Skip Navigation

Course 900 - Oil and Gas Safety Management

Safety guides and audits to make your job as a safety professional easier

Total Safety Education and Training

engineering control
Participants receive an overview of a drilling rig.
(Click to Enlarge)


"Total" safety education and training is a process that gives employees everything they need to know and do to achieve excellent performance. It starts with new employee selection and ends with the verification of sustained excellent performance. Total safety education and training should be a part of every employee's experience because it:

  • reinforces the belief that safety is a core value (not a priority) - an essential part of every job;
  • identifies safety, requirements, standards, and results;
  • helps ensure employees have excellent knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) to work safely; and
  • results in more effective and efficient operations, and long-term company success.

The Importance of Total Safety Education and Training

The benefits listed above emphasize the importance of conducting world-class safety education and training that ensures workers are properly selected and oriented, completely trained, evaluated, retrained when necessary, and always motivated be the best. Let's look at some important aspects of the process.

Click on the button to see the important elements and activities of Total Safety Education and Training.

Elements of Total Safety Education and Training

Selection.It's important to properly select from a qualified pool of applicants. A well-planned application process will help select qualified employee and that will also improve employee retention.

Orientation. A safety orientation will educate new employees on the safety and health aspects of their jobs, and will help take the surprise out of first days on the job.

Training. Initial and continuing safety training, especially with new employees, must compensate for their lack of knowledge, skills, and abilities in the demanding work they must perform. Accidents can happen quickly at a worksite if roughnecks and others do not understand and have the proper attitudes about the procedures they must follow, and why they are necessary.

Retraining. Remaining aware of danger, as familiarity kills caution, requires constant retraining in a variety of ways in order to retain interest. Retraining should be conducted if it appears workers have adequate knowledge or skills to perform safely, or as needed to ensure that employees are able to perform their tasks in a safe manner.

Motivation. Worker motivation to work safely and to stay with the industry must come from the companies. The opportunity to be employed year around, developing pride in working for a good company, experiencing satisfaction with job conditions, knowing that the work is meaningful and being rewarded generously should lessen the movement of workers through the industry.

Evaluation. Total safety education and training is successful only after the employer can verify that employees are performing at or above the employer's standards. To achieve that, employees should be evaluated by competent persons.

1. Why is safety education and training so important, especially for new employees?

a. To clearly state what is, and what is not, acceptable behavior
b. To meet all OSHA safety and health regulations
c. To compensate for their lack of knowledge, skills, and abilities
d. To make sure they know what company expectations are

Next Section

Initial Training

Conduct initial training for all new employees.
(Click to Enlarge)

When initially employed, a worker should receive instruction and training pertinent to the hazards, safety precautions, safe work practices, and use of personal protective equipment applicable to the type of work performed. The employer should require that the worker demonstrate adequate knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) to safely operate the tool or equipment prior to using it in a drilling situation.

Click on the button to see the important elements of new employee initial safety orientation.

Elements of Initial Orientation

The instructions should adequately orient and alert the new employee to the following:

  1. the basic principles of a well drilling operation, including the safe work practices and hazards associated with rig equipment;
  2. the purpose and operation of blowout prevention;
  3. hydrogen sulfide and respiratory protection;
  4. fire prevention and control;
  5. confined spaces and entry procedures;
  6. personal protective equipment; and
  7. emergency procedures.

Click on the link to see a comprehensive list of OSHA training requirements.

2. What must employees do before the employer can allow them to use tools or equipment on the wellsite?

a. Demonstrate ability to safely operate the tool or equipment
b. Pass a multiple-question test with at least 70% score
c. Attend a class on safe use of the tool or equipment
d. Answering any questions the supervisor might have

Next Section

Ongoing Training

engineering control
Training should be conducted in all processes on the wellsite.
(Click to Enlarge)

The Safety Coordinator or other designated site safety person will appraise the skill and knowledge level of exposed workers, and provide any needed training.

If the worker changes jobs, he or she should once again demonstrate adequate knowledge and ability to correctly perform new procedures and operate any new tools or equipment involved with the procedure.

After inspecting a job site, a designated person should identify and evaluate all potential hazards that may cause serious injuries and increase the probability of an accident. Actions will be taken to minimize the hazards and protect the workers.

Where safety and health training is needed as a result of hazard identified on the worksite, be sure to develop training that at least does the following:

  • Describe the hazards that have been identified.
  • Explain specific safe practices the necessary precautions.
  • Require students to demonstrate competence.

