OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
OSHA Trade Release
June 28, 2004
OSHA Contact: Bill Wright, (202) 693-1999
DOT Contact: Patricia Klinger, (202) 366-4831
Developed in Association with the Transportation Department's Office of Pipeline Safety
WASHINGTON -- Preventing fatal accidents or injuries for workers involved in de-watering of pipelines is the subject of a new Safety and Health Information Bulletin issued today by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The bulletin was developed in association with the Research and Special Programs Administration's (RSPA) Office of Pipeline Safety (OPS), an agency within the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)
"We want to ensure that workers and employers are armed with information that can save lives and prevent injuries," said OSHA Administrator John Henshaw. "Working with DOT's Office of Pipeline Safety, we've produced a document that will give the industry practical information and on the hazards and risks associated with pipeline work and the means to prevent workplace injuries and fatalities."
"This advisory will not only enhance the protection of pipeline workers, but serves as a starting point to protect all American citizens from accidents related to pipeline testing, maintenance and construction activities," added RSPA Deputy Administrator Samuel G. Bonasso, P.E. "We must continue to move forward in our efforts with other government agencies, such as OSHA, to ensure oversight and safety of our nation's pipeline transportation system."
De-watering of pipelines is a process conducted following the construction of the pipelines. The bulletin was designed to highlight potential hazards associated with the operations and to focus on work practices that will reduce the potential for unexpected separation of temporary de-watering pipes.
OSHA's area offices in the Pennsylvania cities of Allentown and Wilkes-Barre recently investigated two fatalities that occurred when the workers were struck by temporary de-watering piping that was not properly anchored and, due to excessive air pressure, eventually broke loose from its coupling.
The bulletin provides detailed background information on the procedures involved in ensuring the integrity of installed pipelines and reemphasizes OPS regulations on pipeline safety. A section of the bulletin is dedicated to descriptions of hazards focusing on insufficient anchoring, worn couplings, excessive air pressure, and lack of training.
The information offered in the bulletin was developed jointly by OSHA and OPS to increase awareness of the hazards involved in the pipeline de-watering and to encourage employers and workers to refocus their energies on ensuring proper procedures are followed during the process. A separate list of references and resources are also provided for more information. The bulletin is available on both OSHA's and OPS's websites.
RSPA's mission is to ensure the safe, reliable and environmentally sound operation of the nation's pipeline transportation system. For more information, visit www.rspa.dot.gov.
OSHA's role is to assure the safety and health of America's workers by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach, and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
This news release text is on the Internet at http://www.osha.gov. Information on this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 693-1999.
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