Region 6 - Alliance Annual Report - October 21, 2016

U.S. Department of Labor
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Lubbock Area Office
And the
West Texas Safety Training Center
October 21, 2016

  1. Alliance Background

    1. Date Signed

      April 23, 2007; Addendum on June 11, 2007; Renewed on December 14, 2011, January 8, 2014 and February 18, 2016.

    2. Evaluation Period

      October 1, 2015 through September 30, 2016

    3. Overview

      Alliance between the United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration and The West Texas Safety Training Center (WTSTC) was established as a collaborative relationship to foster a safety and more healthful workplace for Americans working in the oil, gas, construction, chemical and refining industries. The goal of the Alliance is to save lives, particularly in reducing and preventing exposure to hazards such as falls from elevations, struck-by and caught-in-between objects, and electrocution.

    4. Implementation Team Members


      Elizabeth Linda Routh, Area Director (AD), Lubbock Area Office
      Abraham Arzola, Compliance Assistance Specialist (CAS), El Paso Area Office

      West Texas Safety Training Center

      Phil Young, WTSTC President/CEO
      Vicki Watkins, WTSTC Vice President
      John Higgins, Chief Human Resources Officer – Saulsbury Industries
      Cookie McKee, ARSC Executive Director

  2. Implementation Team Meetings

    • Area Director Routh and CAS Arzola attended an Alliance meeting with Vicki Watkins and Phil Young of the West Texas Safety Training Center on February 18, 2016. The participants discussed services provided and toured the WTSTC facility and renewed the Alliance Agreement for three years.
    • On April 25, 2016 Area Director Routh spoke to the members of the West Texas Safety Training Center at their annual meeting. Mrs. Routh stressed the continuing number of serious and fatal accidents seen in the Permian Basin oil industry. She also focused on how cooperation between OSHA and employers can result in decreased hazards in the workplace. Mrs. Routh answered many direct questions from the audience.
  3. Results

    The table below provides the total number of training units that WTSTC provided during the 2016 fiscal year. WTSTC defines a training unit as a completed test or completed service administered by WTSTC.

    Type of Activity (Conference, Training, Print and Electronic Distribution, etc.) Number of Individuals Reached or Trained
    Safety & Health Training 40,515 units

    Events and Products

    During 2016, WTSTC continued to be active on several International Association of Drilling Contractor (IADC) committees. Their participation included work on the following committees:

    • Workforce Attraction Development Initiative committee
    • Safeland USA Instructor Qualifications subcommittee
    • Health, Safety & Environment Committee


    During our 2016 fiscal year, the Permian Basin Apprenticeship Training Program had seven students graduate from the four year electrical apprenticeship program. This program provides apprenticeship training for the following crafts:

    • Residential Electrical
    • Industrial Electrical
    • Journeyman Electrical
    • Instrumentation Technician


    These programs are registered and accredited by the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training under DOL REG Number TX-014-040002. The program uses the curriculum established by the National Center for Continuing Education and Research (NCCER).

    Training and Education

    During the period 10/01/2015 - 9/30/2016, WTSTC continued to provide a broad range of training services to the Permian Basin oil/gas industry. Training volume continued to decrease due to the downturn in oil & /gas operations in the Permian Basin because of the dramatic decline of West Texas Intermediate Crude oil prices. However, WTSTC continues to see significant demand for the following training/services:

    1. ) Respirator Fit Testing
    2. ) Hydrogen Sulfide Training
    3. ) NFPA 70E (Qualified Electrical Worker)
    4. ) Basic Orientation Plus® classes
    5. ) SafeLand USA Orientation classes


    Outreach and Communication

    • WTSTC is a member of the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE)
    • WTSTC is a charter member of the Permian Basin Chapter of the STEPS organization.
    • WTSTC participates in the Permian Basin Chapter of the Association of Energy Services Contractors (AESC).
    • WTSTC is a member of the International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC). WTSTC participates on the Workforce Development Committee and the Safeland USA instructor development sub-committee.
    • WTSTC is a member of the Association of Reciprocal Safety Councils (ARSC). This organization has members located in different areas of the USA where Petrochemical facilities are operated. WTSTC currently serves on the ARSC Executive Committee.


    Promoting the National Dialogue on Workplace Safety and Health

    The West Texas Safety Training Center is a founding member of the Association of Reciprocal Safety Councils (ARSC) and currently sits on its Executive Committee. ARSC members have 45 safety councils located in petrochemical/refinery areas. The mission of the Association of Reciprocal Safety Councils (ARSC) is to provide consistent and cost effective reciprocal safety education that conforms to regulatory standards and industry accepted practices. During the 2015 calendar year, ARSC members produced 376,231 reciprocal training units within the organization. During 2016 ARSC rolled out its revised edition of the nationally accepted Basic Orientation Plus® course. This revision requires increased instructor and student interaction and included updated requirements of the different regulations/standards. The Basic Orientation Plus® program meets a significant portion of the OSHA-mandated contractor requirements. This increases safety training efficiency for the contract employee due to a reduction in redundant information being presented.

    The components of the Basic Orientation Plus® program are as follows:

    1. Hazard Communication (HazCom) and Chemical Safety
    2. HazCom/Global Harmonization System
    3. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
    4. Respiratory Protection
    5. Hearing Conservation
    6. Electrical Safety Related Work Practices for Non-Qualified Workers
    7. Elevated Work
    8. Process Safety Management (PSM)
    9. Excavation, Trenching & Shoring
    10. Job Hazard Analysis (JHA)
    11. General Rules & Emergency Response


    An ARSC white paper was developed during 2016 to depict ARSC’s growth and benefits to the oil & gas industry. This study revealed that the ARSC Basic Orientation Plus® course has saved the oil/gas industry nearly $200,000,000 since the year 1999. The majority of this savings benefited the petrochemical sector of the oil & gas industry.

  4. Safety Milestone


    2016 marks the ninth year of the WTSTC Dr. Max Comer Scholarship(s). WTSTC continue to provide $500 scholarships to individuals that are pursuing an Associate Degree in Safety Management at Odessa College. Scholarship recipients are selected by a WTSTC committee consisting of oil company representatives and contractor representatives.

    May, 2016 marks the West Texas Safety Training Center’s 22nd anniversary of providing training services to the Permian Basin workforce.