Report Shows Industry's Commitment to Workplace Safety
Posted January 17, 2019
The natural gas and oil industry’s commitment to employee safety has paid off, reflected in API’s new, comprehensive Workplace Safety Report that shows industry’s incidences rate of occupational injuries and illnesses continues to decline and is significantly lower than the rate for the rest of the U.S. private sector.
Industry’s safety initiatives – recognized by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which has incorporated a number of API’s recommended practices into its own standards – have been successful. The report is full of data and graphics showing this. Four charts stand out.
First, industry’s 2017 rate of job-related injuries and illnesses – 1.7 incidences per 100 full-time workers – is well below the private sector’s rate of 2.8 incidences per 100 full-time workers:
Debra Phillips, API vice president for Global Industry Services, said the work to improve safety continues:
“Safety has always been paramount to the natural gas and oil industry. As this report demonstrates, the industry’s leading workplace safety record reflects our commitment to safe and healthy working environments. With strong industry leadership, we continue to enhance our approach to training, prevention and continuous improvement – incorporating advanced technologies, materials and practices as we strive toward our industry-wide goal of zero incidents.”
Chart No. 2 compares natural gas and oil industry sectors – exploration and production, refining, pipelines, natural gas systems and others – with comparable sectors across the nation, again underscoring industry’s safety effort:
Note that the pipeline rate rounds to 0.0, which emphasizes that pipeline infrastructure is a very safe way to deliver natural gas and oil products.
Chart No. 3 compares the refining sector with manufacturing and shows that the rate of refining job-related injuries and illnesses continues to be less than one per 100 full-time workers while also remaining well below the incidences rate for the U.S. manufacturing sector:
In the fourth chart below there’s a lot going on, but notice that industry’s workplace safety (gold line) compares favorably to non-comparable industries like agriculture and forestry, trucking and others:
The report, based on information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement and the Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, shows that natural gas and oil workplace safety is good and has steadily improved, with the incidences declining 41 percent since 2008.
Whether on a drilling pad, a refinery, an offshore production platform, on a pipeline or at a corporate headquarters, safety is integral to daily processes and routines in natural gas and oil. Industry safety is intentional, and it’s practiced – in training programs and exercises.
Examples of industry workplace safety initiatives include a handbook, “Rules to Live By,” which contains fundamental safety reminders for workers and employers. API also partnered with OSHA for Safe + Sound Week in August, a nationwide effort to raise awareness of safety and health programs. Below, an API video on safety:
About The Author
Mark Green joined API after a career in newspaper journalism, including 16 years as national editorial writer for The Oklahoman in the paper’s Washington bureau. Previously, Mark was a reporter, copy editor and sports editor at an assortment of newspapers. He earned his journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in journalism and public affairs from American University. He and his wife Pamela have two grown children and six grandchildren.
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