HomeResourcesBlogSafety Is a Big Problem for Oil and Gas Fleets
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Safety Is a Big Problem for Oil and Gas Fleets

By Brad Penneau February 25, 2019

Though the most memorable disasters in oil and gas have occurred far out to sea on drilling platforms and extraction sites, top of mind for businesses in the industry the looming threat of incidents involving everyday vehicles on public roads keeps businesses wary of the dangers associated with oilfield transport. Despite the lower incidence of road accidents in the oil and gas industry, when accidents do occur they carry with them catastrophic results with a broad set of implications that have long-lasting impact.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) notes that motor vehicle crashes are responsible for 29% of all work-related deaths in the oil and gas industry. This is driven by a number of factors, such as the fact that many sites are accessible only from poorly maintained roads. These challenging and often-dangerous driving condition, compounded by the dangerous nature of the materials being transported, makes the vigilance of both business owners and drivers all the more critical.

Modernize tools to maximize safety

Oil and gas fleets face unique challenges on a daily basis in the areas of safety, efficiency, and productivity and operate within a highly volatile environment. Under these stressful conditions, managing a mobile workforce is no easy undertaking. This is one of many reasons oil and gas fleets are increasingly using telematics solutions to overcome recurring issues to improve the efficiency and safety of their operations. And though it would seem there are plenty of other tasks besides driving that would be more dangerous for workers in this industry, such as working with dangerous equipment, but being that the top cause of fatal occupational injuries in the industry is transportation, safety on the road must rise to the top of priorities. 

Monitoring driver behavior is one of the most effective ways telematics helps oil and gas businesses improve safety on the road. GPS enables you to take an active role in prioritizing safety by tracking speeding, hard braking and rapid acceleration. The ability to identify incidents and responsible parties, leaders can more effectively address unsafe behaviors. Reports and alerts help to highlight harsh driving events, making the job of improving safety a little easier through automation and sharing the job of creating a culture of safety.

This driving data partnered with video recordings of harsh driving events equip businesses with context around the event, which in turn enable business managers to address unsafe driving habits and protect against false liability claims. Without the need to comb through mountains of data, video solutions powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning are broadening visibility and deepening knowledge for businesses without adding complexity or burden.

The daily challenges in the oil and gas industry can vary so greatly that the need to be agile and effective is greater than ever. For fleets in the oil and gas industry, a healthy vehicle is critical to safety as much as productivity. Visibility into vehicles and equipment, including how they’re being used and health status help keep operations up and running, but alerts can be used to keep up with regular maintenance schedules and help prevent minor issues from becoming costly and more dangerous issues

Uncomplicate compliance

Safety on the road and all the steps to maintain and enforce it can often overshadow the importance of regulatory compliance. But mandates established to enforce safety, such as the requirements for Hours of Service (HOS), the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Rule, and Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports (DVIRs) can all be addressed by use of a comprehensive telematics tracking solution, helping you meet the minimal safety requirements set forth by the government as you make additional steps to go above and beyond in the area of safety.

Additionally, local municipalities put your business under further restriction and scrutiny, for example with regulations regarding accessible roads that allow for transporting flammable gas or materials. Simple driver error can cause big problems for your business that could be easily avoided with routing capabilities available from telematics solutions. Use vehicle route histories and automation provided by a telematics solution to help your business stay in compliance and out of trouble with local governments.

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Simplify management to focus on what matters

One of the unique challenges of managing a mobile workforce is that your assets, team and equipment are rarely all in the same place at any given time. Keeping track of locations, the status of jobs, and the driving habits of operators without a comprehensive solution leaves gaps where human error can spell disaster at great cost to your business.

Though the ability to trust your drivers is crucial to a business running smoothly, but whether it’s a customer complaint or your driver being accused of aggressive driving, the ability to monitor all drivers at once through a single platform without the need to make a single phone call empowers you to make more informed decisions and have evidence to back-up your employees where necessary. GPS tracking equips you with the information you need to hold your drivers accountable for representing your brand outside the office walls.

Prioritizing safety is easier than you think

Automating compliance paperwork, streamlining scheduling and maintenance, and monitoring driving behaviors through a GPS tracking platform helps improve your operations in many obvious ways, but perhaps the most important benefit is that it frees you up to be able to spend more time doing the things that move your business forward and closer to achieving your goals rather than bogged down by day-to-day tasks. Focus on the initiatives that help ensure the sustainability of your business, create a culture of safety and create positive customer experience by climbing out from under the menial tasks holding back.

Companies in the oil and industry that take the initiative to implement telematic tracking solutions can stay ahead of their competition, improve your operations and give you, your drivers and their families valuable peace of mind.

Brad Penneau

With a career in transportation safety spanning 30 years, Penneau’s experience includes progressively responsible safety, regulatory compliance, and training in (and in support of) the trucking industry.

Tags: Cost control, Dispatching & Scheduling, ELD & Compliance, Performance & Coaching, Safety, Vehicle Maintenance

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