The BDA is the UK’s trade association for the ground drilling industry and the annual awards recognise the individuals and companies who have particularly excelled in the drilling sector.
Following an industry incident in 2016, in which a cable percussion driller lost his thumb when caught by the main winch rope, SOCOTEC – formerly ESG – trialed several preventative safety prototypes. Led by Gareth Mews, UK resource manager, SOCOTEC, the team developed and introduced the Anti Whip-Check Bar.
The safeguard differs from many other designs as it takes into account other potential safety issues rather than using existing features of the rig to target one potential risk. The cylindrical bar is mounted on an ‘inverted U’ steel piece and welded to the front station of the rig, meaning it cannot be removed from the rig. A permanent safety feature, this innovative design has reduced accidents and near misses within the industry. As a result of this, the Anti Whip-Check Bar is now a standard feature of new Dando cable percussion drilling rigs.
Charlie Payton, senior geologist, SOCOTEC, was also highly commended for his excellence in core logging and understanding geological structures.
Speaking about the commendation, Sarah Valentine, operations manager, Infrastructure & Energy Services, SOCOTEC, commented: “At SOCOTEC, we strive for commitment and excellence in order to deliver the highest quality site investigation services to our clients. Charlie is acclaimed in the industry, especially for chalk logging, having been personally requested to work on individual projects across the UK. To be highly commended by the BDA is great recognition for him.”
The Innovation award was presented at the annual BDA Dinner Dance and Awards ceremony, this year held at the Hilton Hotel, Glasgow, on 14 October 2017.
The award was not the first to be received by SOCOTEC over the years. The Drilling Apprentice of the Year award was given to Ricky Backshall in 2015 and Daniel Perrett was awarded Lead Driller of the Year award just last year in 2016.
SOCOTEC supports all areas of ground investigation, with services including drilling and sampling, cone penetration testing, in situ testing. For more information on SOCOTEC’s services, please click here or get in touch.