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Course 900 - Oil and Gas Safety Management

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Getting Started

Steps to Identify OSHA Requirements

Follow the steps below to identify the major OSHA oil and gas requirements and guidance materials that may apply to your jobsite.

These steps will lead you to resources on OSHA's website that will help you comply with OSHA requirements and prevent workplace injuries and illnesses.

Step 1: OSHA Requirements Related to Leading Hazards at Oil and Gas Sites

Step 2: Other OSHA Requirements That May Apply to Your Jobsite

Step 3: Survey Your Workplace for Additional Hazards

Step 4: Develop a Jobsite Safety and Health Program

Step 5: Train Your Employees

Step 6: Recordkeeping, Reporting and Posting

Step 7: Find Additional Compliance Assistance Information

Step 1: OSHA Requirements Related to Leading Hazards at Oil and Gas Sites

The following resources will introduce you to OSHA requirements that address some of the leading hazards at oil and gas sites.

Falls consistently account for the greatest number of fatalities in the oil and gas industry. If you have employees who work six or more feet above a lower level, you must provide fall protection.

Review fall protection information for specific operations or types of oil and gas:

Learn more:

Step 1: OSHA Requirements Related to Leading Hazards at Oil and Gas Sites (Continued)

Stairways and Ladders: Working on and around stairways and ladders can be hazardous. Stairways and ladders are major sources of injuries and fatalities among oil and gas workers.

Learn more:

Scaffolding: Do you use scaffolding on your jobsite?

Learn more:

Step 1: OSHA Requirements Related to Leading Hazards at Oil and Gas Sites (Continued)

Electrical: Almost all oil and gas employers must consider the hazards associated with electricity (i.e., electric shock, electrocution, fires and explosions).

Learn more:

Trenching and Excavation are among the most hazardous oil and gas operations.

Learn more:

Step 1: OSHA Requirements Related to Leading Hazards at Oil and Gas Sites (Continued)

Motor Vehicle Safety/Highway Work Zones: Do you operate motor vehicles on your jobsite or do your employees work in and around highway work zones?

Learn more:

NOTE: Most oil and gas jobsites involve multiple employers (i.e., general contractors, oil and gas managers, subcontractors, etc.). If you perform work on such jobsites, you should review OSHA's Multi-Employer Citation Policy.

Step 2: Other OSHA Requirements That May Apply to Your Jobsite

In addition to the OSHA requirements covered in Step 1, a number of other OSHA standards may apply to your jobsite. The following items can help you identify other key OSHA standards that may apply and point you to information to help you comply with those standards.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): OSHA oil and gas standards (see 29 CFR 1926.28 and 1926.95) state that employers must require their employees to wear appropriate PPE in all operations where employees are exposed to hazardous conditions or where OSHA's oil and gas standards indicate the need for using PPE to reduce the hazards.

Learn more:

Hand and Power Tools: Hand and power tools are common at nearly every oil and gas jobsite.

Learn more: OSHA Safety and Health Topics Page: Hand and Power Tools

Step 2: Other OSHA Requirements That May Apply to Your Jobsite (Continued)

Do you use concrete or masonry products on your jobsite?

Learn more:

Do you use cranes, derricks, hoists, elevators, or conveyors on your jobsite?

Learn more:

Step 2: Other OSHA Requirements That May Apply to Your Jobsite (Continued)

Do you conduct welding, cutting, or brazing at your jobsite?

Learn more: OSHA Safety and Health Topics Page: Welding, Cutting, and Brazing

Are you engaged in residential oil and gas?

Learn more:

Are you engaged in steel erection?

Learn more:

Step 2: Other OSHA Requirements That May Apply to Your Jobsite (Continued)

Fire Safety and Emergency Action Planning: Oil and gas employers are responsible for the development and maintenance of an effective fire protection and prevention program at the jobsite throughout all phases of the oil and gas, repair, alteration, or demolition work. (29 CFR 1926.24). OSHA recommends that all employers have an emergency action plan. A plan is mandatory when required by an OSHA standard. (29 CFR 1926.35). An emergency action plan describes the actions employees should take to ensure their safety in a fire or other emergency situation.

What if I still have questions?

Learn more: OSHA Safety and Health Topics Page: Fire Safety

Hazard Communication Standard: This standard is designed to ensure that employers and employees know about hazardous chemicals in the workplace and how to protect themselves. Employers with employees who may be exposed to hazardous chemicals in the workplace must prepare and implement a written Hazard Communication Program and comply with other requirements of the standard, including providing Material Data Safety Sheets, training, and labeling.

Learn more: OSHA Safety and Health Topics Page: Hazard Communication

Step 2: Other OSHA Requirements That May Apply to Your Jobsite (Continued)

The previous list is not comprehensive - additional OSHA standards may apply to your workplace. In addition, section 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, known as the General Duty Clause, requires employers to provide their employees with a workplace that is free of recognized hazards likely to cause death or serious physical harm. Be sure to review OSHA's oil and gas standards (29 CFR 1926)for requirements that may apply to your workplace.

  • You may review and print FREE copies of OSHA's oil and gas standards from OSHA's Website. You may also order bound volumes of the standards from the Government Printing Office (GPO) at (866) 512-1800 or from GPO's website.
  • An OSHA booklet summarizes OSHA oil and gas standards that are most frequently overlooked by employers and standards that cover particularly hazardous situations. Oil and gas Industry Digest. OSHA Publication 2202-09R, (2011).
  • The OSHA Oil and gas Resource Manual includes links to the relevant mandatory standards for oil and gas work that have been codified in OSHA's standards, including 29 CFR Parts 1903, 1904, 1910, and 1926.

