Skip to main content

API Occupational Safety and Health Standards

API is the worldwide leading standards setting body for the oil and natural gas industry. Accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), API has issued nearly 700 consensus standards governing all segments of the oil and gas industry. These include standards, guidelines, and recommended practices regarding safety, equipment, operations, effective water management, spill prevention and environmental protection. Many API standards and practices are incorporated into both federal and state oil and natural gas regulations and they are the most widely cited petroleum industry standards by international regulators.

In our on-going effort toward continuous improvement of oil and natural gas operations and building on existing API standards and practices pertaining to oil and gas extraction, API has developed the following standards to assist the oil and gas industry in promoting personnel and public safety.  The purpose of the documents is to recommend practices and procedures for promotion and maintenance of safe and healthful working conditions for personnel engaged in oil and gas development, including drilling operations and well servicing operations. API standards provide a framework or starting point for companies to build individual safety programs fit to meet their unique operational needs.  Company programs often go above and beyond the API standards.

For more information on the API standards process or to purchase one of the below standards, please go to API’s Standards Section.

API Recommended Practice 54 – Recommended Practice for Occupational Safety for Oil and Gas Well Drilling and Servicing Operations

The American Petroleum Institute has released the fourth edition of Recommended Practice 54 (RP 54), Occupational Safety and Health for Oil and Gas Well Drilling and Servicing Operations, which provides procedures for promoting and maintaining safe and healthy working conditions for personnel in drilling and well servicing operations.

The document applies to rotary drilling rigs, well servicing rigs, and special services as they relate to operations on location. First published in 1981, significant revisions in this edition of Recommended Practice 54 include a new section on flowback operations which is key for safe well testing, revised requirements for facility and site process hazard assessment and mitigation, and introduction of formal risk assessments as well as expanded provisions for offshore operations.

4th Edition | February 2019

API Recommended Practice 74 – Recommended Practice for Occupational Safety for Onshore Oil and Gas Production Operations

API RP 74 recommends practices and procedures for promoting and maintaining safe working conditions for personnel engaged in onshore oil and gas production operations, including special services. Pages: 23

1st Edition | October 2001 | Reaffirmed: January 2013

API Recommended Practice 75 – Recommended Practice for Development of a Safety and Environmental Management Program for Offshore Operations and Facilities

The 4th edition of API Recommended Practice 75, Recommended Practice for a Safety and Environmental Management System for Offshore Operations and Assets, provides guidance for establishing, implementing, maintaining, and continually improving a safety management system (SEMS) for offshore oil and gas operations. The new edition expands the reach of SEMS globally, to contractors and sub-contractors, as well as acknowledges advancements in technology and advancements to improve risk management.

4th Edition | December 2019

API Bulletin 75L – Guidance Document for the Development of a Safety and Environmental Management System for Onshore Oil and Natural Gas Production Operations and Associated Activities

This recommendation provides general information and guidance for the development of a safety and environmental management system (SEMS) for onshore oil and natural gas operations, including drilling, production, and well servicing activities. Although there is an extensive amount of information that has been developed on the topic of safety and environmental management systems, this document focuses on this industry sector to help foster continuous improvement in our industry’s safety and environmental performance. It is recognized that many onshore oil and natural gas companies have effective SEMS in place; however, the intent of this document is to provide an additional tool that can assist these and especially other operators in taking the next step toward implementing a complete system at a pace that complements their business plan. For those who already have a mature SEMS in place, this document can be used for continuous improvement of the system. Pages: 12

1st Edition | November 2007

API Recommended Practice 76 – Contractor Safety Management for Oil and Gas Drilling and Production Operations

API RP 76 is intended to assist operators, contractors, and subcontractors (third parties) in the implementation of a contractor safety program and improve the overall safety performance while preserving the independent contractor relationship. It is intended for the Upstream Segment of the petroleum industry; however, since the operator requirements and the contracted work are diverse, this publication may not be applicable to all operations at each company or to all contract work performed in those operations. Many oil and gas exploration and production companies contract for equipment and personnel services for a wide range of activities, including drilling production, well servicing, equipment repair, maintenance, and construction. Certain activities of contractors have the potential to take place either contractor and/or operator personnel and/or equipment at risk. It is important that operations are carried out in a safe manner. Operators and contractors need to provide safe work places and to protect the safety of their work places and to protect the safety of their workforces and the general public. When they work together to improve safety, both benefit. Pages: 60

2nd Edition | November 2007 | Reaffirmed: January 2013

API Recommended Practice 77 - Risk-based Approach for Managing Hydrocarbon Vapor Exposure during Tank Gauging, Sampling, and Maintenance of Onshore Production Facilities

This standard covers recommended risk assessment and risk management practices to reduce the potential for acute worker hydrocarbon exposures, and related atmospheric risks (i.e., potential oxygen deficiency). Specifically, this recommended practice is limited to onshore production tanks (including flowback tanks) during gauging and sampling, open-top tank sampling, and select tank maintenance activities involving removal or opening of tank appurtenances. While the tools and practices recommended in this document can be useful in other operations, this recommended practice does not specifically apply to downstream, refining, or offshore tank applications. Pages: 30


API Standard 2220 – Contractor Safety Performance Process

Assists owners and contractors in developing, improving, and maintaining their mutual safety programs. Widely diverse contractor functions and uses may include resident, non-resident, long-term, and short-term contractors. These have in common the need for effective safety programs to protect both owner and contractor personnel from workplace injury and illness, as well as from losses associated with incidents arising out of contractor work. This standard aims to help both owners and contractors improve the contractor’s safety performance while preserving the independent contractor relationship. It was developed for the petroleum and petrochemical industries and the firms that perform contract work for them.

Contractors perform greatly varied work within the petroleum and petrochemical industries. Some perform construction and turnaround activities or drilling and well servicing; specialty contractors provide skills and services that are not typically found within an owner’s work force. Contractors may even provide services that augment the peak loads and skills of owners’ work forces, such as in the maintenance and operation of facilities. Since owner sites and contracted work are diverse, this standard may not be applicable to all operations at each company or to all contract work performed in those operations. As such, this publication may not apply to incidental contractors that generally do not affect facility safety, such as those that provide janitorial, laundry, and delivery services. This document addresses “conventional” safety and health. It does not address safety concerns associated with security or terrorism issues. Pages: 26

3rd Edition | October 2011

Thank you for Subscribing Unable to Process Request x