In the oil and gas industry, health, safety and environment (QHSE) is of paramount importance, and an integral and essential part of the way companies operate their business. Canadian Energy Services and Technology Corp. (CES) is a leading provider of technically advanced consumable chemical solutions through the life-cycle of the oilfield. CES has not only acknowledged the importance of QHSE, but in teaming up with a company called NeoSystems, are implementing software called iTrak that can help mitigate many of the problems faced in HSE, at the same time simplifying CES’ operations.
NeoSystems, a business unit of Wmode, has focused on providing operations management and customer relationship management solutions since 1992, with clients in Canada, the U.S. and Europe. The iTrak suite of products was first released in 1996, and currently includes standard features such as incident tracking, notification and alerts, risk analysis, certification and training, and inspections. NeoSystems also has a rich roadmap of new functionality coming in 2015 and 2016.
The iTrak solution prides itself on its deep mobile capabilities and highly configurable approach to engage all employees in the very important topic of safety. Ray Caddy, Corporate Manager, Health, Safety and Environment, CES, outlined the many benefits of iTrak and how it enhances CES’ QHSE processes. In early 2014, CES standardized iTrak for themselves and all their subsidiary businesses worldwide.
CES looked to go above and beyond with their implementation of iTrak, taking their already strong processes and enhancing them with the immediacy and efficiency of mobility. “Electronic systems like iTrak allow us to be much more efficient and actually be able to truly look at all the information that comes in,” he explained.
HSE has historically been paper-based. A corporation such as CES would typically receive 5,000-10,000 forms a month, which is difficult to manage and store. With iTrak, they’re not sorting through thousands of pieces of paper to find a needle in a haystack.
“It made us more efficient and let us focus on what we can do to protect the workers, instead of shuffling paper.”
One particular approach with iTrak that directly meets CES’ needs is its seamless accessibility through web portals and mobile applications. This means the system is accessible anywhere through a web browser and it easily extends to mobile devices where Internet connectivity in the field can be a challenge.
iTrak automatically senses Internet connectivity, and stores and synchronizes information to get it back to the office as efficiently as possible. “Our employees can have the app on a device like an iPhone, Blackberry, Android, or Windows tablet, so when they’re not around Internet, they can still compile all the data they need to complete. When they connect, all the information is uploaded and transmitted,” Mr. Caddy explained.
Manual tracking processes by HSE inspectors often have items lost or not accurately tracked. The use of paper forms also slows down communication between HSE managers, site owners and inspectors. “We believe there are dramatic efficiencies to be realized by linking the field operations using new technology. We’re thrilled to work in close partnership with companies like CES to delivery this innovation, and to help drive better productivity. This is especially important, recognizing the competitive pressure currently felt in oil & gas,” says Trevor Nimegeers, Managing Director of NeoSystems.
iTrak had a variety of features that made it appealing to CES, which took two years to select a system. “I really like their drive to innovate and focus on their customers. I would meet them at a trade show and say ‘it’d be really nice if you could do this or that’ and then at the next trade show that I’d see them, they had done it.” “Some of the things on the app are as a result of our recommendations. The fact that when you get back into cellular service and it automatically uploads your forms, was an innovation that we spoke to them about,” Mr. Caddy said.
CES is looking to expand their iTrak implementation with Hazard ID, Pre-Job Hazard Assessment, Incident Reporting, Vehicle Inspections, and Safety Meetings using innovative employee pin verification.
CES’ implemented iTrak for their custom inspection needs such as forklift inspections, and scheduled oil tank and daily warehouse/chemical tank farm inspections across their many businesses. “We canscan something, and iTrak knows what needs to be done, right away. Whatever we can do to make it easier for our people in the field, we’re more likely to do it,” Mr. Caddy added.Near the end of 2014, CES brought their entire 20-person HSE team together, for a day and a half session on the system.
From remote inspections to safety meeting procedures, the team was able to experience first-hand, the capabilities of iTrak. “It was a big benefit to have everyone together and go through a real life scenario, rather than going through a mock scenario on a white board. NeoSystems was with us, answering questions and helping out.”
It’s integral to have a good partnership with NeoSystems. “That’s why we chose them, because of how responsive they were to us, and have continued that through the implementation process,” Mr. Caddy concluded.
This profile article was featured in Northern Star Publishing’s March Issue of Roughnecks Magazine’s March Issue on Health and Safety Innovations. The article was written by Managing Editor Sheldon Smith.