On a typical day at a wellsite in Veteran, Alberta, a worker completing a pressure test on a coil tube rig was inadvertently struck in the face by the test pipe and died as a result. Through collaboration with industry, Alberta OH&S and the impacted company, this tragic incident led to a creative sentencing project from Energy Safety Canada (ESC) that may change the way you view the dangers of pressure.
Building Capacity to Manage Pressure is the publicly available program born out of this tragedy. It approaches the incident through the lens of operational learning and encourages industry to move beyond safety as the absence of incidents and instead view it as the capacity to fail safely, even with the inevitability of human error.
“Our industry has seen substantial improvement in safety performance over the last 30 years, but what got us to this point is not what will take us to the next level,” says Murray Elliott, President & CEO of ESC. “Serious incidents like this are often complex. Understanding the broader context will lead to more effective and meaningful corrective actions. We need to do things differently and open the door to new ways of thinking about safety and operational efficiency.”
The Building Capacity to Manage Pressure program consists of a free online course with supporting tools and resources to ensure workers and supervisors are aware of pressure-related dangers. It uses a 3D animated re-creation video of the event and highly interactive game-based modules to take the individual on a journey to better understand what it takes to improve safety performance.
“The incident is explored using modules and games with the goal that by the completion of the course, the user views the incident differently,” explains Robert Waterhouse, Program Manager at Energy Safety Canada. “The aim is to expand the understanding of the incident and how successful work gets done.”
Elliott and Waterhouse discussed the Building Capacity to Manage Pressure Program when they were interviewed for an episode of Todd Conklin’s PreAccident Investigation podcast, and they emphasized the importance of organizational learning and building capacity into systems. As Conklin has said, “Safety is not the absence of accidents. Safety is the presence of resilience, the presence of capacity, the presence of tolerance in a system.”
The course takes approximately four hours to complete and is designed for everyone from those with boots on the ground to those working in the office — it’s for anyone who is involved in the planning, management, and execution of work. Visit Energy Safety Canada’s Building Capacity to Manage Pressure webpage to access the video, free course, and all the program’s tools and resources.