Over the last several years, the state of North Dakota has seen an acceleration in oil and gas extraction activities. The boom has occurred particularly in the Bakken oil fields area. This thriving industry has also seen a market increase in oil field related accidents at the same time. In 2017, there were seven fatalities in North Dakota’s oil and gas industry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, that is four more deaths over the previous year.
The old orientation strategy
Contractors in the oil and gas industry are currently required to fulfill training and orientation requirements for each of the individual companies they perform services for during the course of the year. That means, on average, the contractor will sit through 4 to 8 orientations, each time covering the same or similar material. The man-hours lost in this system are excessive – some 1.25 million lost hours spent on redundant training.
The North Dakota Petroleum Council (NDPC) pinpointed this problem of duplicated training as one that needed correction in order to increase efficiency in the system. To this end, they began to create a single orientation program through the input of the group of nearly 100 committee members consisting of contractors, producers, and training specialists.
ONE BASIN– One Way!
These efforts mentioned above eventually resulted in the ONE BASIN– One Way! Program, a comprehensive orientation program designed to fully cover safety orientation at all sites.
The concept of One Basin, One Way is straightforward. For example, if a new crane operator is hired, the operator is required to complete orientation training sessions with a number of different companies who hire him/her for field work. This forces the operator to sit in on several classroom sessions, potentially spanning several days, hearing the same message and instructions repeatedly.
The new process replaces the repetitive training sessions with a single session that has been reviewed and approved by 99 separate companies working in the oil patch. The advisory committee for ONE BASIN– One Way! chose three organizations to provide the training: North Dakota Safety Council, Diamond B, and TrainND Northwest.
As Chuck Clairmont of the ND Safety Council states about the old training system, “What happens is by the time you get to the fourth or fifth or sixth orientation, you’re probably tuning it out and there’s probably some valuable information you could be missing.”
The new system will bypass the requirement for contractors to laboriously sit through hours of training at each worksite. This simplification will help contractors more easily understand the guidelines, rules and safety procedures at all sites, leading to fewer worker injuries in the oil fields. As Kari Cutting of the ND Petroleum Council points out, “Any time you standardize a program, you typically lead to an improvement in your safety statistics.”
Oil and gas extraction work is dangerous. If a company violates safety standards, it must be held to account for any injuries to employees that result from such negligence. If you suffered an injury working in the patch, our North Dakota oilfield worker injury attorneys at the Larson Law Firm, P.C. can help. To set up a free consultation, call us in Minot or Bismarck today at 701.484.HURT or complete our contact form.