Parker Drilling Sails to Safety: This Houston-Based Drilling Contractor Strives to Maintain a Standard of Excellence in Caring for Its 2,900 Employees and the Environment at 25 Locations Worldwide

Article excerpt

Few would argue that a company that provides onshore and offshore contract drilling probably has its share of safety challenges. Employees of Parker Drilling Co. are spread out at multiple locations around the world, in sometimes challenging environments, on a land fleet of 28 rigs in 12 countries and an offshore fleet of 18 barge rigs in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, Caspian Sea and Mexico.

"The nature of oil and gas drilling presents a variety of challenges to working safely," said Robert L. Parker Jr., chairman and CEO of Parker Drilling Co. "However, these challenges are made even more complex when considering Parker's history of participating in emerging international oil and gas markets through the drill bit and training of local citizens. Language differences and training new employees with no previous industry experience from a myriad of local cultures add to the barriers we must overcome."

To overcome some of those challenges and barriers, Parker Drilling provides all employees with a full curriculum of HSE safety and technical training by American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) certified instructors. Due to the remoteness of a majority of its drilling sites, Parker understands the importance of fire safety and training on drilling sites and has taken it to the next level by creating a Fire Prevention and Control School in New Iberia, La. The campus includes full-scale burnable props, full-scale replicas of a drilling rig, mud pits, doghouse and living quarters, on-site classrooms and first aid facilities. During the 3-day program, students alternate classroom instruction with live fire situations including:

* Rig fire fighting

* Mud systems fires, flange fires and spill fires

* Incident command system

* Classification of fires

* Strategy and tactics of rig fire fighting

* Derrick rescue

* Confined space rescue

"Our experienced staff of instructors includes a combination of instructors from Parker Drilling's training facility and seasoned career firefighters," sayd Lisa Ressling, a senior document control specialist with the company. "Typically, we encourage a group that works together to attend the program together, thus building on and enhancing an already established team."

Other elements that set the Parker Drilling occupational safety and health program apart from the pack include:

SAIL--Any safety action item identified as a result of safety meetings, alerts, job safety analysis, exercises/drills, the STOP program, incident reporting, hazard reports, inspections or other means are placed on the Safety Action Item List (SAIL). …