An Interview with Paul Breslin – Chair of the BDA Health & Safety Sub-committee

January 25, 2024

Having just taken up the position as Chair of the British Drilling Association (BDA) Health & Safety Sub-committee, Paul Breslin, an esteemed figure in the geotechnical industry and career spanning over 26 years, shares his insights, experiences, and goals in leading the charge for safety within the drilling industry answering few questions about himself and his new role.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your background in the geotechnical industry?

My name is Paul Breslin, and I currently serve as the ESG and Regulatory Risk Director at Igne Group Ltd. I’ve been a part of the geotechnical industry for over 26 years. I began my career as a Construction Materials Technician in the Royal Engineers, where I worked on various military construction projects worldwide, gaining experience in site investigation, land drilling, geotechnical laboratory testing, and construction materials design and placement. After leaving the military, I joined Terra Tek Ltd as a Senior Laboratory and Site Technician, eventually moving into Laboratory Quality Management and then Senior Quality Manager for UK laboratories. From there, I transitioned into Health and Safety, working my way up from Raeburn Group Health and Safety Manager, to my current role at Igne Group Ltd.

Can you share your experience with the British Drilling Association (BDA) and how you became involved with their Safety Committee?

I joined the BDA Health & Safety Sub-committee in 2019, and it has been a fantastic experience. Working with other industry safety professionals and sharing our knowledge has been invaluable. It’s essential to collaborate and learn from one another in the field of safety. Being a part of this committee allowed me to contribute to the betterment of safety standards within the drilling industry.

Can you tell us what this role [Chair of the BDA Health & Safety Sub-committee] means to you and what your goals are as the Chair?

It’s an honour to be chosen as the Chair. This appointment reflects the trust placed in me to uphold and enhance safety standards in drilling. My primary goal as Chair is to ensure that the highest safety standards are consistently shared across the industry. I want to foster a culture where safety is paramount, and that involves collaborating with industry professionals, stakeholders, and driving continual improvement.

Could you explain more about the core objectives of the BDA Health & Safety Sub-committee and how it plans to achieve these objectives under your leadership?

The core objective of the Health & Safety Sub-committee is not just to maintain the status quo but to drive continuous improvement throughout the industry. We achieve this by holding regular meetings, sharing information and ideas, and analysing incidents or near-misses. By doing so, we identify areas for enhancement and proactively implement measures to further safeguard workers and mitigate potential risks. Continuous education and development are also crucial to keep industry professionals updated with the latest safety practices, technological advancements, and safety innovations.

Promoting safety is undoubtedly a collective effort. How do you encourage British Drilling Association members, industry professionals, and stakeholders to actively participate in advancing safety standards?

Safety is a collective effort. I encourage all BDA members, drilling industry professionals, and stakeholders to play an active role in advancing safety standards. By sharing their experiences, reporting concerns, and actively participating in the association’s initiatives, we can collectively contribute to a safer working environment for everyone involved. Safety should always be a shared responsibility.

What message would you like to convey to the industry and the association’s members regarding the importance of safety in drilling operations?

The drilling industry is inherently challenging and hazardous, but safety must always remain a top priority. I’m excited to take on this role as Chair of the BDA Health & Safety Sub-committee, and I’m fully committed to upholding the association’s values and objectives. Together, we can ensure the well-being of workers and the sustainability of the industry while paving the way for a future where safety remains at the forefront of drilling operations. Safety should never be compromised, and I look forward to working together with everyone in the industry to make it even safer.

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