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2024 IADC HSE&T Conference Highlights from Devendra ‘Raj’ Rajcoomar

Devendra (Raj) Rajcoomar’s insights from the  IADC HSE&T conference in Houston!

In the evolving landscape of the oil and gas industry, organizations are facing unprecedented challenges in maintaining a culture of safety and operational efficiency, particularly in the realm of continuous people development. The aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic has further amplified these challenges, highlighting the difficulties in recruiting, developing, and retaining a skilled workforce.

The International Association of Drilling Contractors Health, Safety, Environment, and Training (HSE&T) conference, held in Houston, Texas, served as a pivotal platform for industry professionals to address these pressing issues. The conference brought together experts from across the sector to share insights and strategies for overcoming the hurdles associated with training and people development.

One notable presentation was delivered by Sagar Raut from Seadrill, who discussed the company’s innovative approach to redefining the role of offshore HSE advisors. This initiative is part of a broader effort to enhance safety and efficiency through targeted personnel development.

Michael Fry presentation, titled “The Difficulty of Digitizing Manual Skills,” delved into the challenges of conveying hands-on skills through digital platforms. Fry argued that, while digital learning offers numerous benefits, it cannot fully replicate the value of physical, apprentice-based learning experiences. His talk underscored the importance of maintaining traditional learning methodologies alongside digital advancements.

Thomas Koester of Noble Drilling, introduced a forward-thinking approach to engaging frontline crews in learning from successes and reflective practices through Learning Teams. His presentation highlighted the potential for interactive sessions to empower crews to share their experiences and strategies, thereby enhancing safety culture on the rigs.

Jim Spigener provided insights into the impact of seven brain-centered hazards on decision-making processes, including fast brain functioning, visual recognition, divided attention, memory, social thinking, fatigue, and stress and urgency. Understanding these hazards is crucial for developing effective safety protocols and training programs.

The conference also featured a panel discussion on the challenges of working in hot weather, with contributions from industry professionals Ryan Smallwood, M.S. , Michael Wasik , Cody Ashley , Philip Howard , Patrick Janes , and Jason Jensen. The panelists shared comprehensive strategies for managing heat stress, encompassing education, monitoring technology, personal protective equipment (PPE), and hydration solutions.

Day 1 of the conference underscored the oil and gas industry’s commitment to addressing the complex challenges of workforce development in the post-pandemic era. By sharing best practices and innovative solutions, the event fostered a collaborative approach to enhancing safety and efficiency through people development.

At The Callen Group, we believe in making the world a safer more efficient place to work. We believe that safety and efficiency go hand in hand and we believe that when the entire organisation, from the boardroom to the rig floor, understands the purpose and intent and sees the value in and is able to practically apply the processes and tools, safe and efficient operations consistently is achievable. We work with organisations to develop their leaders and energise their workforce, creating a sustainable culture.


Kris's Bio

After 20 years of working with clients involved in high-risk operations around the globe, Kris founded The Callen Group in April 2017 in order to focus solely on developing and promoting high-performing operational cultures that lead to safe and efficient operations.

He founded Performance Coaching International, served as president from 2005 – 2009, was Senior Vice President at The REACH Group from 2009 – 2017, and is a highly respected Senior Leadership and Safety Facilitator. In addition, he was highly involved in the mergers of Global Marine and SantaFe, Hercules, and TODCO as well as Talisman’s North Sea Operations transfer from Total. Kris remains on the cutting edge of advances in the area of behavioral safety, predominately in the Oil and Gas Sector.

Kris’ career has taken him to 90 countries training over 35,000 people. He has been intimately involved with the development and implementation of Behavioral Safety Processes with Enterprise Offshore, Orion Drilling, Hercules Offshore, as well as the former GlobalSantaFe which is now Transocean. In 2019 Kris authored the book “Commit to Safe and Efficient Operations” published by PennWell. This book outlines a clear roadmap for bringing many cultures together and simplifying the safety tools that are used day in and out.

Kris holds dual Bachelor of Science degrees from Belhaven University, Jackson Mississippi, in Accounting and in Business Administration. He is passionate about creating a performance culture where safety and efficiency go hand in hand. He currently divides his time between Lafayette, Louisiana, Tampa, Florida, and Houston, Texas, and has four grown sons: Braxton, Taylor, Joshua, and Noah.