Research Paper On A. The Importance Of Management Commitment To Safety Regulations And Standards Regarding High-Pressure Lines (Gas Pipelines)
Management Commitment and Employees’ Awareness
Management Commitment and Employees’ Awareness
Management commitment is identified as one of the most crucial facets of developing a workplace injury and illness prevention program . It is the extensiveness of the commitment that defines designing an effective safety program which aims to minimize accidents or even reduce it to zero level. Despite the apparent awareness to enforce the strictest standards for operations involving gas pipelines, current events disclosed that “the National Transportation Safety Board also found gas companies failed to conduct inspections or tests that could have found weaknesses at sites of three high-profile explosions between 2009 and 2012, and that improvements are needed "to prevent catastrophic gas transmission line accidents from ever happening again”” . From the increase in gas pipeline accidents in oil and gas companies in the industry, it was evident that management exhibited lack of commitment in ensuring that the safety standards that were developed would strictly be enforced.
Concurrently, there had been reports which revealed that most of the accidents involving gas pipelines occur within excavation areas. As noted, “the pipeline industry, generally, says that most of the accidents that occur do so outside the purview of the operator. It says that such factors as “excavation” account for most incident reports while 10 percent are the result of corrosion, construction or operation of the lines” . The report should therefore have become the basis for closer monitoring in these high risk areas.
B. Employees involvement is important
There is no question that to ensure that the safety policies and standards are adhered to, employees must be duly involved to abide, as stipulated. From the pipeline accidents that were recently reported, it could be commended that no injuries or fatalities were involved . The leakages from the gas pipelines caused “minor damage to a nearby home and power lines, while the resulting fire burned for nearly five hours” . Other pipeline leaks apparently seeped into bodies of water and in the atmosphere causing environmental contamination. As such, involvement of employees could take the form of making the necessary reports when some pipelines are observed to require replacement or intensive monitoring for suspicious propensities for leaks.
C. Employees’ awareness toward safety standards
Safety standards are supposed to be communicated to the employees upon entry point to the organization. Likewise, updates that are regularly published by OSHA and other safety regulatory agencies should be incorporated in the organization’s safety guidelines for immediate communication to various stakeholders. Communication of safety standards could take the form of official correspondences through memorandum, disclosure in monthly meetings, or through the employees official email accounts.
D. Differences between management and employees awareness of the relevant standards of high-pressure lines.
Management are expected to be significantly aware of the safety standards by virtue of regulatory requirements and guidelines posed by the OSHA, API, and the CDC. Likewise, it is the responsibility of management to cascade the information to the employees, especially those who are directly affected through positions, roles, and responsibilities working with high pressure lines. Thus, it is expected that employees become aware of these safety standards through the communication and information disseminated by management. Any laxity in echoing the safety standards and policies to the employees would be a negative impact to management - manifesting their lack of commitment and dedication to ensure that the workplace is safe and secure from risks and hazards that could pose injuries, accidents, and even fatalities to happen.
E. Why risks and hazards control of these pipelines seem to remain a challenging aspect of management and employees in the oil and gas industry?
Risks and hazards control of high pressure lines and gas pipelines seem to remain a challenging aspect of management and employees in the oil and gas industry due to the extensiveness, scope, and positioning of these pressure lines. As previously revealed, most of the accidents that happened occurred due to the excavation activity. As such, some imbedded pressure lines that are not known in terms of exact location, depth, and corrosive nature could cause potential harm. In addition, turnover rates in oil and gas companies could contribute to the inability to be knowledgeable on the actual locations of previously imbedded pressure lines that were historically placed. As such, these lines should continue to remain part of the risk and hazards assessment of the organization which should be communicated to the employees. Finally, leaders or management must be competent and vigilant in risk assessment and management. As emphasized, “fire and explosion can result from the ignition of any released hydrocarbon. Typical sources of hydrocarbon releases (HCRs) are the well, the pipeline riser, other pipelines and pipe work and associated process plant. Releases can occur from either failure of the asset itself due to corrosion, abrasion or fracture, or because of failures of maintenance e.g. poor practice when breaking and re-making joints, or insufficient operational controls” . Management knows these risks and hazards. Communicating these to the workers are their responsibilities. Thus, bridging the gap between conceptual frameworks to application is their paramount concern.
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