Toolbox Talks: Short toolbox talks (also called tailgate meetings) in which employees gather around informally should be conducted regularly (daily or weekly). Virtually any topic may be included such as:

  • Safe work practices necessary for that day's work
  • Any safety concerns workers may have
  • Brief refresher training on relevant safety topics (topics to be provided by the Safety Coordinator)

Records should be maintained for all training sessions with descriptions of topics covered and names of workers trained. When students learn how to perform safe procedures, be sure to formally certify them as competent and qualified in writing.

3. What should the trainer do after learners complete training in which they learn how to perform hazardous procedures?

a. Include student signatures on rosters
b. Complete attendance rosters
c. Certify attendance
d. Certify competence and qualification

Next Section

Classroom Training

engineering control
Step #1 - Determine the need for training.

The Texas Department of Insurance Division of Workers' Compensation Workplace Safety has a seven-step classroom training development process that can be quite effective in conducting classroom training for oil and gas companies. Let's take a look at these seven steps.

Step #1 - Determine the Need for Training

Training does not solve all problems. Sometimes the problem may be work procedures, equipment, or lack of employee motivation. Ask yourself:

"Does the employee have the skills or knowledge to perform the job?"

  • If the answer is "yes", then safety training may not be required
  • If the answer is "no", then safety training will be required.

Click on the button to see the condition in which employees should receive safety training.

Safety training should occur if an employee:

  • is newly hired
  • lacks the knowledge needed to perform safely
  • lacks the skills to perform safety
  • is exposed to hazardous new machinery or equipment
  • is exposed to hazardous new procedures or tasks
  • is subject to new safety guidelines, policies or rules

4. Employee safety training should occur for all of the following reasons EXCEPT _____.

a. exposure to hazardous new machinery or equipment
b. retraining has not been conducted annually
c. a lack of skills to perform safely
d. exposure to hazardous procedures or tasks

Next Section

Classroom Training (Continued)

engineering control
Step #2 - Identify training needs.

Step #2 - Identify Training Needs

Once you have determined that training is needed, the next step is to determine the training needed to get the employee competent and qualified to perform a task or job correctly and safely. Some questions to help identify training needs are:

  • What is the employee have previous experience?
  • What is the employee's level of knowledge on the subject?
  • What procedure does the employee know how to do?

Once these questions have been answered, you can look at additional information to help identify specific training that needs to be done.

Click on the button to see the various records and reports that should be reviewed to help determine the training needed.

Documents to review include the following:

  • accident and injury records
  • incident and near miss reports
  • audits and inspections
  • observing employees while working
  • safety meetings
  • suggestions from employees
  • job hazard analysis and developed solutions for the hazards

5. Once you have determined that training is needed, what is the next step?

a. Determine the training needs
b. Develop the learning activities
c. Write the training goals
d. Develop the learning objectives

Next Section

Classroom Training (Continued)

engineering control
Step #3 - Identify goals and objectives.

Step #3 - Identify Learning Goals and Write Objectives

After determining training needs, it is time to identify your goals and write objectives. When developing your learning goals and objectives, you should be able to describe what you expect employees to know and be able to perform tasks and improve performance.

Goals. Learning goals are merely statements describing a general end-state result such as:

  • Know the types of fall arrest systems.
  • How how to perform first aid.

Objectives. Effective learning objectives describe outcomes in terms of specific, observable, and measurable behaviors. They should be based on an objective training needs analysis, not on conjecture or existing trainer guides. Objectives should specify the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) that make performing a task possible. To make sure learning objectives are clear and concise, we encourage using the ABCS model that includes each of these four components: Audience, Behavior, Condition, and Standard.

Click on the button to see more information on each of the four components of the ABCS model for writing learning objectives.

Four Components of the ABCS Model

  • Audience. The objective identifies the audience. Example: "each student"
  • Behavior. The objective should describe a behavior. The behavior is the "action" component that must be observable and measurable. Example: "will list" More examples. Each of the following behavioral methods can be used and examples:
    • Written exam - answer questions on a written test
    • Oral exam - answer questions, give opinions, or describe key elements
    • Skill demonstration - don/doff PPE, perform steps of a task
  • Conditions. The objective should describe the conditions under which performance is measured. Example: "without help" The student may or may not be assisted as a condition under which they must perform. The condition specifies constraints, limitations, and resources such as tools, working aids, assistance, supervision, and physical environment is given to the learner to perform.
  • Standard. The objective should specify an acceptable standard of performance. It's important to clearly state how well the student must perform. Establish quantitative and qualitative criteria for acceptable performance.

Here are two examples of learning objectives for safety training:

  • Given a full body harness, each student will be able to correctly inspect and identify at least two defects in the equipment.
  • Given a 10-question written exam on oil and gas electrical safety, each student will be able to correctly answer at least 8 questions.

As you can see, operational objectives are much more specific and detailed than mere safety goals.

