INGAA, APCA, OSHA Ramp Up Pipeline Construction Safety Measures

By Kate Permenter, Contributing Editor | May 2013, Vol. 68 No. 5

The Alliance is committed to developing training and education programs for the pipeline industry, focusing on equipment operation, trenching and excavation, and hydrostatic testing hazards. The Alliance offers these programs in English and Spanish.

OSHA and APCA communicate to the pipeline construction workforce about safety and prevention through forums, digital media, social media, websites, electronic assistance tools and print. The Alliance also speaks at OSHA and APCA meetings.

The Alliance promotes programs such as the Voluntary Protection Program (VPP), the Onsite Consultation Program and the Safety and the Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP).

The VPP works with OSHA, management and labor to prevent fatalities, injuries and illnesses by targeting hazard prevention and control, worksite analysis, training and management commitment and worker involvement. To attain VPP status, an employer must submit an application and go through a strict onsite safety and health assessment. If an employer passes the evaluation, they are re-evaluated every three to 5 years to keep their membership.

OSHA’s Onsite Consultation Program works with employers to implement health and safety standards. The service helps employers recognize potential dangers in the workplace and offers preventative measures. According to OSHA, in 2011 the program made 30,000 visits to worksites and enhanced safety for over 1.5 million construction workers.

SHARP awards small business employers that execute a meritorious injury and illness prevention program by making them a role model for their peers. If an employer earns SHARP approval, they opt out of OSHA’s worksite evaluations during the duration of their SHARP certification.