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How Do Cold Weather Conditions Affect Environmental Drilling Projects?

Environmental drilling projects are performed 24/7 and 365 days a year. These projects go on no matter what the weather is outside. However, cold weather presents challenges not seen during warmer weather. If you need a drilling project done during the colder months of the year, you need to be aware of the hazards and concerns that cold weather brings.

Can Cold Weather Conditions Hinder An Environmental Drilling Project?

  • Transporting the drilling equipment is a challenge when cold weather strikes. Here are some of the hazards and concerns drilling companies face in moving equipment to work sites:
  • Snow and ice can make travel treacherous. Drilling rigs are made for getting through mud on the job site, but not necessarily over ice and snow. Drilling companies often adjust work days around bad weather.
  • Mobilization times are slower. Crews take longer to get the equipment to job sites on ice and snow days. The longer times needed for engine warm-up delays travel start. Slower driving is needed to travel over treacherous road conditions.
  • Safety always trumps response time. Drilling companies pride themselves on top-flight response times for customers. However, if the roads are dangerous, safety needs to be the top concern. The good news is that most companies build in time to handle these rare down days.

What Are Some On-Site Challenges During Cold Weather?4612429.jpg

Once the drilling equipment is on site, the hazards and concerns drilling companies face change, but remain serious. These issues break down into two areas: equipment and people.

Is Equipment Failure Common In Cold Weather?

Equipment failure happens more often in colder weather. Engines fail. Hoses bust. Batteries drain. This means the drill equipment goes down at the worst possible time. While drill crews make every effort to keep these failures from happening, it can still happen and stop the project until repairs are made.

To keep things running smoothly, the drill crews take extra steps to keep the equipment safe. That includes allowing more time for warming up the drilling equipment and keeping it warm during break times. It means not pushing the drilling equipment in ways that put too much strain on it.

How Does Cold Weather Affect Employees?

Cold weather slows down employees response times as they must take frequent breaks to stay warm.
Wearing the correct PPE and having employees who are trained in cold weather safety procedures will allow for a successful projects.  Talon/LPE trains its employees on identifying Mild, Moderate and Severe Hypothermia and the dangers of cold stress and what signs to watch for when working in sub freezing environments.  By having Employees who are trained to recognize and treat cold stress it minimizes safety issues and keeps crews working efficiently. 

Completing a drilling project during the colder months will happen. It might take a bit more time, but the results will be the same. If you need environmental drilling in Texas, Oklahoma or New Mexico, contact Talon/LPE. We are a full-service environmental drilling company serving private, government, and industrial clients year round. We take the safety of our employees and the preservation of sites very seriously, no matter the weather. 

Topics: Environmental Drilling