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HSEQ Task Force Continues to Identify Best Practices in Dealing with COVID-19

Representatives from more than 25 PESA Member Companies participated on a HSEQ Task Force virtual meeting on May 5 to discuss continuing best practices for the oilfield services and equipment sector. The group’s goal is to stay current on the constantly changing work environment and share best practices as we navigate the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic.

With focus shifting to providing a safe environment for a return to the workplace, the task force has singled out critical areas of concern.

Disinfectant: With the focus shifting to providing a safe environment for employees returning to the workplace, it will be critical to properly disinfect surfaces. Most cleaners available contain either bleach, hydrogen peroxide or quat compounds. Although these products can kill the coronavirus strains, hydrogen peroxide is much safer and dissolves quickly. This is especially important for areas where food will be present.

Social Distancing: The task force continues to stress social distancing and proper hygiene for returning workers. In order to maintain these practices, companies are employing posters and floor decals to act as constant reminders. Similarly, the task force shared best practices around mitigating cases due to high-density living accommodations in the field.

PPE: Companies will also continue to require the use of masks. Although many task force members are providing masks to their employees, companies are also allowing employees to wear their own, which alleviates the overall quantity needed. The task force recommends companies who are providing masks to procure supplies now, as the demand for masks will only increase as more businesses return to normal operations.

Testing: Another issue companies will be facing as more employees return to work is meeting customer requirements for allowing employees onto their facilities. Some customers are requiring antibody testing before employees are allowed on platforms. These tests can have accuracy issues, so companies must remain vigilant to ensure the tests, testing procedures and results are interpreted fairly. Another evolving issue with testing, as well as pre-screening requirements, is how to maintain employee privacy in accordance with HIPAA. Current sentiment is that public safety takes precedence over privacy, however this issue remains to be settled.

The task force also addressed the importance of knowing the appropriate processes and procedures to follow if a positive COVID-19 case is identified at a location or rig site. A small group from the task force will work to develop a simple and unified flow chart on the handling of a symptomatic or positive COVID-19 case.

For the latest information and resources, visit PESA’s COVID-19 Resources page. For more information regarding the HSEQ Task Force, contact Senior Director Membership Services Peggy Helfert.

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