While rugged conditions and hands-on labour are a big part of many oil and gas industry jobs, those challenges come with a major commitment to a safe work environment.
“Everything we do is dedicated to the continuous improvement of safety,” says Cameron McGillivray, President and CEO of Enform Canada – The Safety Association for Canada’s Upstream Oil and Gas Industry.
Enform engages in active promotion of health and safety practices through safety management planning and support, training programs, information and other resources. Enform is supported by six oil and gas associations:
• CAGC – Canadian Association of Geophysical Contractors;
• CAODC – Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors;
• CAPP – Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers;
• CEPA – Canadian Energy Pipeline Associations;
• EPAC – Explorers and Producers Association of Canada; and
• PSAC – Petroleum Services Association of Canada.
“The oil and gas industry created Enform as a not-for-profit organization dedicated to meeting the upstream industry’s safety needs,” says Cameron. “By the very nature of our industry we are risk takers, but we know how to get the job done safely and without injury.”
While classroom learning may seem like a far cry from the realities of work in the field, safety training for a career in the oil and gas industry is designed to ensure a seamless transition between abstract learning and real-world experience.
“Ideas and issues to be resolved often originate from workers in the field and are brought forward by member companies of the six associations,” says Cameron. “Our focus allows us to take these ideas and issues, and reach consensus as to those that are most important and take action to address them.”
This means that Enform stays connected with the hands-on experience of workers in the oil and gas industry – which makes sure you work in the safest environment possible.
Enform’s roles as the primary safety advocate and resource for the industry is evident through industry uptake of our programs and courses.
“In 2012, Enform set a training record with almost 240,000 class enrolments across more than 120 courses,” Cameron says. “Considering there are approximately 200,000 people in the industry, it is evident that Enform touches a good portion of the workforce each and every year.”
Back to the classroom
So, what kind of training will keep you safe throughout your oil and gas career?
Cameron shared the top 5 courses by enrolment offered by Enform:
Enform’s premier one-day course aimed at workers who could be exposed to hydrogen sulfide, also known as “sour gas.” Enform’s combination of theory briefings and in-class equipment training produces a highly effective approach – the course is taken by over 100,000 workers each year.
Petroleum Safety Training (PST):
The most popular computer-based course offered at Enform, PST offers video, audio and interactive lessons workers about safety in the oil and gas industry, which now includes automatic accreditation for the electronic General Safety Orientation (eGSO).
Well Service Blowout Prevention:
A course useful to a variety of oil and gas industry workers, including service rig operators, service rig managers, wellsite supervisors, field foremen, production foremen and production engineers involved in well killing operations
General Oilfield Driver Improvement (GODI):
Driving-related incidents are the leading cause of injury and loss in the oil and gas industry, so Enform’s specialized course teaches oilfield truck drivers to improve both their on-road and off-road safe driving behaviours.
An online course which prepares industry workers for safe co-existence with natural wildlife.
You may have noticed that these courses cover a broad range of skills, and they’re just a small sample of the programming Enform provides to enable safe working conditions in the industry.
A shared commitment
Enform’s contribution to the safety of the oil and gas industry is underpinned by all the employers in the oil and gas industry who take safety seriously. These employers have active health and safety management systems in place, creating a culture of proactive workplace safety.
“A Certificate of Recognition (COR) is awarded to employers who implement and maintain a health and safety management system that meets established provincial standards,” Cameron explains. Enform is the certifying partner for the COR program for the industry.
The ongoing process enabled by the COR encourages the growth of a culture of proactive workplace health and safety, Cameron adds, noting that Alberta employers with a COR saw significant reductions in injury and lost time rates, in turn lowering their compensation costs.
A major partner in the workplace safety practices of the oil and gas industry, Enform will continue to strive for continuous improvement of safety, Cameron says.
“We are working to continuously improve the safety performance of the upstream sector and strengthen the culture of safety for our workforce. Enform is working on behalf of the entire industry to ensure everyone is going home safely, every day.”
The future holds a lot of promise, he explains.
“Effective, timely training is a key tool in workforce development. As technology advances, more sophisticated work processes are required and the demand for skilled operators is heightened as industry aims for injury-free worksites.”
According to Cameron, a recognition of the common goal is absolutely vital.
“There is an important message that we work with every day: we all own health and safety and we all have an important role to play.”