Safety and efficiency are imperative when working in oil and gas extraction. That’s why it is necessary to always perform a full safety and maintenance check prior to drilling.
The only way to make sure that nothing gets overlooked is to run a checklist for your rig. Doing so will ensure that you are meeting OSHA, ANSI and industry-specific guidelines. A checklist helps you clarify instructions and to create a consistent inspection protocol to ensure the safety of employees.
Here are some key areas to include on your own inspection checklist.
Safety, Signage, and General Information
The number one reason to keep and use a rig inspection checklist is to ensure the safest operation possible. Fire safety items include ensuring a sufficient number of recently inspected and properly charged extinguishers.
Check that valve connections, discharge nozzles, and tanks are in good condition. A section on electrical safety must also be included, with detailed schematics of electrical systems to be checked. This section should also run through energy isolation methods.
Endure that panels are covered, and that all generators are operational and properly grounded. Additional safety checklist items should cover lines, slings, shackles, hoisting lines, and any auxiliary lines. Safety for stairways and walkways should not be overlooked, nor should ensuring proper signage such as rig ID information and "no smoking” signs.
Emergency response is an indispensable part of a proper inspection checklist. What is your protocol in the event of an accident or emergency? It should list immediate, secondary, and tertiary steps to take in the event of a rig emergency.
Clearly specify where emergency equipment and alarms are located. Make sure any shutdown procedures are explained in plain language. Know and mark where all fire extinguishers are located, as well as eyewash stations and first aid kits.
What Else Matters
A comprehensive drilling rig checklist will have hundreds, if not thousands, of items on it. Remember to list all certifications, permits, and other requirements for crew and equipment. Keep all MSDS in their proper place and always properly inspect and maintain any stored chemicals, as well as other hazardous materials such as compressed gas.
Keep track of all hand and power tools, as well as their proper maintenance and storage. Ladders and platforms also need to be inspected and checked off. Many, many more items will probably need to be included on your checklist like checking for dropped items, cleaning, minding machine guards, load path welds, pumping and mixing zones, mud tanks and pits, and every other conceivable category relevant to rig operation.
A good drilling rig checklist should essentially be a living document in the sense that it must be gone over regularly and updated as needed to remain in accordance with industry standards or to incorporate more efficient methods. Checklists should be site and equipment specific. If you use a pre-made checklist, be sure to add any items relevant to your specific operation.