Personal Safety Equipment
No matter how well designed the rig or how well supervised the crew, only careful, conscientious conduct by everyone can assure safe operations. Each person should receive instructions on the proper way to perform their work and the use of personal protection equipment (PPE). Safety standards prohibit the wearing of rings or other jewelry, loose clothing, or long hair on a drilling rig. All these things are subject to being caught in moving machinery.
The mandatory personal protection items worn by each crewman should include hard hat, safety boots, gloves, and safety glasses. Proper clothing is also important.
Safety hard hats must be worn by all personnel, including visitors, when in the work area. Hats must be of nonmetallic, nonconductive material. They must meet prescribed standards of strength and protection from impact, flying objects, or electrical shock. A bright colour increases visibility.
Safety Shoots and Boots
Steel-towed footwear made of heavy leather or neoprene construction is mandatory on drilling rigs. They greatly decrease the number and severity of toe injuries. Soles and heels should be of nonskid material (rubber is too slippery). They should be discarded when the metal begins to show.
Gloves protect the hands from minor injuries and improve the hold on slick or wet surfaces. They should be of heavy cotton construction, short and close fitting. Large gauntlets are apt to get caught in something so gloves of this type should not be worn. Rubber gloves are needed when handling caustic or corrosive material.
Safety Glasses, Goggles, Face Shields
Eye protection is of utmost importance. If an eye injury occurs, prompt medical attention is critical. Personnel should always wear approved safety glasses, goggles, or face shields when engaged in the activity where flying material is generated. These should be readily available on every rig. The risks to eyes are numerous, whether engaged in routine maintenance chores or a major activity like pulling the drill string. Any action involving a hammer can produce flying chips. Wire brushes, grinding wheels, scraping, compressed air or steam cleaning operations all present dangers to vision.
Approved splash-proof goggles or face shields should be worn when handling hazardous materials, such as caustic, cement,cleaning solutions, molten metal, or chemicals of any kind.
Electric arc welding operations should be shielded to prevent damage to the eyes of observers. The welder should always have a helmet on and helpers should be furnished special goggles.
Contact lenses are discouraged because they can hinder attention to the eye if immediate action is required.
Only close-sitting, clean clothing should be worn. Long-sleeve shirts, with shirttails tucked in, are recommended. Cuffless trousers help prevent tripping. Each crewman should have available a fresh change of clothing should their work clothes become oily or soaked with chemicals. Aprons should be worn when handling chemicals.
In cold weather, dress as lightly as possible considering the weather and activity level. It is better to be a little cold than too warm. Overheating can cause sweating, dehydration, and chilling when activity stops. Keep clothing as dry as possible and wear the clothing in layers. Sweaty or wet socks can lead to frostbite or trench foot; change them often.
Hearing protection gear should be worn around any high noise area, such as around the rig engines.
Respirators are required for spray painting, mud fixing, or working in heavy dust. Special breathing equipment and instruction are needed if hydrogen sulfide is, or may be, present.
Falls cause a significant number of injuries; therefore, a full-body safety harness is required for anyone working or climbing aloft six feet or more above the derrick floor.
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