In the oil and gas industry, driving poses the highest potential risk for accidents and is the leading cause of fatalities. Schlumberger is an acknowledged leader within the industry in managing driving safety risks. The company’s Global Driving Safety Program helps manage these risks through quality training, technology, and proactive participation.
Employees and contractors drive more than 150 million miles a year for work-related activities—in every type of terrain and in every imaginable condition. Schlumberger has standardized procedures and established a unified driving program across its operations worldwide. As such, the company’s Global Driving Safety Program transcends corporate, national, and cultural variations in driving practices.
To achieve its goal of crash-free driving, Schlumberger operates five world-class driving training centers—in the US, Canada, Colombia, Mexico, and Russia—with satellite locations in Argentina, Brazil, France, Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela. These centers offer a variety of theoretical and hands-on courses that are centered on journey management and that establish expected safe driving behaviors.
The comprehensive driving-management system is a program that combines training and communication, an in-depth accident review system, and extensive use of in-vehicle monitors. Employees are required to undergo initial driving training, followed by regular refresher courses and competency assessments. In some locations, a key part of this is the use of sophisticated driving simulators.
The value of using seat belts is reinforced during training through a seat-belt convincer crash simulator device. Its purpose is to expose drivers and passengers to the forces of a low-speed crash to reinforce the benefits of wearing seat belts whenever a vehicle is in motion.
Journey management, which is at the heart of the driving safety program, establishes a set of expectations and minimum acceptable criteria for driving safety. Journey management addresses the entire journey and establishes at the outset whether or not a journey is necessary. Through journey management, Schlumberger can identify the location of vehicles, preventing drivers from getting lost and thereby increasing safety.
Driving fatigue contributes to the frequency and severity of accidents. Peaks in accident frequency at certain times of the day correspond to low alertness points in the human Circadian rhythms. Fatigue management training raises awareness of drivers to their own natural Circadian rhythms and alertness levels and provides tools and advice for proactive fatigue management.
Though a relatively low percentage of vehicle accidents are fatal, the likelihood of a fatality increases significantly if a driver falls asleep, even for a few seconds. For instance, if a driver drops off for just a few seconds of microsleep after a hearty noon meal and then awakens as a result of the vehicle straying off the road, the driver is likely to overcorrect the situation by turning the steering wheel sharply. This can result in a rollover accident.
Schlumberger operates in more than 80 countries in which standards and driving conditions vary, and the company’s global driving standard is set at a level of best practices for all regions. The standard, which has been adopted by the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers as the foundation for their recommended land transportation practices, consistently exceeds local requirements.