Did you know that 2.3 million workers die each year through occupational hazards? That is 6,000 deaths every single day. It’s an astonishing number!
The International Labour Organization (ILO) reports that 919 of these happen in Canada annually. This indicates that Canadian occupational health & safety is quite strong in comparison to other countries, but improvements can always be made.
Construction & lone workers
Sites under constant construction are obviously high-risk working environments. Employees are often expected to work with potentially dangerous building materials, at great heights, and often with heavy machinery.
It’s crucial that health and safety regulations are adhered to, to reduce the chance of injury and protect the lives of workers. The fact is, everyone can always do better when protecting employees, who are businesses most valuable assets.
A recent Backline Safety report showed that there are a gigantic 53 million lone workers in Canada, USA & Europe combined.
Stats like these help you realise that, with workers often far from help, the safe work procedures and practices put in place to protect them are more important that ever.
Companies such as GeoScan, operating out of Fort St John, have policies to ensure workers are kept safe when working alone. GeoScan would have locates attended by at least two technicians as regularly as possible, especially if the schedule allows or the client site requires it.
Oil & gas
Certain industries demand an even higher quality of health & safety standards and reporting, to maintain the level of focus, consistency and accountability needed. The oil & gas industry in particular is at the forefront of safety innovation, not just in the process of extraction, but in any related service, such as oil and gas locates.
1.72 million barrels of oil are produced in Canada per day. Although British Columbia represents only 2% of that total production, it is still a whopping 101 thousand barrels daily being extracted and transported from the province. The transportation in particular within the 50,000km of BC pipelines is an area whereby occupational safety standards extend to well beyond the initial process of extraction.
Industries such as oil & gas demand high standards simply because of the unavoidable risks that are involved in it’s far reaching processes.
Regardless of your role in the process of transporting oil and gas, having a below par safety record can be particularly brand damaging. With the priority always being the safety of employees and the general public, this can also impact sales.
What are the H&S requirements?
When working in connection with oil & gas, it’s particularly important that all technicians have complete and up-to-date H2S Alive training, having passed the 8hr course. In almost all cases, this is required to comply with site requirements, and employers tend to have a preference for employees with this certification. The goal of H2S Alive is to prepare workers to recognize H2S (hydrogen sulfide) hazards and protect themselves, as well as perform a basic rescue during an H2S incident. The course itself requires attending every 3 years.
Another regular requirement is that technicians have attended confined space awareness training. WorkSafeBC states that these pose a significant risk of injury and death, and within oil & gas this risk is certainly heightened. “Confined space incidents can happen suddenly, often without any warning that something is wrong. Employers must take the necessary steps to ensure worker safety around confined spaces.”
Additionally, there is Pipeline Construction Safety Training (PCST). This training is designed for oil and gas pipeline construction personnel. These courses instruct workers of the unique safety requirements associated with working in the pipeline construction industry. Completion of the course is required when working on any oil and gas site.
These are just a few of the many safety-focussed requirements needed when acting as a contractor or supplier within oil & gas. Platforms such as ISNetworld enable clients to select contractors that best meet their safety requirements.
Who regulates these requirements?
WorkSafeBC are a provincial agency dedicated to promoting safe and healthy workplaces across BC. Their Occupational Health and Safety Regulation contains legal requirements that must be met by all workplaces under the inspectional jurisdiction of WorkSafeBC.
In the case of oil & gas, The BC Oil and Gas Commission is an independent, single-window regulator for the natural gas industry, overseeing everything from exploration and development, to pipeline transportation and reclamation.
Energy Safety Canada are the nation’s oil and gas safety association. They work side by side with industry to drive safe work performance.
GeoScan Fort St John (FSJ) line locating
At GeoScan, our Fort St John division works hand in hand with many businesses within the oil & gas industry. Services GeoScan supply, such as line locating and subsurface utility engineering, are an essential part of the industry.
The GeoScan FSJ team have a perfect safety record and are innovatively paving the way for the rest of the subsurface survey and utility line locating industry. Recognised by ISN (ISNetworld number ID: 400-397702), COR, Comply Works (Comply Works ID: 1791059), and Energy Safety Canada, the FSJ division of GeoScan is pioneering many processes that will soon be rolled out to the rest of GeoRadar Group.
Examples of these are: H2S Hydrogen Sulfide safety training, PCST certification, sub contractor requirements, fatigue management policies, ergonomics and physical wellbeing, and safe use of chemical and biohazards.
In addition to the importance of H2S safety in FSJ, there has been a huge focus on chemical and biohazard safety, especially whilst duct running sanitation lines.
GeoScan takes pride in their thorough Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) and Risk Assessments documents. As OSHA outlines, JHA is an analysis focused on job tasks as a way to identify hazards before they occur. It focuses on the relationship between the worker, the task, the tools, and the work environment. Ideally, after you identify uncontrolled hazards, you will take steps to eliminate or reduce them to an acceptable risk level.
Employee owned GeoRadar Group are constantly optimising processes and procedures to evolve the service offering, and raise the standard for industry wide safety within utility line locating in particular.
GeoScan’s mission statement is suitably focussed on the commitment to this cause: “To reduce risk and add value by mapping the past, present, and future”.If you’d like to know more about the GeoScan OH&S Programme and receive a copy of our programme report (version 1.06) then please get in touch. If you’d like to learn more about our other services please head to our services page.