December 12, 2012 State College, PA
EKT Interactive attended this recent meeting of the STEPS of PA organization held at the Days Inn Hotel and Conference Center in State College, PA. Presentations from that meeting on their website www.stepsofpa.com.
Below are some highlights of the meeting:
STEPS of PA to Change Structure
Bill Burket announced that STEPS of PA is now 1 year old and the board has decided to change their structure. Rather than a 6 member elected board, they will ask for a representative from each E&P firm in PA plus 2 at large members from the subcontractors. Ricc (Halcon) will remain president, Jeff Lorson (Anadarko) will be VP and Bill (Range) will be secretary / treasurer.
Bill Burket then chaired a discussion about “active shooters”. There was a recent incident in Clearfield County where protestors were able to shut down a drilling operation. The local Fire Dept had to be called in to get people down from trees. The US Dept of Homeland Security and OSHA’s workplace violence group worked with the City of Houston’s Police Dept to develop guidelines and a training video suggesting how workers should respond if an active shooter enters an office area. See his slides for more details and a link to the video.
PA DEP & Act 9
Kurt Klapkowski, the new Dir of PA DEP’s Bureau of O&G Planning and Program Management, described DEP’s recent efforts to define which regulations apply to various types and quantities of well site spills.
They are also completing the Act 9 regulations and expect to publish them in the PA Bulletin in January 2013 with enforcement of various sections to begin 30, 90, and 180 days after publication. E&P’s must comply with certain signage requirements and must develop and disseminate to DEP and the local 911 center their plans for handling various types of emergencies – fires, explosions, medical, spills, security breaches, and any other incident that requires an emergency response.
They must also itemize what equipment, procedures, documentation, and training they have available (on-site and off-site) for handling these situations. Plans must cover all phases of operation – site prep, drilling, completion, and routine operation. PEMA has been designated the lead PA agency for implementing Act 9. See Kurt’s slides for more details.
Related Articles on PA ACT 9:
More on Well Site Safety
John Black from Action Supply talked about selecting appropriate protective clothing and gloves. The price of gloves can vary by a factor of 10-20 depending on the material and thickness. Purchasing usually picks the cheapest glove that meets the EHS’s spec, so we need to be careful when developing specifications. See his slides for more details.
Richard Hoffman from Rockwater Energy talked about working at PA well sites during the winter. Maintain longer following distances when driving on roads during snow and icy weather. Slip, trip and falls can be up to 60-70% of all incidents during the winter. Hold tailgate meeting both before and after each shift and include a discussion of what other subcontractors are doing that shift. Ice cleats and non-skid pads are available to help prevent slipping on ice. Rotate workers and have a warm place for them to rest (idling truck, etc). Use a broom to sweep trucks and equipment clear of snow and ice.
Slip, trip and falls can be up to 60-70% of all incidents during the winter.
Matt Smiley from Rockwater Energy talked about sizing water transfer lines so the water has sufficient velocity and ice doesn’t buildup on the inside walls of the pipes. Prior planning and risk identification leads to mitigation plans and accident prevention.
Steve Delp from OSHA talked about silica risks during fracking. See his slides for more details.
Bill Burket talked about a recent incident at Range where a needle valve developed a hole in the side of the valve body. Upon investigation, they found the valve was not designed to be used in a sand slurry environment and the high velocity sand quickly eroded the valve after only a few hours’ use. See Bill’s handout for more information.
The next STEPS meeting is scheduled for the State College area on Jan 30, 2013.
OSHA / PIOGA Cooperation Ends
Mark Harmon from OSHA’s Erie office said he will no longer be participating in PIOGA meetings. There was a mutual cooperation agreement between OSHA and PIOGA that expired and PIOGA did not want to accept a few changes that OSHA had proposed. OSHA will now work with the O&G industry primarily through STEPS.
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