IADC Conference Highlights, An Update on Competency Guideline Changes

IADC Conference Highlights, An Update on Competency Guideline Changes

Oil & Gas

Over the summer I had the opportunity to share a Hoist Safety presentation at the International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) conference in Lafayette, Louisiana. Since 1940, the International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) has exclusively represented the worldwide oil and gas drilling industry. IADC’s mission is three-fold: to advance drilling and completion technology; improve industry health, safety, environmental and training practices; and champion sensible regulations and legislation which facilitate safe and efficient drilling. Membership is open to any company involved in oil and gas exploration, drilling or production, well servicing, oil field manufacturing or other rig-site services.

The meeting focused on training and competency.

A group called the Offshore Lifting Safety Data Workgroup (OLSDW) formed in 2009 analyzed lifting data/incidents on the outer continental shelf. They looked at data from 2007 – 2011. From this data they concluded that the majority of the injuries were happening from human error. Incidents occurred when individuals came in contact with the load or loads shifted. The OLSDW is recommending that more emphasis be placed on proper rigging training. The focus is to ensure that riggers are following proper procedures.

How do we measure competency?

IADC presenters asked a very important question. “How do we measure competency?”
A  member stated “…a person can be very competent up to or until they have an incident.”  Even though the individual may be well trained, they may have made a bad decision or choice on that given day or time period. Training is important, but it represents only one aspect of competency.

Hercules Offshore put things into perspective when they showed an engaging video. The video showed a family man who was very aware of safety and even taught his son safe practices at home. When he arrives at work, he is tired from a poor night’s sleep. He finds out he did not get promoted. One of his crew team members is sick but is working through it. Some of the guys are not taking the morning safety briefing seriously and joking around. The supervisor comes in and tells them there is a rush to get a job done and to get back to work immediately.

Three Outcomes

As these daily distractions happen, the focus is no longer on the job task at hand. Suddenly, there is an accident. The video shows three outcomes.

1. In the first outcome, the family man dies. His family is devastated. A wife is without her husband, depressed and not able to engage with her son who is also equally depressed. Their lives are ruined.

2. In the second outcome, the man severly injures his arm. When he arrives home from the hospital, he is addicted to pain medicine and depressed. He no longer engages with his family. His marriage is falling apart. Their lives are seriously impacted.

3. The third outcome shows what happens when the job was done properly and everyone stayed competent. The man arrives back home safely. Life is normal. This outcome is what is expected and should happen every day.

Think about your own state of mind or physical condition.

Many of us drive cars. How many times have we been tired, angry, upset, sick and should not have been behind the wheel or just simply driving bad at a given time? I sure many of you reading this message agree.

Managers, supervisors and employees need to spot or recognize times where distractions can lead to incompetency from competent people. Proper training, procedures and checks can help minimize the risks. We need to be more aware of our surroundings. Not just site hazards but also be aware of ourselves and the people we work with.

IADC is working to develop worldwide competency guidelines.

IADC has started a challenging project to develop worldwide competency guidelines for virtually all rig positions for the oil field. The American Petroleum Institute, (API) is also taking this seriously. They are revamping their API RP 2D to address training for lifting operations. The 7th addition, expected to be completed and out for balloting by January 2013, will revolve around training required for personnel that are involved with lifting operations. (crane operators, inspectors and riggers.) There will be more emphasis on “hands on” training and the demonstration of competencies.

Columbus McKinnon has a “hands on” rigging training program called the Qualified Rigger Workshop. This 3 day course is 50% lecture and 50% hands-on. Students are tested with (2) written tests and hands-on exercises to demonstrate competency. A third party rigging certification (level 1 basic or level 2 advanced) through Crane Institute Certification is offered as an option on the 4th day.

Invest the time to get the training that you need. Be aware of your surroundings. Be safe.

Peter Cooke
Peter Cooke is a Training Manager specializing in Rigging & Load Securement for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.

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