My Brother’s Keeper

My Brother’s Keeper

By Carrie Jordan, President, DJ Basin Safety Council


It happens on every job site at some point – the time crunch, the tasks that did not go as smoothly as was planned, the weather that did not cooperate, the scheduling conflicts or materials delivery that was delayed. When all of these inevitable challenges present themselves it may be tempting to make up the time by taking short cuts, rushing the jobs, cutting corners to save time (and money) – but they all end up costing a lot more in the end, especially when someone gets hurt, or something gets damaged. Yes it is essential to keep the job moving, but not at the expense of anyone’s life or safety. Tools and equipment can be replaced, but there is no way to replace someone’s life.

Taking the small amount of time to do a Take 5 or Tool Box Talk, job safety analysis (JSA) meeting, or site walk through with the whole crew may seem to some people like a waste of time, but can be an essential tool to make sure everyone is on the same page about what is going to happen on the job that day. We have all heard the complaints about the paperwork, the permits, the JSA’s. But how long do those really take to do? Isn’t it essential to the safety of everyone on each job site to ensure that each person clearly understands the job steps, the hazards associated with those job steps, and what they need to do to control those hazards?

If we take the time to fully assess the hazards that are going to be presented by doing a certain job, it is so much easier to then control those hazards. From hot work operations to confined space entry, locking and tagging out equipment to make it safe to work on, the extra time that is invested to do the job safely means we have to spend less time cleaning up accidents and injured workers.

In the classes I teach, the safety meetings I facilitate, the jobsite assessments and incident investigations I conduct, I often hear one thing that gives me hope in an industry that we all know has its fair share of hazards. I hear the guys talking about being “my brother’s keeper.” I watch the more experienced employees mentor the newer, younger employees. I witness our men and women out there in the field every day watching out for each other’s safety. Going the extra mile to ensure that everyone is on the same page, accounted for, properly trained, and aware of the hazards each day goes a long way to being the keeper of our oilfield brothers and sisters.


About Carrie Jordan and the DJ Basin Safety Council

The DJ Basin Safety Council is an organization that originally started to ensure accessible safety information and training to the subcontractors in the industry. I have had the privilege of working with this organization for the last 6 years, and am the current President. Our mission is to share safety information throughout the industry and provide a place where producers, contractors, regulators, OSHA, local police and fire departments, Colorado State Patrol, safety consultants, and community members can come together to ensure that we share safety information and solutions to prevent injuries and fatalities. By sharing information and new technology, working with OSHA’s Denver Office to promote training and compliance assistance, we continuously work to make the industry safer for everyone.