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Development of a Safety Management System for Drilling and Servicing Operations within OSHA Jurisdiction Area for Texas
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Workers of oil and gas extraction industries are exposed to different safety hazards, resulting in fatality rates seven times greater than that of the average U.S. worker. However, oil and gas drilling and servicing operations are only governed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) General Industry Standards, OSHA Construction Standards, and General Duty Clauses of the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act. Some states have their own regulations regarding the safety of drilling and servicing operations, but Texas, the state with the highest fatality and employment of oil and gas industry, does not have any state regulation. The objective of the study is to develop a safety management system to improve safety performances of Texas drilling and servicing operations based on OSHA fatal incident data, and the scope of the study is only for the OSHA jurisdiction area for Texas. The study was conducted in two parts. The objective of the first part is to understand current regulations enforced with respect to Texas drilling and servicing operations and determine whether current safety management systems in United States (Process Safety Management, and Safety and Environment Management Systems) can be directly extended to drilling and servicing operations in Texas. The second part of the study, which would be conducted if none of the current management systems are sufficient for extension to drilling and servicing, is to develop a different safety management system specifically for Texas drilling and servicing operations within the OSHA jurisdiction area. The study evaluated Process Safety Management and Safety and Environment Management Systems and found that developing a new safety management system is a better solution to reduce fatal injuries of Texas drilling and servicing operations, rather than extending the two safety management systems. In order to develop a new safety management system, causal factors for incidents were identified and categorized to generate safety management elements. The safety management system was developed to integrate both process and personnel safety, containing nine management elements, which are Personal Protective Equipment, Equipment Design/Selection, Inspection and Maintenance, Written Procedure, Hazard Communication, Hazard Assessment, Work Practice, Emergency Response Planning, and Training. The safety management system successfully covers gaps of OSHA General Industry Standards and Construction Standards, and covers frequent violations of the standards. Industries can use the management system as a framework to establish their safety programs. Future work will include 1) studying effects of human factors on safety performances of drilling and servicing operations, and incorporating human factors into the developed safety management system; 2) consideration of incorporating some management elements, such as auditing, record keeping and incident investigations, into the developed management system; 3) developing metrics to evaluate whether safety programs of industries are effective to comply with the developed safety management system; 4) developing contractor management to provide guidelines for contractor and owner companies and making sure contractors and owners are on the same page regarding safety programs.
Yu, Mengxi (2015). Development of a Safety Management System for Drilling and Servicing Operations within OSHA Jurisdiction Area for Texas. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from