“The PJP, or pre-job planning, is a step-by-step document that aligns the entire permit to work process. Asking the simple question of “do we have everything we need to execute the job in a safe manner?”

- Tom Kelly

The offshore oil and gas industry has one golden rule, safety first. It’s this culture that has led to a routine practice that all Newfoundland and Labrador’s oil and gas producers carry out before every job — the toolbox talk.

A toolbox talk is a meeting that is held at the start of every job offshore. Take Suncor’s Toolbox Talk for example. They use it as an essential linchpin in keeping everyone on their team safe.

By providing an easy to follow framework, the Toolbox Talk ensures that everyone is on the same page. From making sure all team members understand the task and are aware of the potential dangers to confirming that all necessary paperwork is present.

It all boils down to simple questions like ‘do we all have a clear understanding of the job?’ and ‘are we properly prepared to perform the work?’.

While these questions may seem obvious, not being one hundred percent confident in the answers could mean there is a possibility for an incident to occur.

A Field Level Hazard Assessment (FLHA) is also done on a daily basis. This check identifies specific risks like trip hazards, sharp edges, and anything else that could cause potential harm. It’s imperative that the team works together to recognize these specific hazards to ensure the task and work environment are safe.

Additionally, work supervisors provide an extra set of eyes though Permit Audits. They confirm that all documents are present and that everything needed to execute the job safely is included in the permit. The permit-to-work process ensures that every job is safe to perform and that all equipment being worked on is disconnected from all power or energy sources.

 “The entire process, without a doubt, saves lives and makes jobs safe to do — from the simplest task, right down to some of the most complex jobs that are out there,” says Tom Kelly, Fabric Maintenance Coordinator for Suncor.

Bottom line, there’s no room for error when it comes to keeping people safe. That’s why pre-job meetings, like the Toolbox Talk, are so important. By providing a streamlined process to identify and troubleshoot potential workplace dangers, Newfoundland and Labrador’s oil and gas producers and explorers ensure that their offshore teams can do their job safely, day in and day out. 

Contributor bio

Tom Kelly, Current Fabric Maintenance Coordinator and previous Rope Access Technician on the Terra Nova Offshore rig.