Step 3: Survey Your Workplace for Additional Hazards

Survey your workplace for additional hazards by:

Find information on workplace safety and health hazards, such as:

Asbestos

Asphalt Fumes: OSHA Safety and Health Topic

Carbon Monoxide

Distracted Driving: OSHA Web Page

Hazardous and Toxic Substances: OSHA Safety and Health Topics Page

Heat

Laser Hazards - Oil and gas: OSHA Safety and Health Topics Page

Lead - Oil and gas: OSHA Safety and Health Topics Page

Occupational Noise Exposure - Oil and gas. OSHA Safety and Health Topics Page

Silica, Crystalline - Oil and gas. OSHA Safety and Health Topics Page

Toxic Metals- OSHA Safety and Health Topics Page

Recognized and Foreseeable Hazards

When conducting the wellsite analysis, it's important to look for hazards that are generally recognized within the oil and gas industry. OSHA will require that recognized hazards which are generally foreseeable on the wellsite are properly eliminated or controlled.

“Recognized” Hazards

As described in OSHA's Field Operations Manual, recognition of a hazard is established on the basis of industry recognition, employer recognition, or "common sense" recognition criteria.

  • Industry Recognition: A hazard is recognized if the employer's industry recognizes it. Recognition by an industry, other than the industry to which the employer belongs, is generally insufficient to prove industry recognition. Although evidence of recognition by the employer's specific branch within an industry is preferred, evidence that the employer's industry recognizes the hazard may be sufficient.
  • Employer Recognition: A recognized hazard can be established by evidence of actual employer knowledge. Evidence of such recognition may consist of written or oral statements made by the employer or other management or supervisory personnel
  • Common Sense Recognition: If industry or employer recognition of the hazard cannot be established, recognition can still be established if it is concluded that any reasonable person would have recognized the hazard. This argument is used by OSHA only in flagrant cases. Note: Throughout our courses we argue that "common sense" is a dangerous concept in safety. Employers should not assume that accidents in the wellsite are the result of a lack of common sense.

Step 4: Develop a Jobsite Safety and Health Program

OSHA's oil and gas standards require oil and gas employers to have accident prevention programs that provide for frequent and regular inspection of the jobsites, materials, and equipment by competent persons designated by the employers. See 29 CFR 1926.20(b).

NOTE: OSHA's Oil and gas Focused Inspection Policy recognizes the efforts of responsible contractors who have implemented effective safety and health programs, and encourages other contractors to adopt similar programs. Contractors who have implemented effective programs are eligible for focused inspections, should they be visited by an OSHA inspector. Focused inspections, which are narrower in scope than comprehensive inspections, target the leading oil and gas hazards. See Focused Inspections in Oil and gas.

For help in developing a program:

Step 5: Train Your Employees

Learn about OSHA requirements and resources for training oil and gas workers by:

Step 6: Recordkeeping, Reporting and Posting

  • Recordkeeping: OSHA generally requires oil and gas employers to keep records of workplace injuries and illnesses (29 CFR 1904). If you had 10 or fewer employees during all of the last calendar year (29 CFR 1904.1), you are exempt from the recordkeeping requirements (unless asked to do so in writing by OSHA or the Bureau of Labor Statistics).
  • Reporting: OSHA requires all employers, regardless of size or industry, to report the work-related death of any employee or hospitalizations of three or more employees. Read about OSHA's reporting requirements (29 CFR 1904.39).
  • OSHA Poster: All employers must post the OSHA Poster (or state plan equivalent) in a prominent location in the workplace. Where employers are engaged in activities that are physically dispersed, such as oil and gas, the OSHA Poster must be posted at the location to which employees report each day (see 29 CFR 1903.2).
  • Access to Employee Exposure and Medical Records: An OSHA standard (29 CFR 1910.1020) requires employers to provide employees, their designated representatives, and OSHA with access to employee exposure and medical records.

NOTE: If your workplace is in a state operating an OSHA-approved state program, state plan recordkeeping regulations, although substantially identical to federal ones, may have some more stringent or supplemental requirements, such as for reporting of fatalities and catastrophes. Contact your state program directly for additional information.

Step 7: Find Additional Compliance Assistance Information

Where can I find additional information targeted to the oil and gas industry?

Where can I find a collection of OSHA resources designed for smaller employers?

Where can I find resources for Spanish-speaking employees?

Where can I find information on employing teenage or young workers?

Where can I find information on musculoskeletal disorders at the workplace?

  • Visit OSHA's Ergonomics Safety and Health Topics page. While this page is not specific to the oil and gas industry, it includes some information targeted to oil and gas, such as an eTool (Ergonomic Solutions for Electrical Contractors) and an Ergonomics Success Story about an oil and gas company.

Has OSHA developed any compliance assistance information targeted for my specific oil and gas industry?

How can I find OSHA's guidance on preparing workplaces for pandemic influenza?

How do I find out about OSHA's voluntary programs and other ways to work cooperatively with OSHA?

What if I still have questions?

Good news! You don’t need to take a quiz for this module. Click on the final exam button above when you are ready!