Adapting and delivering for Iraq: Managing workplace safety

To contend with the new virus threat, the Control of Work (CoW) Team has had to adapt the CoW procedure to safeguard personnel while still ensuring the required documents are completed.

A formal CoW system documents what, where and when work happens. It identifies and communicates hazard controls to ensure a safe working environment. At Rumaila, a high number of contractors access the degassing stations (DSs) on a daily basis to carry out essential work, which increases the risk of COVID-19 transmission to personnel operating the stations.

The CoW team leads, Arshad Zahedi and Mohammaed Kadhom, devised a new method to organize permits for the work activities to minimize risk. This involved setting up two CoW cabins, one in the North and one in the South of the oilfield, to limit the number of on-site personnel and to manage permits for work activities that took place outside the stations. The cabins were set up with partitions to assist with social distancing, reducing the risk to DS personnel.

Hayder N Abass, South Production Manager, acknowledged how the team demonstrated a one team approach and was undaunted by the difficult challenge they faced. He said: “I am so proud of the team’s efforts which have ensured urgent activities are still able to go ahead while maintaining the highest possible safety and business standards. This has not been an easy task during the COVID-19 restrictions, curfews, and transportation challenges. A big thank you to the team for playing a vital role during these difficult times – they are a very valuable asset to our organization!”

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