Work Safe in Times of Uncertainty

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Robert Crittenden
Robert Crittenden
Professional Mechanical Supervisor, Amateur writer, sharing experiences and knowledge from my 25+ years in multiple industries. Trying to survive in deepwater drilling to retirement.

I came back to the rig sick a few days ago and since I have been under the weather for these past days, I really haven’t had the inclination to write. But thank God I still have a job to come back to even if I am quite miserable working. I think about all the people I know that are laid off in our industry and bet even if they were sick wouldn’t mind going to work and making a payday.

We are facing the end of our contract soon…

… There is much uncertainty here, but we still get up every morning and pull on our boots and do our jobs to the best of our ability. Even facing the possibility of layoff, we still have to try our best to maintain the rig and complete this well on time and on budget.

It’s hard to get up every day with a good attitude and try to keep the spirits up of the guys around you and working under you. As a professional in a leadership position, that is what we do. If you can work each tower without anyone under your watch having an incident or injury then you have had a successful day.

Safety is of utmost importance out here on the rig.

It’s the number one priority. So maintaining a good attitude and keeping your guys in good spirits equates to helping them to work safe. We start out with a pre-tower and safety meeting, it’s how we start our day. HSE gives a pep talk and reviews a few things and someone from each department gives a rundown of the days planned activities so all departments know what jobs will be going on for the day. Not that plans don’t change, you have to be very flexible, but you do get a general idea of what is happening. I find it’s not always easy to keep 6 or 8 guys pointed in the right direction and you have to handle each one of them slightly different. But it does happen.

We have our ups and downs but we always work it out. We have a tremendous 0 incident safety record for three and a half years and no turnover in our department to show for it.

So if you are in a position of uncertainty…

… Keep your head up and keep doing the safe productive job your company expects of you. Do your best. Someone is always watching you whether you think so or not. Don’t take shortcuts. Now is not the time to lose your job over something foolish. There are many unemployed people waiting to take your place and just not that many opportunities if you have to start looking for work.

Plan your work, assess and mitigate the hazards and follow that plan through. If something changes, stop the job and reevaluate before proceeding. Nobody is going to fault you for taking that little bit of extra time to work safe.

Actually plan a time out into your job steps. Do it right the first time. If you are a supervisor, make sure your guys know your expectations and the company’s expectations of working safe. If you follow those few simple steps you will have a safe work place.

So hold your chin up and keep on keeping on! You can’t change the things that control our industry but you can control yourself. Work safe, try to be patient and hope and pray for brighter days to come! An incident free work record goes a long way for keeping a job or getting the next one. God bless!



    • Thank you Winston for your comment. If I helped you then I have achieved success in what I set out to do, which is to hopefully help or encourage people. Always put your best foot forward, work smart and safely and keep a positive attitude and you will achieve success in whatever you do.

  1. I hear what you’re saying but we cannot live in fear waiting for the axe to fall! The issue is with the Banks and financial houses. On top of that issue less than 30% of the global rig market is in work today! Fact. No one cares about of the market willpick up and accidents increase. Yes lucky to get any work in oil and gas on 2017. I have been looking since Sept 2014!

    • Kevin, I understand your frustration. My article is not about being in fear. Its about keeping your mind on your job, working safely and doing a good job. Its really more to encourage people. We cannot always focus on the negative, I myself am guilty of that sometimes. But overall I try to remain positive and look for the good in my life. Only we as individuals can control how we think. Sometimes its very tough to be positive when faced with adversity. Thanks for the comments . I hope your situation improves and you will find the work you are seeking in Oil and Gas soon.


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