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Posted on 14 July 2011

OSHA funds ‘outreach team’ to study standardization of industry safety regulations

The Rocky Mountain Oil and Gas Safety Outreach Team held its first meeting at the Bismarck, N.D., State College’s National Energy Center of Excellence on 27 May to discuss the formulation of safety standards for the oil and gas industry. The team has been tasked by OSHA to formulate specific industry rules and regulations that pertain to all phases of oil and gas operations in the continental US. Currently, safety standards for upstream oil and gas fall under either the general industry or construction standard, depending on the phase; thus, there are no specific standards for the industry to follow.

Besides the main committee, three subcommittees have already been established: OSHA CFR Oil & Gas Regulatory Compilation Update 2011, Oil & Gas Upstream Job Task Analysis and Trainer Qualifications. Additional subcommittees may be added as recommended by the committee.

IADC was represented at the 27 May meeting by Mark Denkowski, managing director of the accreditation and certification department, and Paul Breaux, assistant director – land operations.

OGP issues new guidelines for offshore drilling hazard site surveys

The International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (OGP) has issued new guidelines for conducting offshore drilling hazard site surveys. They describe good practice for conducting geophysical and hydrographic site surveys of proposed offshore drilling locations. The document also covers the use of exploration 3D seismic data to enhance or replace acquisition of a site survey.

The guidelines explain the requirements that different types of offshore drilling units have on a site survey. The new report also emphasizes the differing site survey requirements of shelf and deepwater environments. Copies of the guidelines can be downloaded from the Publications section of the OGP website at www.ogp.org.uk as OGP Report No. 373-18-1.

OSHA proposes changes to employer reporting requirements

OSHA is proposing changes in employer reporting requirements where employers would be required to report to OSHA within eight hours all work-related fatalities and all work-related in-patient hospitalizations, and within 24 hours all work-related amputations. OSHA defines amputations as loss of a limb or other external body part, including a fingertip. The current regulation requires an employer to report to OSHA within eight hours all work-related fatalities and in-patient hospitalizations of three or more employees. OSHA is also considering whether to include the loss of an eye in these reporting criteria.

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