Oilfield safety is an industry-wide responsibility and as pipe manufacturers and transportation companies focus on doing their part, workers and site managers need to as well.
According to the Bismark Tribune, more companies are considering their role in overall oil pipeline and site safety. One pipeline company, Enbridge, focused on improving its designs after its pipeline ruptured four years ago and spilled a million gallons of crude oil, contaminating 35 miles of the Kalamazoo River in Michigan. This brought Enbridge and other leaders in the oil industry, as well as state regulators, together at the recent Bismark pipeline summit to discuss how safety can be improved.
"It shook our organization to the core," said Enbridge Vice President Paul Fisher. "We need to operate in a safe and reliable manner. We need to regain public trust."
The demand for higher safety standards has been highlighted by several incidents involving oil transportation by rail as well, which we covered previously. Of course, ultimately, safety starts at the oilfield.
To do their part in optimizing safety across the industry as a whole, oilfield operators need to consider accident prevention and behavior based safety improvements. Increasing training, proper loading of tankers, the necessity of safety precautions and the optimization of workflow in a safe and secure manner will start a chain reaction down the pipeline of a positive nature, inspiring increased safety measure being taken every step of the way.
"It comes back to the planning and maintenance of the system which is imperative as you move forward," Dave Glatt, chief of North Dakota's state health department, told the news source.
Optimizing safety at the ground level means investing in the proper planning and training. Bring on consultants to ensure you're doing as much as possible to optimize safety for your employees, neighboring towns and the industry as a whole.