6. Which of the following is the best example of a learning objective?

a. At the end of training the learner will have gained a real appreciation for safety
b. Each student will complete the training and pass the final exam
c. When asked, the student will be able to describe all steps in the scaffold erection process
d. The trainer will have received an excellent evaluation from each student

Next Section

Classroom Training (Continued)

engineering control
Hands-on learning activities make great training.

Step #4 - Develop Learning Activities

Decide what types of activities you're going to use to train your employees. How are you going to get across to them the skills and knowledge they need? Different people require different types of training; some visual, some hands-on, etc. The most common and effective learning activities that ensure students gain adequate KSAs are step-by-step instructor demonstration followed by student practice. Examples include:

  • donning and doffing a fall protection harness;
  • proper operation of a fire extinguisher; and
  • proper use of a portable ladder.

Prepare your training materials and aids after deciding on the learning activities. Arrange objectives and activities in the sequence that corresponds to the tasks actually performed on the job, and if possible, use hands-on demonstrations followed by practice. Employees will retain training information if it is related to their job tasks.

Step #5 - Conduct the Training

The actual training is crucial for the overall safety training process to be successful. Begin your training with a short review of the key training subjects and activities. After each objective is taught, draw a relationship between the employee's goals, interests, and experiences to the objective. Reinforce what the employee has learned by summarizing objectives and key points.

Make sure employees have an opportunity to participate in hands-on practice in a safe environment. After instruction and practice, the trainer should:

  • evaluate each student's KSAs;
  • use the results of the evaluation to verify the student's competency, and
  • certify in writing that the student successfully achieved adequate KSAs.

After training is completed, the supervisor should evaluate and certify in writing that the student is qualified to perform the learned task on the job.

7. Which learning method is used most effectively ensure students gain adequate KSAs?

a. Lecture and Simulation
b. Demonstration followed by practice
c. Video case studies
d. Role playing by the trainer

Next Section

Classroom Training (Continued)

Step #6 - Evaluate the Trainer and the Training

engineering control
Evaluate the effectiveness of the training.

After conducting the training and receiving feedback from students, it's time to evaluate the success of the trainer and the training. Safety training is successful only if workers learn from it, and gain adequate knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs).

Without evaluation, you will never know the degree to which the training was successful. When you develop the goals, learning objectives, and content of the training, don't forget to include a process to evaluate both the trainer and the training.

The training evaluation can be conducted using several methods, including:

  • student surveys can provide the most useful feedback about the effectiveness of the trainer and the training;
  • supervisor observation of the student on the job to determine improvement in KSAs after the training; and
  • statistical data that establishes before-after changes in key performance indicators (KPIs).

Click on the button to see examples of survey question to ask that help to evaluate the training.

Survey Questions

  • Were parts of the content already known and, therefore, unnecessary?
  • What material was confusing or distracting?
  • Was anything missing from the program?
  • What did the employees learn, and what did they fail to learn?
  • If a job analysis was conducted, was it accurate?
  • Was any critical feature of the job overlooked?
  • Were the important gaps in knowledge and skill included?
  • Was material already known by the employees intentionally omitted?
  • Were the instructional objectives presented clearly and concretely?
  • Did the objectives state the level of acceptable performance that was expected of employees?
  • Did the learning activity simulate the actual job?
  • Was the learning activity appropriate for the kinds of knowledge and skills required on the job?
  • When the training was presented, was the organization of the material and its meaning made clear?
  • Were the employees motivated to learn?
  • Were the employees allowed to participate actively in the training process?
  • Was the employer's evaluation of the program thorough?

8. Which of the following training evaluation methods can provide the most useful feedback about the effectiveness of the trainer and the training?

a. Student surveys
b. Observations
c. Review of statistics
d. Management feedback

Next Section

Step #7 - Program Improvement

Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) Cycle
Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) Cycle
Click to Enlarge

After asking the questions in the survey above, you may discover that one or more improvements can be made. If so, it's important to carefully develop and implement the change through effective change management principles.

By following a simple 4-step process, called the PDSA Cycle, small improvements can be continually in the training program, or any other program, no matter how large or small.

The PDSA Cycle uses a systematic series of steps to continually improve a product or process. The process is called a "cycle" because the steps are continually repeated. As the image to the right shows, the PDSA Cycle contains four primary steps. These four steps are repeated over and over as part of a never-ending cycle of continual improvement.

Let's see how we can apply these steps to develop a safe work procedure:

  1. Plan. In this step, we identify a safety process or plan of action.
  2. Do. We implement the change on a small, such as a change in some part of a training course. We keep it small scale to limit the negative effects if the change fails.
  3. Study. We carefully study the plan to check the progress of the test see if it's working.
  4. Act. In this step we take the information from the previous step to either adopt the change, revise it (by going through the cycle again), or we abandon it.
In the example above:
  • If the new safety training works, we keep it
  • If the training needs improvement, we continue the cycle making small changes
  • If the training does not work at all, we throw it out and start over.

