While reviewing several design reports, it is apparent that some teams need to look closer at potential risks not identified in their report. This is only part of the human factors requirement, but an important part. Think in terms of what risks you see initially and keep looking for new ones. Think about what occurs during construction and repairs as well as normal operations. What about abnormal events? What if something breaks apart? Discuss this frequently and update your procedures often. Are any teams conducting weekly drills, similar to a fire drill, that cover specific concerns? Make safety something that is always in the front of your mind.
Group A and B:
Even if there is no moving equipment or heavy lifts, what items can harm you?
- Lower reaction times when tired (driving home from a late session)
- What else have you observed?
- Is the rig and all auxiliary equipment properly grounded?
- Are you using ground fault detection and interruption? (GFI or GFCI) [Note: GFI does not turn off all the power]
- Is power to the rig isolated with your e-stop? What is necessary to safely turn the power back on?
- Do you employ a lock-out/tag-out process?
- Do you have a contingency plan if someone on the team receives a serious shock?
- You should be able to come up with several more issues.
Slips and falls:
- What if your drilling fluid spills onto the floor? Besides possible chemical reactions, what about slippery surfaces?
- If a spill occurs, what is your plan for notifying the team and any visitors of the hazard? (Visitors – yet another human factor)
- What cleanup must occur to resume operations?
- To any new entrants to the competition, design or buy some sort of containment system. You will still have spills, but it will make the mess easier to handle. One team bought a plastic swimming pool for small children. Come up with your own design.
- If someone is injured, how will you respond?
- Only a few teams included handling the heavy rock sample.
- How do you get it off the delivery truck? How is it transported to your lab?
- How is the sample positioned below the rig? How do you make fine adjustments? Just crawling under the rig and giving a push is not a good plan.
Struck by object
- On a drilling rig, injuries due to an object striking a worker occur far too often. How could a team member be injured?
- Teams often think of an injury from getting a hand, hair, or loose clothing caught in rotating machinery. What if the machine flies apart?
- Many teams have a heavy top drive and its support structure. If you are installing items or conducting repairs, how do you prevent this from falling and crushing fingers, for example?
- What if the rig tips over?
- There are many design-specific issues that need your attention in Phase I and Phase II.
There are so many other items for you to consider, but keeping yourself safe is worth it, isn’t it? Noise, dust, high temperature surfaces, and so much more can bite you. Be safety aware and go home with all your body parts every day.