Guest Editorial: Oil and Gas Industry Leaders Target a Serious Problem That Affects Us All - Driving-Related Events
- Derek Tate (Schlumberger Oilfield Services)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- December 2007
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 18 - 20
- 2007. Copyright is retained by the author. This document is distributed by SPE with the permission of the author. Contact the author for permission to use material from this document.
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The International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (OGP) has taken a strong proactive step to reduce the greatest common cause of death and serious injury plaguing our industry—motor-vehicle crashes (Fig. 1). OGP members formed a task force to study the issue and develop a realistic way to address it. The group selected a process that is elegant in its simplicity, yet remarkably thorough. They reasoned that since the industry was already accustomed to following recommended practice (RP) in nearly every facet of its work, why would it not be willing to develop and apply RP in driving?
The work was encouraged by sobering statistics amassed by the World Health Organization and the World Bank, which jointly estimated that 1.2 million people are killed annually in road crashes, and another 50 million are injured. Trends show that these numbers could increase by 65% over the next 20 years unless there is some intervention. While rates in developed countries are expected to decline, those of low- to middle-income countries will erase the decline, and the trend is expected to be steeply upward. Task-force members reminded themselves that the oil and gas industry field force is very active in these at-risk countries.
The task force took the position that one of the best ways to minimize driving fatalities is to minimize the occurrence of vehicle crashes. The best way to minimize the occurrence of vehicle crashes is to address their causes in a comprehensive way. Accordingly, the RP covers a spectrum of control areas. The team strived to apply experience, common sense, and best practice in determining the content of the document. Measures both proactive and reactive were included—preventative and mitigating, respectively. While the requirement for driver training and skill assessment will help prevent a crash, the requirement for the wearing of seatbelts reduces the potential for injury should a crash happen.
Task-force members sought to create a product that, if applied across the industry, should result in a step change in journey management and a substantial reduction in transport-related incidents. What differentiates an RP from a guideline is that an RP should be formally put into the business and operating practices of the company adopting it, requiring the universe of their enterprise—that is, permanent and temporary employees, partners, contractors, and vendors—to be influenced to adopt the practice as well. It is a powerful and effective incentive. An RP also becomes something by which the industry is recognized by the general public, governments, and regulatory agencies.
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