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Protecting Workers Who Produce Our Energy

Occupational safety is at the forefront of the natural gas and oil industry’s priorities across the supply chain of operations. With industry, API and stakeholders develop standards and implement programs to help ensure that we’re keeping personnel, communities and the environment safe.

To this end, API has over 700 standards, created through our American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accredited standards procedure that help enhance industry operations, safety, and environmental progress. API standards cover all aspects of the industry, from discovery and drilling to transportation to refining. Operators, regulators, contractors and individual personnel use API standards, management systems and more to improve safety and sustainability across all segments in the industry.

Safety in exploration and discovery

In the upstream space, standards like API Recommended Practice (RP) 54, Occupational Safety for Oil and Gas Well Drilling and Servicing Operations, and API RP 75, Safety and Environmental Management System for Offshore Operations and Assets, provide guidelines and systems to improve workplace safety. Other industry resources, like the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers’ (IOGP) Life-Saving Rules provide good practices to follow which reinforce the commitment to safety.

In addition to standards, API offers programs to drive continuous safety and performance improvements. Most recently, API led the development of a new voluntary coalition, the Onshore Safety Alliance™ (OSA). This program is designed to help prevent occupational safety injuries in upstream onshore operations and encourages all workers to be aware of the most critical safety hazards at their work site and implement practices to prevent incidents. OSA lays out a path for onshore operators to improve their safety programs through shared learning, risk assessments and training opportunities on Life Saving Actions that address the most critical safety hazards.

Transporting energy safely

For midstream operations, implementing API RP 1173, Pipeline Safety Management Systems, helps operators manage risk, strengthen safety culture and improve operations for pipeline personnel. Utilizing RP 1173, operators continually evaluate risk, set goals and measure their performance to help improve safety and avoid incidents.

Occupational safety incidents remain uncommon in the pipeline industry, and API continues to share lessons learned and increase understanding of good practices to prevent future incidents through programs like the Pipeline Safety Management System (PSMS) Assessment Program. The PSMS Assessment Program utilizes RP 1173 and helps operators evaluate how effectively they are implementing the standard. It is designed to evaluate RP 1173 conformance, identify areas for SMS implementation through the sharing of good practices, and benchmark operators’ programs in a consistent way in order to drive safety performance across pipeline operations.

On-site and staying safe

The commitment to occupational safety continues into the downstream segment and is supported through API standards, including API RP 2009, Safe Welding, Cutting, and Hot Work Practices in the Petroleum and Petrochemical Industries, and API RP 2201, Safe Hot Tapping Practices in the Petroleum and Petrochemical Industries, along with about 30 other safety and fire protection standards.

Also supporting this effort, API’s Process Safety Site Assessment Program (PSSAP®) offers refineries and petrochemical facilities the opportunity to assess their process safety systems to see where they can improve. Utilizing industry developed good practice protocols, PSSAP expert assessors evaluate process safety pillars and share good practices seen throughout industry to drive improvement for participating facilities.

Moving Forward

The natural gas and oil industry is unified in its commitment to improving safety, operational integrity and environmental performance. API continues to work with the industry to meet that commitment through standards and programs like API Energy Excellence®. As an expectation of API membership, API members commit to enhance the integrity of operations, including occupational safety, by applying standards, implementing workforce training programs, and participating in performance initiatives. API members apply the 13 API Energy Excellence elements across their operations to safeguard employees, environment, and the communities in which they operate.. It is just one example of how the industry continues to further their commitment to these goals, driving toward our goal of zero incidents in industry. API’s world-class standards and safety programs reflect and support this pledge and help ensure the safety of industry’s workforce while meeting global demand for reliable and cleaner energy.