The Driller hosted a wide-ranging talk about safety gear basics in our virtual booth at the Groundwater Week 2020 event Dec. 8-10. Host Jeremy Verdusco and cohost Brock Yordy invited back safety expert and The Driller columnist Dave Bowers.

Bowers an instructor with the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150 AFL-CIO Apprentice and Skill Improvement Program, and a big proponent of safety. Our talk mostly covers gear like eye, ear and hand protection, which Bowers says aren’t as widely used as they could be.

“I would love to take somebody who works in the field and doesn’t think that you need that and put them where Brock and I have been,” he says, “where you’re training people who may not yet be as familiar with equipment as they could be. For my first-year drillers and my pre-apprentices, the phrase I say most often is, ‘Don’t put your hand there!’ ”

This part of the discussion focuses on eye and hand protection. We talk about the challenges of getting impact-resistant glasses amid the pandemic and hear Bowers’ lifehack to keep masks from fogging your glasses. Then, we move on to glove durability and selection.

Check out today’s episode to hear more. Watch the video here or listen to the audio version of our conversation at You can also find our show on Apple Podcasts. Search for Drilling In-Site, then hit Subscribe.

Stay tuned for our next episode, airing Jan. 4, 2021, which focuses on hearing protection, and how a company culture that emphasizes safety gear will better retain and attract good drilling talent.

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Contact Dave Bowers at

The International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150 AFL-CIO Apprentice and Skill Improvement Program trains people for drilling and other construction trades. For more information, visit

Bowers appeared on episode 8 of Drilling In-Site. Find that earlier discussion about the pandemic’s effect on the industry here: