People who work at the front line in our industry often work in remote locations, outdoors and exposed to the weather for the duration of their work shift. In the summer months in particular, when the temperature rises, heat stress is a very real risk exposure for the workforce of most companies working in the oil & gas industry sector.
Halliburton has been operating in Australasia for more than 50 years and has a workforce of about 800 people throughout the region servicing the onshore and offshore industry in locations such as Roma – Queensland, Moomba – South Australia, Jandakot – Western Australia and Sale – Victoria, as well as operations bases in New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.
Heat stress events have occurred in the past in the oil & gas industry and so many companies have developed and implemented heat stress awareness training programs for their employees. Whilst all these training programs are focused on managing the same risk, the format and content of each differs slightly from one company to the next.
As a large contractor company providing services to many different customers at any one time, Halliburton not only had its own company-wide heat stress awareness training program that its employees had to undertake, but was also required by each of its customers to complete additional customer-mandated heat stress awareness training. It’s questionable if this approach does anything to improve safety outcomes, because duplication of content and contradictory or mixed messages in different training programs is more likely to disengage and confuse the workforce, rather than help them.
In addition, the instructor-led, face-to-face delivery format of Halliburton’s own heat stress awareness training program was also proving to be a burden for the company to manage. Organising the scheduling, venues, instructors, attendees, delivery and administration of a face-to-face training program for a workforce of several hundred people working a wide range of different rosters is a huge logistical challenge.
The introduction of the Safer Together Heat Stress Awareness e-Learn module provided a timely opportunity for Halliburton to not only align with a new industry-wide approach, but to also re-visit its pre-existing delivery model for this type of training.
Halliburton was looking for a single, common, industry-recognised training solution that would be accepted throughout the oil & gas industry in Australia, irrespective of which customer its people were providing services to and at what location.
Over a period of 2 months, Halliburton adopted and integrated the Heat Stress Awareness e-Learn module into its company Learning Management System, and it has now replaced the previous, instructor-led company training course.
The new approach was trialled first with Halliburton’s workforce in the Queensland CSG-LNG industry at the company’s operations base in Roma, before being rolled out across all of Halliburton’s operations throughout Australasia. There has also been interest from other Halliburton entities in other countries as they begin to see for themselves the high quality of the materials.
Halliburton commenced deployment of the e-Learn module in November 2020, with the initial audience being all new starts and everyone whose annual Heat Stress Awareness training was due for renewal. In 2021, in the lead up to the 2021 hot season, all employees in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea will switch across to using the e-Learn module.
The previous approach was frustrating and time-consuming for employees, course instructors and the HSE and Training functions within Halliburton – trying to schedule courses to suit work rosters and minimise business disruption…having to find someone who would be available to deliver it on a particular date…chasing people to make sure all the available spots were filled…mobilising instructors…manually updating the training status of each individual in the company’s LMS on course completion, etc.
Having uploaded the e-Learn module into Halliburton’s LMS, it is now available for people to access and complete the training whenever they want, at any time of day and any day of the week. It takes about 30 minutes for an individual to complete the module, and the operations teams don’t need to rely on support from anyone else to be able to organise and complete the training. Each individual’s training records are automatically updated on completion of the module, and the LMS generates weekly reports that makes it easy for the HSE and Training functions to monitor training compliance and track who has and who hasn’t completed the course.
The Safer Together Heat Stress Awareness e-Learn has been well received by Halliburton’s line managers, supervisors, and workforce because they can see for themselves the benefits:
- Safer Together – adopting one common approach, with clear and consistent messages, results in everyone on site “speaking the same language” in relation to heat stress prevention and mitigation – by our customers, by our workforce, and by other third parties on site. In addition, the flexibility of this new approach also ensures that a higher percentage of our workforce are now able to complete the training, and at the right time of the year.
- More Efficient Together - it’s simple, minimises disruption to our daily operations activities, and our people can do the training at a time and a place that best suits them. By eliminating a lot of time and energy spent previously on organising the logistics of face-to-face training courses, we can now re-allocate HSE resources to spend that time out at the worksite, instead of doing administration and paperwork.
- Cost-Effective Together – the financial cost associated with booking training rooms, mobilising trainers, catering, and downtime associated with “taking people away from the tools” to attend training can be significant, and none of this is no longer required. In addition, almost all of our customers have embraced and accepted the Safer Together e-Learn module, so our people now only have to do this training once each year.
- Continually Improving Together – the quality of the training materials is high, and the benefit of adopting one common approach across the industry is that helps set the tone more broadly of multiple different parties working together as an aligned team.
“I went through the course and was really impressed with the new content. It felt like an updated modern course, not just a generic tick and flick. The content was easy to follow, and video segments were engaging, not long and drawn out.” (Service Supervisor Cementing)
HSE, IT and L&D In Harmony – Close co-operation between the HSE, IT and Learning & Development functions within your business is essential because deployment of the e-Learn module is more likely to succeed if it is integrated seamlessly into your organisation’s existing Learning Management System (LMS), rather than being a “bolt-on” process.
Sell the Sizzle – Take the time to build some awareness within your company and get your operations teams on board before you launch the e-Learn module. Explain where it comes from, what the benefits of adopting it are, and how it fits into your company’s overall Learning Management System (LMS).
Timed to Perfection – Set this up as an annual requirement (not as a one-off course) and be practical and realistic with your implementation expectations. Introduce this in the lead up to the hot season, not in the middle of winter. People are more likely to be convinced of the need for this training when the weather starts to get warmer, not when it’s freezing cold at their work location!
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For more information about Halliburton click here.
For more information about the Safer Together Heat Stress Awareness e-Learn module click here.