Enhanced Safety Standard Helps Protect Workers, Environment
Posted February 20, 2019
Over API’s 100-year history – we complete our first century next month – we’ve created more than 700 standards to enhance the safety, efficiency and sustainability of natural gas and oil operations. The newest of these updates Recommended Practice 54 (RP 54), which sets procedures to advance and maintain a safe and healthy work environment in drilling and well servicing operations.
Specifically, the new edition of RP 54 (first developed in 1981) includes a section on flowback operations, which is important for safe well testing. It also includes revised requirements for process hazard assessment for facilities and sites and introduces formal risk assessments and expanded provisions for offshore operations.
In short, RP 54 is another illustration of industry’s continuous effort to improve safety for its employees, surrounding communities and the environment. Debra Phillips, API Global Industry Services vice president:
“The safety of oil and natural gas operations is of paramount importance to our industry – and API continues to lead the way through the creation and revision of key standards that improve safety and environmental protection.”
Standards-setting has been central to API’s mission since it was founded in 1919. Standards and recommended practices are a chief reason industry’s incidences rate of occupational injuries and illnesses continues to be significantly lower than the rate for the rest of the U.S. private sector – 1.7 incidences per 100 full-time workers versus the private sector’s rate of 2.8 incidences per 100 full-time workers:
API standards are developed under a process accredited by the American National Standards Institute, which fosters their acceptance by state, federal and, increasingly, international regulators. API standards are referenced 96 times by the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement. Phillips:
“U.S. energy development is safer than ever as a result of industry leadership, innovation and continuous investments in safety. … As operating conditions change and technology advances come on line, we develop and revise standards improve operations and safety performance.”
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 five grandchildren.
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