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Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, who has also contributed to numerous national business titles including Utility Week, the Municipal Journal, Environment Journal and consumer titles such as Classic Rock.
December 4, 2018

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Oil & Gas

Drill rig induction scheme introduced to improve safety

SOCOTEC has introduced a new drill rig induction scheme to improve safety practices on its sites.


The scheme has been introduced across all of SOCOTEC’s ground investigation projects to ensure everyone working within the vicinity of a drill rig is given a rig induction.

The aim of the scheme is that internal, external staff and stakeholders can all be aware of the biggest potential hazards on site – namely the drill rigs themselves.

“The potential risks associated with ground investigation works go beyond slippery work surfaces or fatigue,” said SOCOTEC’s UK Resource Manager, Gareth Mews.

“If organisations are inducting people with generic site safety procedures, then it is equally important – if not more so, given the potential risks – to introduce all of those on site to the potential hazards associated with working on and around the drill rig.

“It’s a case of making everyone aware of the potential dangers and equipping them with the basic knowledge of rig safety protocols,” added Mr Mews.

“No person should enter the danger zone without the express permission of the Lead Driller and said danger zones should be made clear – but it’s important that this information and other instructions are transparent from the beginning to avoid unnecessary accidents.”

On every ground investigation project, contractors are duty bound to deliver a site induction to educate clients, engineers, site personnel and any other person on site of the potential hazards.

In addition, The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) outlines the duties of those operating work equipment and machinery.

These regulations require that equipment is: maintained safe for use, in a safe condition and used only by people who have received instruction and training; and accompanied by suitable safety measures such as protective devices, markings, warnings.

The drill rig induction is not the first innovation of SOCOTEC’s to improve safety processes for drilling practices.

In 2017, SOCOTEC trialled several preventative safety prototypes to affix to the drill rig, following an accident elsewhere in the industry, in which a cable percussion driller lost his thumb.

Its anti whip-check bar was also recognised by the BDA when it won a safety/improvement Award at the 2017 event.

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