OTC 2015: Controlling Costs and Enhancing Worker Safety
How can an oil and gas company address the need to control costs during a downturn while maintaining productivity and, most importantly, a high level of worker safety? By looking for novel ways to stretch technologies and to keep safety equipment as standardized as possible, safety pros told Rigzone Wednesday on the sidelines of the 2015 Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston.
"Without exception, companies are not sacrificing the safety of employees to save money," said Ross A. Glynn, sales and marketing manager with 3M's Oil and Gas Solutions Division.
However, companies are looking for ways to make their equipment go further, he added.
Utilizing technology to its fullest enables companies to increase efficiency and productivity, Glynn explained. For example, he said that 3M has developed an abrasive containing a specialized resin that facilitates faster cutting but demands less worker effort in terms of operating the tool. Moreover, he said the abrasive can provide a clearer cut through metal than other technologies.
"You can do more unit throughput per hour without sacrificing worker safety," Glynn said.
Companies can also keep safety levels rigorous while controlling costs by standardizing personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies, said executives with Ansell, a manufacturer of hand and arm PPE. For instance, a global company that uses many different types of gloves at different locations might decide to limit the number of glove types it uses across the organization, said David R. Nicholls, associate director for marketing and business development with Ansell's Mining, Oil and Gas unit.
Aside from the cost control aspect, standardizing PPE dovetails with an overarching desire of multinational companies to follow more consistent standards, added Chancellor Wyatt, associate director of Ansell's Specialty Markets unit.
"There are lots of trends taking place in mature markets that are also taking hold in emerging markets," Wyatt said. "Companies want more global standards."
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