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Job Safety Analysis (JSA)
Site Preparation >>

Site preparation for an oil and gas well, in most instances, looks like any other construction site. OSHA uses Safety and Health Regulations for Construction [29 CFR 1926] to assess safety compliance during this phase of the development of a drilling site.

Once the location for the site has been established, the area is prepared for drilling, with the following steps:
Fig. 1. Clearing the drilling site
Fig. 1. Clearing the drilling site 

Back to TopLeveling Site

The site is leveled (if necessary) with a bulldozer and/or a grader.

Potential Hazards:
Fig. 2. Leveling uneven ground
Fig. 2. Leveling uneven ground

  • Damaging buried pipelines and cables.

  • Unpredictable weather changes can create unexpected hazards.

  • Irritant and toxic plants, pollens, and other entrained materials.

  • Uneven ground may cause bulldozers to roll over.
Possible Solutions:
  • Perform a site line location survey.

  • Plan for hazards due to unpredictable changing weather.

  • After weather changes, conduct inspections for new hazards.

  • Protect employees engaged in site clearing from hazards of irritant and toxic plants. Teach the employees about available first aid treatments. [29 CFR 1926.604(a)(1)]

  • Provide rollover guards on all equipment used in site clearing operations. [29 CFR 1926.602]

  • Provide overhead and rear canopy guards on rider-operated equipment. [29 CFR 1926.604(a)(2)]


Back to Top Excavating and Trenching
Fig. 3. Reserve pit
Fig. 3. Reserve pit


Fig. 4. Excavating at a drill site
Fig. 4. Excavating at a drill site


The scale and duration of excavating and trenching are very minor and site-specific. On some drilling sites, a below-ground-level cellar may be excavated. This is where the main borehole is to be drilled. A reserve pit and settling pits may be excavated and are used for water or drilling fluid (mud) discharges.


Potential Hazards:
  • Dust and other airborne contaminants can cause respiratory problems or allergic reactions.

  • Damaging buried pipelines and cables.
Possible Solutions:
  • Wear appropriate respiratory protection. [29 CFR 1910.134]

  • Perform a site line location survey.



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