A Pragmatic Approach towards Sustainable Environment

A Pragmatic Approach towards Sustainable Environment

Robert Sheninger, VP Health, Safety, Environment and Sustainability, Talos Energy

Robert Sheninger, VP Health, Safety, Environment and Sustainability, Talos Energy

If you asked your employees, “How effective is your HSE training program,” what would they say? Most of us would hope to hear things like, our organization’s training is value-added, content is fresh, and the time spent in training is well spent. Unfortunately, this is not predominantly the case since we often hear that training is boring, stale, and not an effective use of one’s time. The challenge we all face when it comes to HSE training is that it is a critical component of our businesses to ensure we have competent individuals who can make sound decisions, speak up when something is not right, and provide proactive feedback when needed.

Talos Energy, a leading oil and gas producer with production based in the Gulf of Mexico, finds itself in an unusual position. With operations located between two nations—the U.S. and Mexico—Talos must rely on its own comprehensive HSE practices to protect not only employees, but also the environment. We wanted to be sure that Talos was not only complying with rules and regulations but acting sustainably and taking steps to build a strong safety culture, extending beyond employees but also to contractors.

Talos wanted to create a paradigm shift in training mentality, from the conventional to unconventional, leading to a vast improvement in the learning experience for both employees and contractors. Readily available, off-the-shelf training for the oil and gas industry is not usually geared toward offshore work, so Talos looked to UL to develop an original suite of e-learning modules based on our safe operating practices. This highly engaging and visually dynamic program covered general topics on personal protective equipment (PPE), control of work, and job safety analysis (JSA) along with detailed segments for the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) and Safety and Environmental Management Systems (SEMS). We also developed a hazard identification module for current risk assessment, which was unique to the company.

“We wanted to be sure that Talos was not only complying with rules and regulations, but acting sustainably and taking steps to build a strong safety culture, extending beyond employees but also to contractors”

Talos Energy’s goal is to safely produce oil and gas in an environmentally responsible manner. Even as the company increases its offshore exposure through the acquisition of additional assets, eLearning training has yielded impressive improvement (recommend adding images on TRIR, LTIR, and spills).

To further supplement core training content, we developed a series of animated micro-learning modules around stop work authority, hot work, fire prevention, and breaking the containment (process safety). Utilizing animation to highlight and dissect unsafe work scenarios allowed the employees to quickly modify current behaviors and apply proper safety methods to their work. To address contract worker safety, training was added to an on-demand platform, so temporary workers could access relevant topics. Delivering safety training is often overlooked for temporary workers, so giving immediate, free, training access via the platform filled a common gap companies face when managing a constantly changing workforce.

Talos’ e-learning content that is required for contactors is hosted on ISNetworld and tracked, so contractors must scan in at the heliports/docks to verify they have completed the required training. This helps Talos ensure only trained and competent individuals are working on its behalf. Future plans include annual updates of core content on Talos Safe Operating Practices (TSOP), the development of an abbreviated HSE Expectations video that all contractors must take to go offshore, and additional micro-learning content such as a recently completed on Process Safety/Pressure releases. As technology improves, Talos also sees value in supplementing current material with augmented and virtual reality opportunities where it makes sense.

The world today has been adversely affected by COVID-19 and has forced us to look at ways in which we can move from in-person learning to effective virtual solutions. Fortunately for Talos Energy, we were prepared when the pandemic hit and continued to provide value-added learning opportunities for our personnel, thus reducing potential risk to people, and then environment, operations, and society.

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