This past February, during a panel discussion at the International Association of Drilling Contractors Health, Safety, Environment and Training Conference Exhibition in Houston, Texas, the topic of worker safety on offshore rigs was addressed. The International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) is an annual forum for oil & gas drilling industry stakeholders to connect, share knowledge, tackle common problems, and develop solutions to critical issues.
Lead researcher for Definitions Health and Wellness, Dr. Farrell Cahill, sat on the panel as a recognized leader in the field of obesity, diabetes and exercise physiology in Canada. Through his expertise in genetics, endocrinology and human physiology, Dr. Cahill explores the aetiology and management of both obesity and diabetes to improve occupational health and performance. Along with 16 years of research experience, he has published 26 manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals and 45 abstracts at national and/or international conferences.
At the IADC Conference in Houston, Dr. Cahill focused on how we are among the only vendors in the world to be developing Physical Employment Standards (PES) using a Bona Fide Occupation Requirement (BFOR) based approach in the oil and gas industry. Today, there is a great deal of research looking at the metabolic demands of self and/or casualty based evacuations for firefighters but, there is no data on the metabolic demands of self and/or casualty evacuation from an offshore oil and gas platform environment.
The consequences of employing physically unfit individuals for a physically demanding job in the offshore oil and gas industry can be costly, both in human and in economic terms. A good physical employment standard (PES) ensures that individuals are able to undertake essential tasks. Physical health standards help to decrease the potential for injury at work and facilitate an employment selection method that is fair and unbiased, based on ability, not gender, age, or otherwise. If there is potential for an incident in the work place requiring evacuation, such as exists on offshore drilling and production platforms, it is critically important to ensure that all staff are physically capable of self-evacuation.
The IADC Health, Safety, Environment and Training Conference Exhibition panel discussion was discussed in this article by Valerie Jones, on rigzone.com.