Shale Plays Contribute To A Busy Year For APCA

2014 Annual Convention, Feb. 26 – March 2, The Four Seasons Resort, The Biltmore, Santa Barbara, CA
By Jeff Griffin, Senior Editor | February 2014, Vol. 69 No. 2
Nick Bruno, APCA 2013 President

The American Pipeline Contractors Association (APCA) and its members had a busy and productive 2013, reported Nick Bruno, association president.

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“Most members enjoyed another busy year with shale plays continuing to provide opportunities for member companies,” he pointed out. “In most areas, it is difficult to find and retain good employees which, we believe, will be an ongoing challenge for the next few years.”

During 2013, association membership increased in both regular and associate member categories, Bruno added.

APCA is a national association of merit shop pipeline and station contractors dedicated to promoting the mutual interests of its contractor and associate members by addressing pipeline industry concerns and providing a key resource for critical industry information to its membership, including continuing education and information about labor and employment issues and timely updates about laws, regulations and pending legislation affecting the pipeline industry.

Continuing education on safety, environmental quality and drug and alcohol challenges also are important elements in the association’s overall goals.

A key element in the association’s safety initiative is its alliance with OSHA (Occupational Health and Safety Administration), said Bruno.

“Originally executed in 2007, renewed in 2009 and renewed again for two years in 2012, the alliance agreement will expire in 2014,” said Bruno. “We have been in discussion with OSHA and are working on a five-year alliance renewal.”

Through the alliance, APCA and OSHA work together to provide the association's members and others in the pipeline construction industry – including small businesses and non-English and limited-English speaking employees, with information, guidance and access to training resources that will help them protect the health and safety of employees. The alliance particularly addresses reducing and preventing exposure to equipment operation such as bulldozers, excavators and trenchers, and hydrostatic testing hazards.

Goals

The alliance's goals also include raising awareness of OSHA's rule making and enforcement initiatives by sharing information on occupational safety and health laws and standards, including the rights and responsibilities of workers and employers.

The Safety Zone on the association’s web site contains toolbox talks and power point presentations available in both English and Spanish.