HSE director touts digital software as key COVID-19 solution

Avenge Energy Services implemented digital solutions at the start of the pandemic, a strategy which seems to have paid off

HSE director touts digital software as key COVID-19 solution
Oil & gas companies have been feeling the pressure with COVID-19.

COS recently chatted with Andrew Bursey, director of transportation and HSE with Alberta-based Avenge Energy Services – a leader in fluid management and transportation – about how digital software has been key to keeping employees and their families safe.

The oil and gas industry has been facing difficulties for years, so even before the pandemic many companies were already feeling the pressure, says Bursey. COVID-19 has certainly put a lot of pressure on the industry: “I don’t know if all of [the companies] have optimized their systems to become as efficient as needed to survive these types of economic times,” he says.

Bursey tells us that unlike many other companies at the start of the pandemic, he and his team at Avenge already had a COVID-19 management plan in place:

“You’re stepping into an unprecedented situation where nobody knows exactly how to deal with COVID-19…The biggest challenge was putting together a COVID-19 management plan, and then actually executing on it to protect our people, the environment and our communities.”

Though this was a good start, he says that one thing that was missing, and an essential component of keeping workers safe, was the ability to track symptoms.

He turned to Alcumus eCompliance’s COVID-19 Daily Self Assessment Tool, which allows workers to self assess online. A very useful option, the tool is also then used to create a report and alert system. Furthermore, eCompliance’s self assessment tool also has a built-in essential worker declaration.

Conversely, Avenge also implemented the use of ClearMe’s COVID-19 testing system which is both Health Canada and FDA approved and offers results within 24 – 48 hours. Bursey and his team decided to starting using Clear as they found that even with the reporting tool, many workers were afraid to list symptoms for fear of missing work and getting reduced pay.

“[ClearMe] was a massive change in our organization for our drivers and workers to be able to confidently answer the questions accurately,” says Bursey.

Used together, these solutions have been effective in minimizing the risk of COVID-19 transmission, ensuring worker safety and safeguarding the supply chain.

Bursey says that Avenge looked into digital solutions for a number of reasons, one being that digital safety software allows the company to be more efficient on the administration side of the business.

He says that digital solutions “give you real-time information that you can manage” such as tools, reports, etc. “It’s all useful information that managers can take and use to make educated decisions on how to move the business forward.”

Bursey also says with the vaccine news, it’s important not to shift focus – current continuity plans are essential to protect the workforce and the public in their communities, “you’ve got to have testing programs in place to prevent outbreaks, [the risk] is not going away anytime soon,” he says.