Are you going on your first summer internship with an offshore company? Are you starting your first ride as a roustabout? Whatever job on the offshore company you are starting with, getting used to the life offshore in a production platform or drilling rig will be a huge adjustment. We recently asked some of the offshore tips on how to alleviate and ease the change or transition.
Do not leave the shore without your support network
If you are starting your first day at work on an offshore company, you need to do it with the full support of your family, friends or your loved ones. You also need to discuss your game plan when it comes to dealing with emergencies with them, in case if it arises while you are away or offshore.
It is imperative that not only you and your loved ones are comfortable with your decision to work away from your home (or away from land, in this case), but also, they need to be able to adjust their lives while you are away. If you have relationship pressures left at home, you need to consider changing your career.
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It is crucial to acknowledge all the workers can maintain contact with their family, their wife and children from an offshore facility using satellite phones and the Internet. Workers need to have a support network to overcome the distance-related issues.
Even if you have a strong and stable relationship, it is still critical to plan in case of emergency (and drama) at home while you are offshore, so friends and family can pull themselves together if they need to do something on your behalf.
Always make sure that your employer has all your emergency contact information should they need to get valuable information to you. In case you are the supervisor, you will have access to a satellite phone at all times, 24 hours a day, seven days a week so that your loved ones can contact you. But if you are involved in the drilling operations directly or you are working on the deck, friends and family can’t contact you directly.
You have to be prepared to pay your dues
Working in an offshore rig can take its toll on your body physically. Your time on the clock is not like a regular 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. shift if you are a newcomer or at the “bottom of the barrel.” Make sure you are prepared to work at least 12 hours straight every day you are on the platform or rig.
The work schedule is very unrelenting according to people who worked offshore all their life. A lot of people who are at the bottom of the hierarchy find these long working hours a significant adjustment. As a person on the bottom of the barrel, you will be guaranteed of having to work a little harder to gain your colleague’s respect and prove your worth.
So, expect to work long and tiring days on the deck as well as spending off-tour time participating in safety meeting and training. While you will be told by your superiors to work 12-hour shift, in reality, it is more than 12 hours every day with pre-tour meeting and training, as well as handover time you need to spend with the co-worker relieving you.
Respect personal time and personal space
Time and space in an offshore facility are a precious commodity and there is a good chance that you will be living with a co-worker in your sleeping quarters. You need to follow some simple room etiquette that will pay dividends when it comes to can camaraderie.
It will make a much happier work relationship if everyone respects each other’s personal space and time. Always leave the living quarters neat and tidy. Take everything you need throughout your work shift with you, so you do not have to go back to your room and disturb your co-worker who is sleeping during their time-off. Suppliers and designers of offshore accommodations are trying to make every employee’s time-off as relaxing and peaceful as possible.
For example, offshore accommodation manufacturers put door windows with magnet curtains to provide a darker environment that is conducive for sleeping. They also use the noise cancellation rating of at least 45 dB or decibels to offer a much quieter environment inside and allows an uninterrupted sleep.