9. Using the PDSA Cycle, it's important that changes in a training program small scale to _____.

a. determine the failure more quickly
b. better identify who to blame for the failure
c. save the costs of the change
d. limit the negative effects

Next Section

On-The-Job Training (OJT) Process

Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) Cycle
Follow the steps to ensure effective OJT.

Safety training should be simple and straight-forward. The best place to conduct the training is where the task is actually going to be performed. Here is a seven-step OJT training process that helps to ensure new employees don't get hurt while being trained. Now I know that might sound funny, but it happens regularly.

Step 1 - Introduction

In this first step, the trainer tells the learner what will be trained, discusses the learning objectives, and answers any questions the learner might have. The trainer discusses what will be expected in terms of learner knowledge and performance. The trainer emphasizes the importance of the safe procedure to the success of the production/service goals.

Step 2 - Trainer explains and performs - learner observes

In this step the learner becomes familiar with each step in the procedure being taught. The trainer reviews the initial conditions for the procedure. Next, the trainer explains and demonstrates the procedure, carefully explaining each step as it is performed. The trainer also answers questions and continues to demonstrate and explain each step until he or she is convinced the learner understands what to do, when and why to do it, and how to do it.

Step 3 - The Learner Explains - Trainer Performs

This step helps to make sure the learner knows proper steps prior to actually performing them. The learner tells the trainer how to perform each step, and if the learner's instruction is correct, the trainer will perform the step. If the learner does not explain the step correctly, the trainer will not perform the step, and let the learner know why.

10. In the 7-Step OJT model, what does the trainer do after a learner successfully describes a step in a hazardous task?

a. The learner performs the step
b. The trainer will perform the step
c. The trainer watches as the learner performs the step
d. The trainer tells the learner to explain the next step

Next Section

On-The-Job Training (OJT) Process (Continued)

Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) Cycle
Recognize workers when they master a task.

Step 4 - The Learner Explains and Performs

This step is an optional precaution that may be used when exposure to hazards inherent in the procedure could cause an injury. The learner explains the step, gets permission to perform the step and then performs the step. This step is very important when training tasks that might result in serious physical injury or death if not performed correctly.

Step 5 - Conclusion: Recognize accomplishment

In this step the trainer basically says, "Good job!" and reemphasizes the importance of the procedure and how it fits into the overall process. The trainer will also tie the training again to accountability by discussing the natural and system consequences of performance.

Step 6 - Document

For safety training in which procedures are taught, the training documentation should be more than an attendance sheet. It's important that the trainer verifies in writing that the student has demonstrated adequate knowledge and skills to perform the procedure safely. Here is a sample training certification.

Step 7 - Validate

At some point in time after the conclusion of the OJT session, the learner's supervisor should observe and question the employee to validate that the training has been successful.

You can learn more about how to conduct a JHA in OSHAcademy Course 706.

Training Requirements in OSHA Standards and Training Guidelines (OSHA's Training Requirements Guide) -Here's a great booklet that covers many OSHA training requirements and also gives you some ideas on training strategies.

11. In the 7-Step OJT model, what is a precaution the trainer takes to ensure the learner does not get injured prior to performing a step?

a. Only the "safe" steps are performed
b. The trainer first performs the steps
c. The learner does not perform any of the steps
d. The learner must get permission to perform the step

Next Section

Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) Cycle
Informal observations can reveal a wealth of valuable information.


Safety and health work observations should be performed periodically by supervisors or designated observers. Observations may be conducted randomly in an informal manner, or they may be planned when a formal observations program, such as a Behavior Based Safety Program, is part of the SMS.

No matter what the strategy being used, safety and health work observations ensure:

  • an employee has the knowledge to perform the work as trained
  • the employee is actually performing their work task safely

Specific observations or audits are especially critical for lockout/tagout, confined space, fall protection and other programs where the risk of exposure to hazards is high. Results should be documented and follow-up training should be provided as needed. This process helps assure safety and health training is effective.

To learn more about safety education and training, be sure to complete OSHAcademy Courses 703, 721, and 723.

Click this link to see a sample training certification.

12. Specific observations are especially critical for which of the following procedures?

a. Safety committee meetings
b. Lockout/Tagout
c. Job hazard analysis
d. Safety inspections

Check your Work

Read the material in each section to find the correct answer to each quiz question. After answering all the questions, click on the "Check Quiz Answers" button to grade your quiz and see your score. You will receive a message if you forgot to answer one of the questions. After clicking the button, the questions you missed will be listed below. You can correct any missed questions and check your answers again.