The 1986 economic downturn made it difficult to break into the oilfield industry, but a determined Kevin Haygood drove up to a rig site to look for a job anyway. When he got there, he learned that the site’s Motorman had been killed in an auto accident the night before.
“In those days ‘safety’ wasn’t emphasized. In fact, the crew wore whatever they wanted to wear as long as it included a hardhat and steel toe boots. Back then, half of the crew worked shirtless and sometimes in shorts. It was a dangerous time to be a roughneck but that’s where I got my start.”
When things came to a halt in the industry, Kevin moved to Georgia and became a correctional officer. He spent 13 years in this difficult occupation. There he excelled and was promoted several times, and he left with the rank of lieutenant.
He went back to a drilling rig in 2006. “Working on a rig is rough, exhausting work, and it takes a toll on your body.”
In 2007, he experienced a back injury and stitches on his head. It was at this point that he decided that he was getting too old for the heavy labor, but he loved the industry. With the help of a safety consultant who became a friend and mentor, he changed his career focus to health and safety. For the next two years he traveled, conducting safety training on drilling rigs.
“I remember when I started, there was no such thing as a safety program. I was on the ground level when safety became prominent.”
The drilling contractor that he started with had a TRIR (Total Recordable Incident Rate) of 12. Within eighteen months of hard work, leading by example, and consistency, Kevin helped the contractor bring the TRIR down to 3.
“This was a great improvement for that time. But thanks to increasing safety standards, today if you have a 3, you won’t be able to do business with any of the majors.”
He worked for Chesapeake Energy for about 12 years in the booming Fayetteville Shale, then transferred back to East Texas where he worked the Haynesville Shale and the Barnett Shale as a Sr. EHS Representative.
“When Covid started, I was working as a safety supervisor for a flowback company that got hit hard.”
He started building apartment complexes as a Building Superintendent. However, he was soon drawn back to the oilfield. He accepted a position with XTO as a drilling safety consultant in the Permian Basin. Then, one day, he got a call from Thomas Oilfields Services.
“Building a safety culture is key, making sure operations has all the tools that they need and the proper training for every level of the job. It is more important to lead by example and to be consistent. Don’t let something go one day and then enforce it the next. People respect the rules that are in place for everyone’s safety.”
“When it comes to safety at TOS, they have a solid foundation and an excellent safety culture already established. We plan to build on that foundation with the cooperation and input from every level of this growing organization.”