APCA Remains Active; Markets Stable

By Jeff Griffin, Senior Editor | February 2010 Vol. 65 No. 2

Members of the American Pipe Line Contractors Association (APCA) experienced a relatively "good" 2009, despite the worldwide recession that has negatively affected many construction markets.

"Compared to previous years, 2009 was definitely a period of cooling off with many members with workloads described as flat'," said APCA President Pat Simpson. "However, the pipeline industry can be considered healthy compared to other areas of construction."

APCA's emphasis on safety continued in 2009 with renewal through 2011 of its alliance with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Under terms of the alliance, APCA and OSHA cooperate in programs to provide industry employees with safety and health information. The alliance specifically has addressed reducing and preventing accidents relating to operation of bulldozers, excavators, sidebooms, trenching and excavation equipment, and hydrostatic testing hazards.

The alliance has resulted in development of Best Practices for operating basic equipment used in pipeline construction.

Training and education by outreach and communication are used to implement shared programs initiated by the APCA OSHA alliance.

In addition, Simpson said Caterpillar is using material developed by APCA in safety information covering pipe layers and pipeline construction. It is included in safety information on the Caterpillar web site and in printed materials prepared by Cat.

APCA agenda
Routine APCA business throughout the year included representing the interests of merit shop pipeline contractors, promoting their mutual interests and addressing industry issues that affect contractor and associate members. APCA services range from information about security issues to providing key industry information and assistance such as continuing education about labor and employment issues; laws and regulations that affect the pipeline industry; and safety, environmental, quality and drug and alcohol issues.

Looking ahead to 2011, Simpson said it is possible that recession still will affect the pipeline industry and expressed concern that decisions of the department of labor under the Obama administration will have negative effects on energy providers and pipeline construction.

"This may be especially evident," said Simpson, "in the Rocky Mountain states where the federal government owns large areas of land and, therefore, has much more control over development than in areas that are privately owned."