Offshore InjuryBlog

Training for Well Workers

Workers that are in the offshore drilling industry should undergo adequate training so that they are fully equipped to take on the responsibility of their position. Training should develop the role specific skills that workers need for full cycle well integrity and crew resource management. Some professionals believe that all key industry personnel should be required to obtain certification for operator assured competency.

The current certification for well control and engineering is important, but many professionals believe that rig workers would be safer if they could have a company and job specific certification necessary for an operator to be assured that he or she is competent in his or her field of work. The general certifications required for key workers on offshore rigs only require them to learn about casing design and wellbore hydraulics, and to attend well control school.

What Is the Benefit of Requiring Unique Certification for Well Workers?

Most workers have unique responsibilities that are not covered in the certification program. If all workers also needed to receive a unique certification for specific equipment, companies, and operations, it would ensure further employee comprehension and minimize mistakes on rigs.

Some of the unique skills not taught in the general certification program include but are not limited to the following:

  • BOP system configuration
  • The use of proprietary cement additives
  • The exception reporting process
  • Execution of a well contingency plan
  • Operation of a cement pump

The Problem of “Competence Gaps”

Many certifications leave workers with so-called “competence gaps,” which can be defined as areas of the industry that the individual worker is not familiar with. These competence gaps may also be viewed as safety gaps when to comes to the well-being of workers and to the overall safety and efficiency of the job site. For this reason, it is important that employers take a systematic approach to finding and addressing these competence gaps, both by defining the unique roles of their workers as well as the areas in which they may be less experienced. Then, employers can solve these competence gabs by providing access to auxiliary training and education for their workers.

How Can Supervisors Address Gaps Left by Certifications?

If supervisors were able to determine and pinpoint these competence gaps, they would then be able to discuss these areas of uncertainty with their workers in order to make sure that they understand the duties they are being hired to do. In addition, these supervisors would also be able to create and develop training courses for their workers in order to address—and, hopefully, eliminate—these competence gaps. Finally, the supervisors would also be able to better ascertain which areas of their safety programs required augmentation in order to address these areas of uncertainty and to protect their workers.

Employees could then take a knowledge assessment based on their knowledge of these areas—and, if they pass this, they could go on to take a request capability assessment that would lead to training and observation on the job. After this, trainers would be able to provide workers with coaching, feedback, and evaluation specific to the company before granting them certification and allowing them to work on the rigs. Overall, these extra measures would result in safer, more efficient, and more competent job sites, where workers feel confident in their areas of expertise and equipped with the knowledge and resources they need to excel and to take pride in their work.

Discuss an Injury On the Job with the Team at Arnold & Itkin LLP

Job bosses and supervisors have a responsibility to keep worksites safe for their employees. Part of this includes providing sufficient training. If you or your loved one was injured on the job, we encourage you to speak with an oil rig accident attorney from Arnold & Itkin. Our team has a history of tough, effective representation. Call our office at (888) 346-5024—we would be happy to offer you a free consultation.

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