SEMS II Webinar – Bureau Veritas, Wood Group

BVC_Wood Group – COS SEMS II Webinar Presentation – 21 April 2014


I was going through one of my flash drives and found this webinar that I co-created and delivered back in 2014.  Given the current climate for Safety and Environmental Management Systems (SEMS) I thought some people could use this today.

I don’t think this was the final copy, BV has that and I can’t find it on their website anywhere.  So, I thought I would use mine and see if it can help explain to some of those new safety guys out there a bit more about SEMS and SEMS II.

It’s really quite simple, but so many make it hard when it doesn’t need to be.  Here is the key to understanding the basics of SEMS and SEMS II.

  1. You must have a written SEMS plan
  2. It must be known by your employees (they need to know where to find it)
  3. You will be audited (both in the field and in the office)
  4. You will be held accountable against what YOUR plan states

It’s that easy.  If you say you have a way of doing things, then do it.  I’ve come across so many companies that have a written plan that state they do something this particular way, then they do it another way.  That’s when the auditors will ding you.  As your program grows, the auditors will hold you to a higher standard.

Go to the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), 30 part 250 and you will find what you MUST have as a minimum in your plan.  Then, you can build from there.  I’ve built a few SEMS plans for various companies, it isn’t hard, but does require thought and top management commitment, which is sometimes hard to come by with smaller companies.

Anyway, enjoy the presentation.  If I can find my copy with my notes, I’ll include it.  If you need any help with SEMS, let me know.  I am SEMS lead-auditor trained and have been involved with this for many years.

Good Luck!

Multinational Management

Some days, managing people from 10 or so different countries get’s to you.  Especially when you’re an ocean away from your family for so long.  Wood Group is pretty good to me, but always trying to be aware of other cultures viewpoints and taking into account their worldview becomes a struggle at times.  On the plus side, the rewards when you can keep that many people from all different corners of the world working together is quite satisfying.

Carry on……

By the way, here is the sunset from yesterday….not bad huh?

West African Sunset
West African Sunset

ITNHGE Advanced English Class – EG – Africa

In the 2nd year of the ITNHGE program in Equatorial Guinea, the students are in Advanced English, Math and Science.  Almost every one of these kids (I say kids, but most are in their 20’s), had 0 English skills when they joined the program.  The first year is a really intensive English program.  I went into the Year 2 classroom the other day, and the students were giving group presentations in English and the topic was English.  These kids were talking about participle’s, past tense, future tense, all things I have not thought of in many years.  What’s more amazing, when the teacher asked which group volunteered to be first, half of the groups raised their hand immediately.  I was quite impressed.  They even worked on their transitions between members of the groups.  It is an interesting dynamic, we have teachers and other employees from all over the world (Australia, Ireland, US, UK, Philippines, Eastern Europe and Nationals).  All these people have different cultural norms, ways they communicate and ways they interpret.  In the beginning it helps to have a bit of cultural training that way the lines of communication won’t become a jumbled mess.  With the ITNHGE program, I think we got it right.  But that is because we have students that want to be here and want to learn and teachers that feel the same.  Here are some pics of the day!

Advanced English Presentation


Advanced English Presentation
Advanced English Presentation

Vaccinations – Check!

I checked in at the dr on Friday morning at 0645 to do my physical and get my vaccinations.  Instead of being sent to our company physician that is only for Wood Group employees, I was sent to a Concentra office in Houston.  I was the 2nd or 3rd one in line when they opened the doors.

It wasn’t long before I went back and it was clear that they had no idea what to do with me.  I told them repeatedly that I had to get vaccinations, but they didn’t have that on the schedule.

I took a drug test, breathalyzer, hearing test, vision test, EKG, they took several vials of blood, turn my head & cough, then, finally, 6 hours later they broke out the needles.

In order to go to Africa (Equatorial Guinea), I needed 7 shots.  Including an adult polio shot.  But the one that the nurse warned me about was the yellow fever shot.  She said, “now I heard this will burn a bit, and the area I have to give it too is a bit more sensitive as well.”  It went into the tricep and felt like liquid fire.  Once the shots were done, the nurse had to fill out the paperwork, which took quite a while for all of those shots.

Finally, after 7 hours I was done…….but wait, I had to await final approval from the lady up front to make sure I signed everything and has copies for my work.  When the nurse asked her to rush mine along because I had been there all day, she said “don’t ask me to rush anyone!”  The nurse then told her that he (me) had been here since 0645 and they lady told her that “so what, I have too!”  That’s when I wanted to scream out that “yeah, but this is your job!”  But I thought that would only slow my day down further.  In all, it was 7 hours and 20 minutes for a physical and vaccinations.

My son happened to be sick that day and my wife took him to the Wood Group doctor and she told them what I had been through and they said, “why didn’t he just come here, we could have got him done first thing this morning?”

Equatorial Guinea, Africa – Here I come

Hi everyone!  I hope you are all well.  I have decided to take another position within Wood Group, now I’ll be going to western Africa, the small country of Equatorial Guinea.  It will be a great opportunity and give me some excellent international experience.  Currently I have a little, but this will take it to the next level.  I’ll follow up with more details later.  I leave in 2 weeks.  Wish me luck!  Also, if anyone has any tips or ideas of what I need to take, shoot me a message.

I found this pic and wanted to pass this safety fail along.  I’m glad we don’t have a picture of about 3 seconds later.

Safety Fail
Electricity and Water?

RIGZONE – The Oil, Gas Guide to Networking: How To Connect and Communicate

RIGZONE – The Oil, Gas Guide to Networking: How To Connect and Communicate.

This is a pretty good article about Networking.  I get tired of the old, “what do you do? great, here is my card” routine.  With the price of oil being so low and everyone looking for their piece of the pie, networking will be taking on a much larger role for a lot of us.  Get ready!

Luckily at Wood Group, we do a fair amount of networking with each other quite a bit.  So my smaller group (Wood Group ODL, which is the consultant side) can interact with some of the other, larger divisions of Wood Group, such as Wood Group Mustang, Wood Group PSN, Wood Group Kenny, etc…

Rigzone has a bunch of great oil and gas articles.  For all you guys that don’t know, it’s also the place to go to see o&g job postings.  It’s probably the most customer friendly o&g website I’ve come across.


Thanks to Valerie Jones of Rigzone and Katie Mehnert, CEO of Pink Petro.

Good luck out there!

DUG Eagle Ford Conference 2014 – Wood Group ODL booth

The Developing Unconventional Gas (DUG) Eagle Ford Conference 2014 was this week in San Antonio, TX.  There were 5,000 people there and just about everyone stopped by our booth, or that’s how it appeared to me.  Luckily I didn’t work the booth, I was attending the sessions and walking around.

Shaking hands and kissing babies
Shaking hands and kissing babies

Below is a pic of the exhibit floor taken from above.  There were over 400 booths, which translates into a lot of “gifts” for the kids (and myself).  I tried to win the Harley-Davidson, but I wasn’t the lucky one.

Panoramic view above the exhibit floor - busy to say the least
Panoramic view above the exhibit floor – busy to say the least
Wood Group a proud sponsor at the DUG Eagle Ford 2014
Wood Group a proud sponsor at the DUG Eagle Ford 2014