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Building a Long-term Safety Culture in Oil and Gas

Talos Energy’s evolving collaboration with UL Solutions for safety training and e-learning.

An offshore oil rig

May 1, 2023

Talos Energy, a Houston, Tex.-based oil and gas production company with offshore extraction operations in the Gulf of Mexico began working with UL Solutions in 2018 to develop safety training and e-learning programs bolstering their risk management, addressing environmental regulatory compliance and reducing the number of costly workplace injuries. But Talos management had a broader objective in mind — establishing a firmwide safety-based culture, incorporating efficient delivery of effective training and educational content to employees and contractors working in the field.

Teaming up with UL Solutions, Talos developed a suite of proprietary and third-party training and e-learning modules covering standard operating procedures (SOPs), making them accessible to employees and contractors via the company’s digital learning management system (LMS). Modularizing training content enables access to streamlined information when and where Talos needs it. Furthermore, sequencing short training modules has allowed Talos to keep safety messaging front of mind, setting up quick refresher courses before critical work activities.

These efforts yielded immediate benefits for Talos by addressing multiple challenges affecting oil and gas production companies:

  • Staffing challenges, including new employees and contractors with little to no industry-specific training.
  • Lack of third-party training content specific to offshore oil and gas operators.
  • Multiple, complex regulatory requirements. 
  • Significant financial and production risks stemming from workplace accidents and injuries.

To build out a more permanent training and education program across its organization, however, Talos requires ongoing collaboration with UL Solutions; and the two companies continue to work together to promote long-term safety and achieve training goals.

Key initial benefits: Numbers tell the story

The initial Talos and UL Solutions collaboration entailed developing an original suite of e-learning modules to support safety training according to the company’s SOPs. Since rollout, Talos has reported significant reductions in workplace accidents, injuries and spills, in part as a result of the development and execution of the effective training and e-learning content:

  • 54% reduction in Talos’s total recordable incident rate.
  • 55% reduction in Talos’s lost time incident rate.
  • 36% reduction in spills.
  • 95% reduction in volume of spills occurring.

"During the initial implementation of the UL Solutions training, which we call the Talos eLearning Suite, our offshore personnel quickly took to this improved format on the delivery of our SOPs,” explains Quokneeko Robertson, Training and Behavioral Specialist at Talos.

“Getting a better understanding of our SOPs has been invaluable in ensuring that the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) is in use, work at heights above six feet is performed safely, and hazards are correctly identified and effectively mitigated among other safety practices.”

Through the Talos eLearning Suite, the company sets annual employee and contractor training schedules for SOPs and related requirements.  Additional courses and content may be added on an as-needed basis to focus training on areas where safety and risk management issues occur.

“Focusing on individual or groups of courses where those gaps are found is an important part of addressing the root cause of any incident,” Robertson explains.

Choosing the right technology mix to support safety training

Talos’ success in developing a more robust safety training program required not only designing effective content but also building (and buying) technologies necessary for managing and delivering that content to employees and contractors.

According to Robertson, a combination of internally developed tools, externally sourced LMS capabilities and e-learning training modules from UL Solutions has helped the company pursue its drive towards a safety-based culture.

“The development of safety and training can be difficult and time-consuming but having a partner such as UL Solutions bring your company’s safety concepts to life is very helpful,” he says, adding that utilizing an LMS is also crucial for assigning and tracking safety training sessions across the Talos enterprise. Of course, mixing internal and third-party resources to build out a safety training program requires some careful consideration and management.

“With third-party partners managing these systems, a little oversight and communication can bring it all together,” Robertson explains. “This is why UL Solutions and our current LMS provider are central cogs in the mechanism for delivering our safety-focused training, and the improvement and maintenance of our ever-strengthening safety culture.”

Safety-based culture: A work in perpetual progress

Establishing, maintaining, and improving a safety-based culture requires ongoing effort, particularly in the oil and gas industry. Accordingly, Talos plans to continue relying on UL Solutions to support safety training as well as related risk management and compliance programs well into the future.

“Managing and tracking the training developed with UL Solutions and provided to our employees and contractors plays a substantial role in our ability to continue efforts toward our ultimate goal of keeping our personnel safe,” says Robertson. “Understanding where we are, and how to get where we want to be in terms of safe operations, requires our entire team to have the right training, and UL Solutions is a cornerstone of that mission.”


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