It’s one thing to talk about safety and another to want workers to work safely. There’s a necessity in creating a type of enthusiasm. If we talk about safety in oil and gas, this is where the difference comes in, all the more if we consider the challenges that envelop this industry. Environmental, physical, or mental.
In our series Stories that Inspire, we have with us Mr. Amitabh Bhattacharya, an HSE expert with broad experience in top tier Oil and Gas companies like Halliburton, Baker Hughes, and Cairn Oil and Gas. In this conversation, Mr. Bhattacharya looks back at his eventful journey in the industry. He reflects upon the immense potential energy landscape holds for those who can work smart in challenging conditions.
Safety in Oil and Gas: Mr. Bhattacharya’s journey & perspective
What motivated you to join the oil and gas industry?
During my Masters, I had a keen interest in Industrial Safety and Oil & Gas being one of the most hazardous industries, excited me the most.
According to you, what is the unique or most interesting aspect of this industry?
You see the highs and lows of your career with a chance to seek, learn and understand various aspects of this industry at all levels.
Tell us a bit about your experience in Baker Hughes.
I joined Baker Hughes in September 2014 and one of the best cultures and experiences I gained there. I was involved in a dynamic environment with a broad spectrum of activities, like visiting rigs for routine inspection and audits, interacting with employees, stakeholders and customers, complying with best practices and industry standards.
Which project would you recall as the most important one in your career so far, and why?
Barmer Operations Project with Baker Hughes was one of the most challenging projects I have worked upon. This project helped me identify, shape, and implement various skillset from ground to corporate level.
What professional designation are you most proud to have earned and why?
Being an HSE Manager of Global Environmental Management Services for two regions in KSA while spearheading HSE professionals and making a culture shift in the company.
Do you believe the industry offers wide opportunities for women in the HSE sector?
The industry does offer a wide range of opportunities, especially these days where gender equality is emphasized from the highest level.
Tell us about some of the most inspiring people you have met in the industry. If you had to name one, who would be that person?
The list is very long, ranging from Vice President to Senior Managers, with true leadership skills.
What has been the most challenging aspect of your career in the industry?
Industry is quite dynamic and you need to adapt as per the environment. I enjoy the variety of my role. I can be working in a training situation, inspecting a rig site, advising on company guidelines, attending meeting with clients, and much more, all in one day.
How does your industry experience affect your life today?
I love the exposure and vast variety the industry dwells upon. I have been active in writing columns and featured at several platforms like NEBOSH, SHP –UK, HSME magazine, and others.
A defining moment in your career?
When got offers from top two Oil & Gas service companies in the world at the same time.
What would you say to young people keen on joining the industry?
Aim high and be prepared for a dynamic environment.
According to you, are the oil and gas companies doing enough for HSE? What more can be done to improve the safety framework?
Oil & Gas is one of the most hazardous industries, as a result, HSE becomes an integral and key aspect. Industry follows the highest standards, practices and benchmarks with multiple barriers for critical tasks. I can say the industry is in safe hands, with people who are deeply committed and adaptive to change in the environment. This offers a safety net rooting out all possible causes.
In your opinion, what aspect of the industry should be discussed more in the larger community?
Work-life balance and Mental Health are few aspects.
Most importantly, how do you look back at your journey in this dynamic and exciting industry?
So far it’s been a pleasure, learned a lot and still got miles to go.
Safety in Oil and Gas goes a long way in enhancing efficiency
Being involved in a wide range of activities, Mr. Bhattacharya has closely observed the different aspects of the industry. From complying with legal standards to collaborating with business partners, he enjoys the great variety at work. He recalls a defining moment in his career, “I was leading HSE for Baker Hughes with 18 different job sites running together at various sites in Rajasthan. I can never forget the experience of being recognized by Baker as well as the Client for driving the entire project’s HSE performance towards the common goal of zero harm”.
Further, Mr. Bhattacharya acknowledges the strong correlation between safety and employee performance. He says that working in a safer way leads to enhanced efficiency without any delay or negative impact on health or the environment. As an HSE Expert, he makes sure that the workplace is aligned with the safety standards.
To the people seeking a career in HSE, Mr. Bhattacharya’s message is: “Create building blocks, stay updated with standards, codes and best practices. Pursue safety-related degree, certifications and always keep in the know with the latest developments in the Safety space.”
We are extremely thankful to Mr. Amitabh Bhattacharya for taking out some time and sharing his journey in oil and gas with us. We hope his story inspires you and helps you lead change and innovative solutions across the global oil and gas community.
(This is an excerpt from an exclusive interview with Mr. Amitabh Bhattacharya and Energy Dais reserves all rights of publication.)