put the oil patch medic on the road to a career as an emergency medical technician (EMT), but something intervened.

“I became a medic because I was thinking that I wanted to become an EMT,” said Johnson. “Now I’m realizing that I don’t really want to do that, and I want to stay in the oilfield. I love the work and I love the people I meet.”

Johnson, just 21 years old, already has two years of experience as a medic. She is a qualified Emergency Medical Responder (EMR), and has taken a number of extra safety courses with her company, including petroleum safety, safe driving practices and even how to land a helicopter.

Johnson was recently the medic on Trinidad Rig 39, where she was impressed by how the rig workers had mastered Trinidad’s safety culture. Johnson spent May until November 2015 on the rig near Hinton, Alberta, and in that entire time, she never once had to provide medical services to a crewmember.

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Green is the colour for Saskatchewan Rig Manager James Kapeller

Saskatchewan (Canada) flag waving on the wind
Saskatchewan’s flag waves in the wind.

James Kapeller was born, raised, and still lives in Arborfield, in the northeastern part of Saskatchewan.

It may not be obvious, but coming from this rural town had an influence on his decision to work in the oilpatch, and ultimately for Trinidad.

“It’s a little town in Saskatchewan that’s had a lot of oilfield people come out of it over the years. I grew up around them,” said Kapeller. “It seemed like a good way to make a good living.”

It certainly turned out that way. Kapeller, who joined Trinidad in 2003 as a Floorhand, is now a roving Toolpush (aka Rig Manager) who goes wherever he’s needed. He spent most of the last four years in British Columbia, and is now Relief Rig Manager on Rig 60, a tele double near Hinton, Alberta.

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What does safety as a priority look like? A Trinidad HSE Manager breaks it down

If anyone knows safety, it’s Steve Bodiford.

The Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) Manager with a division of Trinidad Drilling has been employed in oil since 1982, and specifically began his safety management career in 1993.

When you ask him what his job responsibilities include, the first thing he says is,

“promote safety in every action I take.”

Bodiford is responsible for all HSE within his division, where he ensures crews are trained to comply with Occupational Health and Safety Administration guidelines, starting with the employees’ very first orientation.

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Safety values have no borders

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

Trinidad Drilling's Rig 701 in Mexico.

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.

We drill in Canada, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and the U.S., and our commitment to safety is the same in each place because everyone deserves to go home safe to their family at the end of the day.

Here’s what we’re doing to ensure our safety values always travel alongside our rigs to their international destinations. Continue reading

The crew of Trinidad Rig 133 celebrates five years without an incident.

10 steps for a safer rig: A Toolpush’s top tips

When Trinidad Rig 133 reached five years without a recordable incident, one of our HSE leaders asked its Rig Manager how the milestone was achieved. The reply from Blake Walsworth was so impressive, the Trinidad safety team shared it throughout our organization.

Walsworth, whose rig operates primarily in northwest Louisiana and East Texas, had created an in-depth list of the ways his team takes care of each other.

Safety is the most important issue to us out here,” said Walsworth. “We’re essentially family; we spend more time on the rigs than we do with our families at home. I believe that is what makes safety so important to us. You wouldn’t want anything to happen to one of your family members.”

Walsworth’s list of safety leadership tools could be useful to anyone in the industry, so we thought we would share it here. Continue reading

Do safety meetings really matter? At Trinidad Drilling, they do.

We hold safety meetings with our crews at every shift change and for each change in rig operation. If we start drilling: safety meeting. If we start tripping: safety meeting. Rig up: Safety meeting . . . You get the idea.

“Good safety meeting habits you set today will stick with your crews for life,” said Craig Barker, Rig Manager on Trinidad’s Rig 56. “I believe this is the most important time of the day.”

Barker, whose rig has gone over 600 days without an incident, shared his expertise on what safety meetings entail and why they’re an important part of running safe rigs. Continue reading