Dawson Geophysical Attains a Recordable Injuries Rate of Zero

Company: Dawson Geophysical Company

Location: Midland, Texas

Employees: 65 Workers Onsite

Dawson Geophysical Employees Midland, Texas Headquarters
Dawson Geophysical Employees Midland, Texas Headquarters
Success Brief:

At the request of Dawson Geophysical, the Texas On-site Consultation Program (OSHCON) conducted a compliance audit of the company's health and safety management system at the company's field office and maintenance facility located in Midland, Texas. Following its working with OSHCON, the company achieved a recordable injuries rate of zero.

Company Description:

Founded in 1952, Dawson Geophysical (Dawson) is a full service geophysical contractor that provides onshore seismic data acquisition services throughout the 48 contiguous states. The company's North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code is 541360. Dawson offers 2D, 3D, and multi-component land seismic acquisition and data processing capabilities to its clients allowing them to make informed drilling decisions. Headquartered in Midland, Texas, the company has offices in Houston, Texas, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Denver, Colorado, and Detroit, Michigan.

The Situation:

Committed to a culture of safety, health, and environmental awareness, Dawson implements a Health, Safety, Security, and Environmental Management System (HSSEMS) to eliminate, reduce, or isolate hazards. The risk management system is designed to pro-actively identify and control hazards that may arise throughout various aspects of the company's operations. The system also provides procedures, training, and personal equipment requirements to minimize the opportunity for mistakes. To make sure the site maintains the requirements of the HSSEMS, the program requires the facility undergo regularly scheduled, third party compliance audits.

Although the system had previously been audited against the International Association of Geophysical Contractors (IAGC) standards and the Oil and Gas Producers (OGP) standards, the company realized the program needed to be reviewed and possibly updated when it began searching for a consultant to perform the required routine audit. Mark Nelson, the Vice President of Health, Safety, Security, and Environmental Management (HSSE) wanted a consultant with OSHA experience to audit the HSSEMS against OSHA regulations and standards. After viewing the OSHA Web site (www.osha.gov) and learning about the On-site Consultation Program, he met with company officers to discuss the possibility of working directly with OSHA. Having invested a lot of time, money, and effort into the HSSEMS, the company believed working with OSHCON was the best way to ensure the system was OSHA compliant. In April 2008, Mr. Nelson contacted OSHCON to request a consultation visit.

The Solution:

In June 2008, an OSHCON consultant conducted a comprehensive consultation survey of the Dawson field office and maintenance facility in Midland, Texas. The consultant held an opening conference to meet with Dawson officers and inform them of visit procedures. The consultant also reviewed the company's log of work-related injuries and illnesses with the company; and compared its Days Away, Restricted, and/or Transfer Rate (DART) and Total Recordable Cases (TRC) rates to the national average for the company's NAICS code.

After reviewing the company's injury and illness data, the consultant conducted a walkthrough of the facility to become familiar with the worksite. During the walkthrough, the consultant assisted with hazard identification, recommended corrective measures, and provided guidance on OSHA standards. For example, the consultant provided guidance on identifying electrical hazards and suggested locations for emergency eyewash stations. The consultant also evaluated Dawson's HSSEMS and provided recommendations on how to improve the system.

At the end of the walkthrough, the consultant held a closing conference to discuss the hazards identified and worked with Dawson to establish due dates for correcting hazards.

The consultant also recommended other resources available to small businesses through OSHA including the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP). SHARP recognizes small employers that operate effective safety and health management programs with low incidence rates of work-related injuries and illnesses. Wanting to obtain recognition for its implementation of the HSSEMS and its commitment to worker safety and health, the company aspired to achieve SHARP status. In November 2009, OSHCON recognized Dawson's Midland, Texas facility for its outstanding safety program when it awarded the site SHARP status.

The Impact:

In 2008, when Midland, Texas facility began working with OSHCON, its TRC rate was 1.0 and its DART rate was zero, compared to the national industry average of 0.5 and 0.2, respectively. In 2009 and 2010, the Dawson facility has reported TRC and DART rates of zero. For 2009, the BLS national industry average TRC and DART for NAICS 541360 was 0.5 and 0.2 respectively.

According to Mr. Nelson, "Working with the OSHA On-site Consultation Program was a no-brainer. If we were doing something wrong, we wanted to know so that we could rectify any deficiencies. The OSHCON consultant gave us a fresh perspective of our facility." For Dawson, working with OSHCON increased hazard awareness and highlighted the importance of early detection and prevention of hazards. Mr. Nelson stated that, "Working toward SHARP status seemed to be the next step in the progression of the audit process."


Mr. Mark Nelson, Vice President of HSSE, Dawson Geophysical Company