2018IADC, Regulation, and LegislationMarch/April

From the President: Commitment to safety must not waver as industry works toward zero incidents

Jason McFarland, IADC President
Jason McFarland, IADC President

At IADC conferences, chapter meetings and meetings with individual IADC members, I often talk about the association’s commitment to serving as a valuable resource for our membership. And here, still at the beginning of a new year, it bears repeating. I’ve learned a lot in my 20-plus years with this association, and chief among what I’ve learned is that IADC is only successful if our membership believes in our mission and is willing to volunteer their time and expertise in support of that mission. I’m proud of the legacy that we’ve built and continue to build, and prouder still that our members share the belief that our industry is better because it has an association that advocates for the interests of its members.

In 2018, we continue our focus on the overarching goals and priorities that we have set, to educate and inform not only our membership but also worldwide legislators, regulators and the public. For example, we have an impressive conference lineup this year that focuses on the latest advancements in technology and sharing of information. Further, members of our committees continue to work together on pressing industry topics.

With a committed group of volunteer industry experts, we will work to improve upon our industry-leading training and accreditation programs. Updated course materials and the introduction of new courses will be completed to ensure that every worker on every rig is equipped to safely and competently perform their job functions. We also plan to introduce new guidelines and reference materials this year and will be adding to Drilling Matters, our educational and interactive website.

While the current US Administration casts a favorable eye toward our industry, our advocacy group continues to work at both the federal and state levels to connect with lawmakers to ensure that regulations are sensible and transparent. Worldwide, the view is similar, and our regional representatives are stationed in areas with significant drilling activity to ensure that IADC has a voice with local governments and regulators.

As is the case each year, we will continue our focus on safety; supporting prudent and responsible development of the world’s natural resources, while accurately representing our industry’s safety record.

Interest by the general public on our industry’s safety record constantly shifts, brought back to light when incidents occur, or when new regulation is being considered. As an industry, however, our commitment to safety is always top of mind – morning, noon and night, 365 days a year. Millions of dollars are invested annually by companies in our industry, continuously seeking to enhance the safety culture of their workforce. Significant strides have been made to improve the design of drilling equipment and well construction. And, emphasis on workforce training at all levels, plus disciplined use of protective equipment, has never been higher.  All of this has contributed to far safer drilling operations than what existed even just a decade ago.

Significant declines in incident rates, according to both the US Bureau of Labor Statistics and IADC’s own Incident Statistics Program, reflect our industry’s shared commitment to improved safety. The reality, however, is that these declines fall well short of our collective goal of zero incidents. We measure incident rates because, despite our best efforts, incidents still occur. Our collective task continues to be focused on figuring out how to reduce the number of incidents and to ensure that each individual on every rig is able to walk off the job site and make it safely home to their families.

I feel confident that it’s the members of IADC, who share a vision of safely, reliably and efficiently drilling for the world’s energy resources, who will get us closest to the goal of zero incidents.

I remain grateful for the volunteer efforts of so many IADC members who are committed to helping this association reach its goals.  This year holds much promise for success for both IADC and this industry; I thank you all for your continued contributions and support. DC

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