Industrial Instrumentation Technician
Name: Bernard Broaders
Company: Magna Services Ltd.
- Instrumentation and Control Technician Certificate,College of the North Atlantic
- Journeyperson and Red Seal Certification – Instrumentation and Control Technician
Location: Offshore – Oil Production Installation
Hometown: Bay de Verde, NL
Currently Living In: Victoria, NL
Bernard Broaders works with control equipment and instruments onboard an oil production installation – the Terra Nova Floating, Production, Storage and Offloading vessel (FPSO). Gauging from the information below, Bernard’s trade is instrumental to the operation.
Education and Personal Background
Bernard first became interested in instrumentation while working at a fish plant, where he noticed technicians maintaining the plant’s machinery. He decided to complete an Instrumentation and Control certificate at the College of the North Atlantic in Seal Cove. Bernard then logged the hours required for Red Seal Certification, and eventually took a position offshore in the province’s oil and gas industry.
Since completing his post-secondary program, Bernard has also completed training for fall arrest, first aid, WHMIS, Self-contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) and Basic Survival Training for Offshore (BST).
Duties and Work Environment
Industrial instrumentation technicians are responsible for instruments that control the production of oil. The pressure, temperature and flow of liquids and gases involved are all controlled by the valves and instruments that Bernard works with.
“A typical day consists of installing and testing new equipment, repairing existing equipment, and troubleshooting any problems that arise. We also do a lot of preventative maintenance to avoid problems before they occur,” he says.
Bernard says there’s always something new to learn as an instrumentation tech, as the technology is ever-changing. A lot of his time is dedicated to troubleshooting.
“There are always problems arising and you have to be on your toes at all times, ready to jump in and solve any issues. Being able to think quickly and fix a problem helps in not losing production time.”
With a rotation of 21 days on and 21 days off, Bernard admits that the hardest part of working offshore is the need to be away from home.
“There are many great benefits to working in this industry. Still, you have to be prepared for different types of shifts when you decide to take a job offshore.”
Questions and Answers
What has surprised you about working in the oil and gas industry?
My biggest surprise in this industry has been how the whole process works. It’s not a simple process; it consists of many people working together for an end result.
What has been your proudest career moment?
There was a particular time when my quick repair on a control valve allowed the production to keep going. That’s probably been my proudest moment.
What do you enjoy about your job?
I enjoy seeing the great growth that’s happening in the industry in our province. It’s a great industry to be part of, with incredible future potential.