One Standard. One Ticket. The Common Safety Orientation

“To achieve consistency for all workers we feel it is imperative that every individual performing work on our sites demonstrates they are competent in the tasks they perform and that they have been adequately orientated.”

This is the view of Dave Humphreys, Vice President Operations at Birchcliff Energy. He strongly believes that having a single general safety orientation is an important step for his company, and for the entire Canadian oil and gas industry.

In response to industry’s need, the Common Safety Orientation (CSO) was introduced in late 2018 and seeks to reduce duplication and worker training fatigue. It also makes it easier for workers to move from site to site, and it drives complexity and costs out of the system.

Birchcliff was an early adopter of the CSO and, as Humphreys points out, “As of June 1, 2019, all personnel working on a Birchcliff site will be required to possess a valid CSO certificate.”

The leadership at Weatherford Canada agrees with this single-standard approach and believes it will help to streamline training and drive improved safety performance.

“We maintain a registry of over 100 different customer orientations, and Weatherford employees can spend hours completing them,” says Dave Reed, Vice President, Canada Region for Weatherford Canada. “The benefit of standardizing to the CSO is consistency for the workers.”

About the CSO

The CSO incorporates Energy Safety Canada’s 10 Life Saving Rules, which are based on addressing the most at-risk behaviours in the oil and gas industry. A common set of safety rules reduces confusion and more effectively educates workers about safe work practices.

A key step in selecting and defining the 10 Life Saving Rules was to align them with the primary causes of fatalities in our industry. Looking at the statistics between 2001 to 2017, had these Life Saving Rules been rigorously followed, more than 80 per cent of over 300 fatalities incidents may have been prevented.

“A unified approach to safety rules and orientations in oil and gas will accelerate improvements in safe work performance, which is expected to result in fewer injuries and incidents,” says Murray Elliott, President and CEO, Energy Safety Canada.

Since its release, more than 15,500 oil and gas workers have registered for the CSO.

Leading Collaboration

To steward the development of the Common Safety Orientation, Energy Safety Canada mobilized its Safety Standards Council, which represents approximately 70 per cent of activity in Canada’s oil and gas industry across all sectors and company sizes. The Council’s role is to identify where standards are required and create a unified approach to lead the way for industry. Indeed, an agreed-upon orientation would not have been possible without the Council’s commitment to support and adopt the CSO, creating a critical mass to lead the way for industry.

Classroom Version Now Available

Originally offered only as an online course, a classroom version of the CSO is now available through Energy Safety Canada’s training partners. The classroom version was developed to meet the needs of companies and/or workers who prefer facilitated training, and those who require group delivery.

Visit for more information or register for the CSO.