By Ed Kudey I’m sure this is no surprise to you that in the high exposure exploration and production industry, the ability to quickly detect emerging risk and efficiently respond to unpredictable situations relies on the ability to receive accurate information in a timely manner. On a daily basis, we strive to constantly ensure a safe and secure work environment for our employees that are operating in these types of environments. In my many years serving this industry, I see that companies are constantly looking for better ways to offer the utmost level of safety for their employees. In this post, I’d like to share some of my ideas on how these companies can leverage connectivity and immersive collaboration solutions to address operational integrity, healthy and safety. I hope that after reading this piece, come away with a learning of new ideas and best practices in how companies can implement different technology solutions to mitigate risk and ensure safety. After all, this is about protecting human lives and fostering a safe and productive work employment - a win-win strategy for managers, their employees and the company as a whole. Based on customer discussions across the global industry, here are the top three technology areas that I am hearing about that can offer immediate benefits in the area of improving operational integrity, safety & health: - Video technologies that provide Shared Contextual Awareness and surveillance monitoring - Immersive Collaboration solutions which can improve operational integrity across industrial environments through Collaborative Work Environments. - Pervasive Connectivity that helps to integrate communications Below, I’ve included some additional tips and insight on how these solutions can easily add value to the business, operational integrity and address health & safety. Video Solutions: A picture is worth a thousand words comes to mind when I think of video technology in the field. Developments in video technology, combined with a decrease in cost, have accelerated mainstream adoption of video based solutions. Pragmatic solutions have moved from common webcam video, to video in a “Shared Contextual Awareness” from - which is a 2-way video solution that allows audiences to share the same experience. Shared contextual awareness solutions are leading the way in making a difference across today’s industrial environments. Mistakes happen when crews are fatigued. By using interactive video to monitor crew activities, the command center can reach out to a crew in an interactive (audio & visual) manner to gauge fatigue and identify potential risk to an individual, the crew and or the site. Similar to a Baseball manager knowing if and when to relieve a pitcher during an inning. Monitoring worker attire, from hard hats, regulation footwear to having a radio on hand…. All add up to an increase in worker safety. The addition of video adds a great deal of credibility to the decision to judge a crews level of fatigue and potential safety issues. Immersive Collaboration: Globally dispersed companies need connected, responsive teams and greater access to increasingly scarce expertise. Immersive Collaboration solutions make it possible for these organizations to take full advantage of advanced analytics and visualization technologies. In complex field operations, collaborative work environments leverage globally dispersed subject matter expertise to collectively reduce the time required to resolve a potential issue, mitigate risk, and increase operational integrity, health & safety of a site. Pervasive Connectivity: All of the aforementioned solutions and applications rely on a scalable secure network to deliver value. The network is the single entity that connects all end point devices, resources and users regardless of geographical location and for this reason; the network is viewed by many as the platform for business transformation. Knowing where workers are in the work environment, and being able to monitor their surrounding industrial elements, increases the operational integrity of a site. In the case of a harsh or hazardous gas leak, knowing where crews are, knowing what type of harsh or hazardous gas is in nearby, and knowing what condition the person or crew is in, helps to determine a plan of action. Pervasive connectivity is what delivers critical work environment information to workers and management, in order to mitigate emerging risk and reduce time to resolution. In the past, Industrial business environments that have invested in connectivity, video and collaboration solutions have been questioned as to their intent. The underlying premise that connectivity, collaboration and video monitoring are all an act of “Big Brother” monitoring employee activity with the intent to increase employee output / performance fueled a bit of skepticism on the part of the workforce and hindered the adoption of these technologies. Although that was the past and there has been a clear shift in mindset over the past few years, to more of a mentality that I have a “Brother” who is watching out for my safety, because it’s in the best interests of the company, my crew and me, that I am in a safe environment, performing my job activities under safe conditions and following safe procedures… so when it comes to safety, the bigger my brother is, the better. So with that, I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on the topics I raised above and or any adjacent topics on technology applied to safety at a rig. Edmund Kudey, Senior Manager Global Oil & Gas Industry