HSE: A ne­ces­sity, not a lux­ury

Oil & Gas Middle East - - WELCOME -

Op­er­a­tors can­not af­ford to forego health and safety mea­sures, and should lever­age in­no­va­tive solutions

There is noth­ing more fun­da­men­tal to the oil and gas sec­tor than health and safety. It is a wild world on­site, and de­spite best ef­forts, ac­ci­dents do hap­pen.

These in­ci­dents can be min­imised by op­er­a­tors that in­vest smartly into health & safety cloth­ing and equip­ment that serves them, and their work­ers, well. Any risk to a worker is a risk to the com­pany as well, and oil and gas op­er­a­tors would do well to take into con­sid­er­a­tion what Oil & Gas Mid­dle East’s line-up of in­dus­try lead­ers have to say on the sub­ject.

This month’s Mar­ket Fo­cus takes a look at the oil price and how it has im­pacted health and safety on­site; a re­cent sur­vey by Petrotech­nics found that low oil prices have hurt safety ini­tia­tives in large oil com­pa­nies. In lean times, in­dus­try ex­ec­u­tives must make tough de­ci­sions on cap­i­tal al­lo­ca­tions, but health and safety, while not di­rectly profit-bear­ing, must not fall by the way­side.

Mean­while, at the fore­front of many in­dus­try con­ver­sa­tions is dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion. But what hap­pens when dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy is at odds with safety? In­no­va­tion, of course. Oil & Gas Mid­dle East is pleased to have one such in­no­va­tor as our Knowl­edge Part­ner for this re­port. Ge­tac, which de­vel­ops rugged tablets for a range of ap­pli­ca­tions in­clud­ing oil and gas, demon­strates that op­er­a­tors can find the bal­ance be­tween dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion (es­sen­tially, in­creased pro­duc­tiv­ity) and safety.

There are so many gains to be made with dig­i­tal me­dia, in­clud­ing re­mote mon­i­tor­ing and in­spec­tion, con­stant con­nec­tion and up-to-date in­for­ma­tion in the field. Rugged tablets stand out, how­ever, be­cause they not only im­prove pro­duc­tiv­ity and safety in the ways that most up­stream dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy does, but they take away a haz­ard with them; the risk of ex­plo­sion or fire that comes with reg­u­lar tablet or mo­bile phone use on­site.

But tech­nol­ogy, how­ever im­pres­sive, has its lim­its, and our Last Word comes from DNV GL, which as­serts that while ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence may be an im­por­tant part of the in­dus­try’s fu­ture, it might not be ca­pa­ble of tak­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity for safety crit­i­cal op­er­a­tions like those of an up­stream site. DNV GL of­fers some rec­om­men­da­tions in res­o­lu­tion of this is­sue, al­low­ing op­er­a­tors to lever­age ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence with­out hav­ing it take com­plete con­trol.

It is not ter­ri­bly dif­fi­cult to un­der­stand; health and safety risks hurt as­sets, op­er­a­tions, pro­duc­tiv­ity, bot­tom lines, and, of course, the vi­tal work­ers who make oil and gas ex­trac­tion pos­si­ble. To put it briefly: It’s bad for busi­ness.

“Un­sched­uled down­time” is a phrase that strikes fear into the hearts of in­dus­try ex­ec­u­tives, but there are in­creas­ingly in­ge­nious ways to min­imise this and cre­ate op­er­a­tions that are safe, pro­duc­tive and dig­i­tally en­abled.

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