Each year, over 1,000 oil and gas employees are killed on the rig. These deaths often come from drilling accidents or fires.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is the government agency that ensures drilling sites are safe for employees. But it’s up to you how far your company takes these safe drilling practices.
If you’re looking for some great ways to keep yourself safe while at work, check out this list of the top eight drilling site safety practices.
- Stay in Communication
One of the most important drilling site safety practices is staying in communication. When you’re working on a rig, it’s your responsibility to always have an open line of communication with other workers and supervisors.
If there are any problems or issues that need their attention immediately, reaching out quickly can help keep everyone safe from harm.
This means constantly updating them throughout the day about what you’ve completed so far and if anything needs their immediate assistance. Keep this channel open by having a walkie-talkie nearby at all times.
- Keep the Floor Clear
Another drilling safety practice to implement is keeping your work area free of clutter. This includes everything from materials, boxes, and equipment that may be in the way when you’re working.
While this seems like an obvious task, many people often fail to make sure their surroundings are clear. Not only can it cause accidents but also injuries too.
Cleaning up will ensure everyone has enough space to move around freely without bumping into something. And potentially hurting themselves or others in the process.
Don’t forget about adding some floor marking tape if necessary so that employees know where not to walk either.
This drilling safety tip helps ensure no one walks through areas where there might be drilling fluids or other potentially dangerous chemicals.
- Keep Drilling Fluids Away from Open Flame
There may be drilling fluids used on the rig that can explode if they contact open flames.
If you’re using drilling fluid, it’s important to make sure there are no fires or lit cigarettes nearby at all times. Also, keep them far away from the area where these chemicals might be stored.
This drilling safety tip not only helps keep employees safe but also prevents property damage too. It could save your company a lot of money in repairs.
It is hazardous, especially when talking about highly flammable drilling fluids with high flashpoints such as diesel fuel or kerosene. That’s why you need to follow certain rules during the work process:
- Never smoke near diesel tank
- Keep emergency showers far away
- Keep electrical equipment far away
- Never use open flame near drilling fluids or storage
This drilling safety tip is extra helpful for those who work near or around drilling chemicals. It’s important to keep yourself safe by minimizing any potential exposure to these dangerous materials.
- Keep Drilling Chemicals Separated
Along with drilling fluids, many chemicals may be used in the drilling process.
Sometimes these liquids and solids might come into contact with each other if they’re not stored properly. This can cause explosions or fires to erupt.
To prevent this from happening, you must follow all of your company’s safety practices when storing drilling chemicals. Consider things like proper storage containers and labeling.
- Check Fluid Pressure Regularly
When you’re drilling, fluid pressure is an important indicator of how much longer the job will take. The fluid inside your wellbore changes depending on what type of rock formation or other material you are hitting with your drill bit.
If fluid pressure drops to a certain point, it could indicate there’s either no more material in front of your drill bit. Or it could mean that something dangerous has happened that requires attention immediately. Either way, be sure to always check fluid pressure regularly for safety purposes.
- Always Wear the Appropriate Gear
Another drilling safety tip to consider is making sure you’re always wearing the proper gear. This includes protective eyewear, gloves, boots, etc., depending on what your job entails.
It’s important for everyone working in an area with drilling chemicals to wear these items at all times so they can be protected from any harmful exposure.
Never underestimate the importance of wearing protective equipment when it comes to drilling sites. They were designed for this purpose and can save you from many injuries.
- Fire Extinguisher Training
When drilling, it is necessary to have a fire extinguisher nearby.
This drilling safety tip makes sure everyone working on the site knows how and when they should use one of these devices if an emergency ever occurs. Make sure you and your employees know where each extinguisher is located at all times so no time will be wasted during any potential fires or explosions.
Fire extinguishers are important for drilling sites because there might be many types of chemicals stored around that can catch on fire if mishandled.
That’s why we recommend doing the following:
- Always keep training even after initial instruction
- Keep them close by and never forget where they are
- Know how to use them properly in case of an emergency
- Never put yourself or anyone else at risk by trying to extinguish a fire without the proper training.
The measures you take now can help save lives in the future.
- Drilling Tools: Use a Transmitter Sonde
In directional drilling, you need to have a transmitter sonde.
A sonde transmitter is a little device that fits inside the drill head housing and helps pinpoint the exact location of the drilling head during drilling. It tells workers what’s going on in various parts of the hole and helps them make adjustments when needed.
This drilling safety tip is important because it helps warn everyone of potential problems. If there’s an overheating issue in the drill head, your transmitter sonde can pick up this information for you to take the necessary precautions before any real damage occurs.
Make Your Drilling Site Safe
Drilling is a critical industry to the oil and gas sector. But it’s also essential for everyone who works in this drilling site to follow all of these safety tips to protect themselves at work every day.
These are just some examples of what you should do to ensure everything goes smoothly during your drilling assignments. For more relevant information, please keep checking our posts.