Claxton Uncovered: The Future of QHSSE With Nathan Darnell

Posted by Claxton Marketing Team on 26-Sep-2018 12:00:00

Nathan blog

Claxton Uncovered is a blog format featuring behind-the-scenes information from staff members throughout the organisation.

Introduction to Nathan Darnell, Head of QHSSE at Claxton

Beginning his career as an apprentice engineer in 1998 in his first role Nathan Darnell worked for a company that designed and manufactured wireline, coiled-tubing and surface pressure equipment and went on to graduate as a Mechanical and Electrical engineer. Nathan’s career has progressed since graduating as he gained the qualifications to become a QHSSE specialist, becoming a Lead Auditor in ISO 9001, 14001 and OHSAS 18001 and a graduate member of IOSH after completing a national diploma in occupational health and safety.

After this sound grounding, Nathan joined the team at Claxton in 2013 as a QA manager and has recently taken on the role of Head of QHSSE through internal promotion.

Providing an industry leading service

Following the recent release of ISO 45001, ‘Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems’, Nathan and the QHSSE team have ensured that Claxton have taken the early step of achieving certified compliance. To ensure Claxton continues to deliver an industry leading service, Nathan has ensured in his new role that his team provide a greater emphasis on risk-based thinking “with the aim of analysing situations and solving problems long before they begin to develop.”

With oil and gas companies facing the continual challenge of demonstrating safety as a priority in their organisation, Nathan and his team continue to tackle these challenges head on, as he explains:

‘’The newly structured Claxton QHSSE management system is designed to drive our leaders to consider the example they set, the effectiveness of the management system and hazard identification. By addressing these issues, our senior management team take responsibility for safety and continual improvement.’’

Moving with the industry

With Claxton’s need to be adaptable to requirements within the oil and gas industry in their area of expertise, this brings an inevitable shift in the workload of the department. Nathan says that ‘’this poses a challenge for QHSSE in terms of managing the safe transition in risk profile, whilst continuing to offer technical support on the broad range of product lines that Claxton offer. The QHSSE team is working closely with other departments, to enable us to support the business and adapt accordingly.’’

Best Claxton project?

Throughout his roles at Claxton, Nathan has been involved in numerous projects. Known within the company as a team player, we asked Nathan what the best project he has worked on at Claxton. With the innovative nature of Claxton as a company, the training and development of the QHSSE team is a continuous investment and unsurprisingly, this has been a stand out task for Nathan:

‘’The development of a training scheme and materials for our QA team is a mammoth task, due to the vast array of product and service lines that Claxton are involved in. Workload can vary, from working on a project to manufacturing a riser system, involving API, NACE and ASME codes, material and welding specifications, to supporting the preparation and release of SABRETM our abrasive cutting system and associated casing recovery equipment, which requires knowledge of EU Directives, lifting and work equipment regulations, hydraulic, pneumatic and electrical systems and DNV and NORSOK standards.’’


Claxton recently reached the milestone of six years with no lost time incident (LTI). This is when an employee, as a result of an injury, is unable to perform their regular duties for one full shift or more. We asked Nathan what his plans are to build on these strong foundations:

‘’By no means do we plan to stand still. The aim of an effective QHSSE team, is to promote QHSSE within the business. This means supporting colleagues to develop the tools required to work safely, whilst meeting the needs and expectations of our clients. It’s important that each employee takes responsibility for the part that they play in this mission. The key focus for the QHSSE department will be to gain a thorough understanding of the greatest risks to the business and prioritise our efforts accordingly. It’s also important that we build strong relationships with employees at all levels and work with them to bring culture to life.’’

Furthermore, this work conducted by Nathan and his team has allowed for Claxton to be one of the first oil and gas service providers to obtain certification to all three standards mentioned, giving Claxton the platform to safely provide the industry leading service for years to come.

Safety at the heart of everything we do

It is a priority within Claxton to demonstrate safety as a priority within our organisation. This influenced Claxton’s newly structured QHSSE management system, designed to drive our leaders to consider the example they set, the effectiveness of the management system and hazard identification. Nathan explained that ‘’by addressing these issues, our senior management team take responsibility for safety and continual improvement.’’

Finally, with safety being an essential part of the daily workings at Claxton, we asked Nathan how he would define ‘safety as being at the heart of everything we do’:

‘’Our QHSSE team are passionate about the safety of our employees and those affected by our operations. This mindset must be mirrored by our colleagues at all levels, and we will continue to drive this ethos to help our employees stay safe and well.’’

High pressure drilling riser animation

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