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.