The Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors (CAODC) held its annual service rig safety awards banquet in Edmonton on April 9 this year.
Grimes Well Servicing, Roll'n Oilfield Industries, Precision Well Servicing and Global Well Servicing were all recipients of major awards at the function. The performances of those companies in the past year are indicative of the progress that the industry had made in terms of health and safety.
"The safety record of the industry is very good," said Don Herring, CAODC President. "Our total recordable injury frequency (TRIF) for the last quarter of 2010 was 4.12, which is stable. We've been around the 4.0 level since the third quarter of 2009 Just for perspective, when we switched over to the new measurement standard in the first quarter of 2001, the number was 15.76. So, prior to 2009, for two or three years it was at a 5.0 and then a 6.0. And so it's been coming down. It seems to be we're kind of at a 4.0 right now, more or less."
The CAODC presented Safety Leadership awards to three service rig contractors whose TRIF was above that of other companies in their peer group.
The Class C award for contractors who worked up to 100,00 man-hours in 2010 went to Grimes Well Servicing, with honourable mention going to Rezone Well Servicing.
"It's a nice reflection on the performance of our employees," said Kirk Grimes, Operations Manager for Grimes Well Servicing in Fort St. John, adding that the award is a good "measurement of how our safety program stacks up against [the rest of the] industry."
The Class B award for contractors who worked between 100,001 and 250,000 man-hours in 2010 was presented to Roll'n Oilfield Industries. The honourable mention went to Global Well Servicing.
"We here at Roll'n Oilfield Industries have always strived for the best safety record possible," said Safety Manager Jeremy Hein. "As such, we were very happy to accept the CAODC Class B Safety Leadership Award. Receiving this award speaks volumes to the hard work put in by the people in the field all dedicated to safe work. Also, having strong leaders committed to everyone going home to their families is a cornerstone of a company that cares for their employees."
The Class A award for contractors who worked over 250,001 or more man-hours in 2010 went to Precision Well Servicing. Concord Well Servicing received the honourable mention in that category.
"Obviously, when you're recognized by your peers in industry as having the best overall safety performance in any given year, it's something that we're extremely proud of," said Marty Packard, Operations Manager at Precision Well Servicing. "It's not the first time that we've won the award. But it's something that's extremely hard to accomplish. To have an overall safety performance better than your industry peers, it takes a lot of hard work and a lot of man-hours. I mean, we ran a lot of different rigs last year. And it's just something that we never take lightly, and we're extremely proud of the fact that we were chosen as having the best performance last year, in the Class A anyway."
Packard insisted that "there's no secret formula" to achieving that sort of safety record.
"It's just a lot of hard work," he added, noting that there is a continual effort to build a culture of safety within the company.
"The safety of our people always takes priority over anything else that's going on in the field," Packard continued. "So, as long as we use that as a standard and an expectation for the guys in the field, it's given us some pretty strong results and just built that safety culture within our company. And that's the bottom line for any company that's had some success or has turned things around. You build that safety culture from the top down. Everybody believes that we can go out and make a dollar, put a dollar in our guys' and gals' jeans, and do it safely."
Precision Well Servicing operates across the three western provinces. Much of their business is in the Bakken formation in southeast Saskatchewan and the Cardium in Alberta, but they also do a bit of work in the Montney formation in northeast British Columbia.
"We're kind of strategically spread out so that we're able to support any one of our rigs in any one of those areas with a management team that's not too far away," said Packard, explaining how the company can maintain their safety performance when they operate across such a large area. "And at the same time, we're able to take advantage of all the opportunities with our customers, too, in all these active plays that are coming around these days."
In addition to receiving the honourable mention in Class B, Global Well Servicing also earned the Chairman of the Board's Shield, which goes to the service rig contractor with an above average TRIF and the most improved TRIF over their 2009 performance.
Sandy Ross Well Servicing received the honourable mention for that award.
"It's a step in the right direction," said Brendan Eaglesham, Safety Advisor with Global Well Servicing. "It was a great improvement over the previous year. But we're not satisfied with the status quo and we're always striving to continually improve our safety performance."
The CAODC introduced a new category called the Safety Excellence Award this year.
"Each contractor was asked, of their fleet of rigs, even though all of them or many of them may have very good records, find one that stands out and bring the rig manager and the driller and a couple other people, and introduce them and explain to the group why it is you picked that rig," Herring explained. "That was a little different."