Alliance -- An OSHA Cooperative Program<< Back to Region VI


  1. Alliance Background

    Date Signed:

    The original alliance was signed October 20, 2004 with the latest re-signing occurring April 18, 2011. During the re-signing of this alliance the Texas Department of Insurance OSHA Consultation Program (OSHCON) was added as a signatory.

    Alliance Overview:

    The STEPS alliance was formed to establish a collaborative relationship between the oil and gas onshore exploration and production industry and the OSHA Corpus Christi Area Office (CCAO) to improve the safety performance in South Texas. Through the years the alliance has expanded its effect beyond South Texas and has fostered the formation of similar networks in Oklahoma, West Texas, East Texas, Fort Worth, Houston, South Louisiana, New Mexico, Wyoming, and Illinois.

    Implementation Team Members:

    • Pat Marshall - South Texas Fuels
    • Rick Ingram - BP North American Gas
    • Marianne McGee - OSHA Corpus Christi Area Office and the STEPS Officers and Executive Committee

    Evaluation Period:

    October 2010 to October 2011

    Implementation Team Meetings:

    December 15, 2010 - At the monthly STEPS Executive Committee meeting OSHCON asked to be included as a signatory on the alliance. OSHSON had originally been a signatory on the alliance in 2004 but with changes in their agency realignment they withdrew in 2006.

    February 16, 2011 - At the monthly STEPS Executive Committee meeting attended by Marianne McGee and Pat Marshall plans were finalized for the April Vendor's Fair. Rick Ingram began working with a group in Arkansas interested in developing a STEPS network.

    August 17, 2011 - A meeting was held following the STEPS meeting with Officers and Executive Committee Members. Rick Ingram of the Executive Committee discussed plans to meet with Dr. Michael September 23, 2011 to continue discussion regarding the FRC enforcement issue.

  2. Events and Products

    Alliance Activity

      Training and Education: Monthly STEPS meetings are held the third Wednesday of the month from 8a.m. to noon. At each meeting there are presenters on various safety and health topics which are relative to the industry. The topics are selected on their applicability to the industry and current events and safety performance. The STEPS alliance has been effective in delivering hazard recognition training to its members throughout the South Texas Network. Approximately three informational training sessions are conducted at each monthly South Texas STEPS Network meeting. Topics include industrial hygiene in the oil and gas industry, the new crane standard, fall protection requirements, safety and health program development, driving safety, the enforcement of the FRC usage, and much more. An average of 85 people attend each monthly meeting.

      An indirect product of the STEPS alliance has been the development by industry of the common orientation known as SafeLandUSA. The purpose of SafeLandUSA is to provide an effective 8 hour orientation to contract employees that will be recognized by the major operators. The benefit of this program will be a more consistent safety orientation message from the operators and less time spent by the contract employees in orientation sessions that provide duplicate information. Each year more operators are becoming part of SafeLand USA. For more information visit www.safelandusa.org

      Outreach and Communication: The South Texas STEPS Network members have assisted in developing STEPS Networks in Oklahoma, New Mexico, West Texas, East Texas, Fort Worth, Houston, Louisiana and Illinois. Several existing groups have chosen to become part of the National STEPS Network in an effort to coordinate communications throughout the industry. Existing networks that have combined with the National STEPS Network include The Western Slope Safety Council (Colorado), Wyoming Oil and Gas Safety Alliance (WOGISA), and Western Wyoming Community College.

      The South Texas STEPS membership has conducted extensive outreach to the oil and gas exploration and production industry. The STEPS members encourage their counterparts and competitors to attend the monthly STEPS meeting and expand their safety and health knowledge and to improve the safety performance of the industry.

      Promoting the National Dialogue on Safety and Health: The STEPS Network has been effective in creating a large network of individuals and groups in the oil and gas industry with the common goal of improving the safety performance. A National STEPS Network has been created to allow better communication through the networks and to assist in improving the lives of the workers. A quarterly call among the various STEPS networks was initiated in July 2011 in an attempt to assist the networks in putting forward one consistent message regarding safety and health in the industry.

      The 2010 OSHA Oil and Gas Safety Conference was held in December 2010 in Dallas, Texas with nearly 1200 attendees. Three members of the South Texas STEPS Network were on the planning committee for this two day conference.

      The 2012 OSHA Oil and Gas Safety Conference is currently in the planning phase and one member of the South Texas STEPS network is on this committee.

      A National STEPS Network website was developed by the South Texas group. The website currently lists the various STEPS networks and either a link to their website or contact information including their meeting dates, times, location and contact information www.nationalstepsnetwork.com. This website is currently being redesigned.

      In July 2010 the OSHA National Office contacted the CCAO Compliance Assistance Specialist requesting participation of the STEPS Network in talks with the National Office and International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC), Association of Energy Servicing Companies (AESC), and American Petroleum Institute (API) regarding fire retardant clothing (FRC) and the recent enforcement memorandum. Members of the South Texas STEPS, Permian Basis STEPS, and Mid Continent STEPS Networks traveled to Washington D.C. August 16, 2010 to participate in this meeting.

      A follow-up meeting was held in September 2011 with the OSHA National Office and members of the STEPS network, IADC, AESC, and API to continue their discussion regarding the FRC enforcement memorandum. All agreed to work with ARI on developing a recommended practice for personal protective equipment hazard assessment.

  3. Results

    1. The STEPS alliance has been integral in elevating safety in the exploration and production industry throughout the United States. As a result of the South Texas STEPS alliance at least 10 other networks have been formed to promote safety and health. An added benefit has been the improved communication between OSHA and the industry.

    2. Activities

    Type of Activity (Conference, Training, Print and Electronic Distribution, etc. )

    Number of Individuals Reached or Trained

    12 Monthly meetings

    Approximately 85 per meeting, for a total for 1020

    2010 OSHA Oil and Gas Safety Conference

    1200

    Quarterly National STEPS conference call

    24 individuals representing 11 networks

    TOTAL

    2244


  4. Upcoming Milestones
  5. The kickoff meeting for the Arkansas STEPS Network is scheduled for October 13, 2011. The development of additional networks is expected to take place in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Report Prepared by:Marianne McGee