Appalachian Basin

Buckeye STEPS Kick-Off Shows Industry’s Commitment to Safety

EID visited Columbus again this week for the Buckeye STEPS Kickoff-Meeting. Buckeye STEPS is the Ohio chapter of the National Service Transmission Exploration and Production Safety Network. The network is a collaborative effort between, but not limited to, operators, service companies, service providers, suppliers, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, state Emergency Management Agencies, state Departments of Environmental Protection, state fire commission, and public safety officials.  The purpose of the group is to provide a safe working environment to protect workers, the environment, and the general public by sharing experiences and information.  Meetings are held each month and cover a range of topics including:

  • Processes such as anonymous submission of incidents
  • Review of safety alerts from the industry (not always necessarily specific to our region)
  • Presentations on safety or related subjects
  • Updates from regulatory agencies
  • Guest speakers from the U.S. who are industry subject matter experts

There are no membership fees, and the groups mentioned are all invited to attend meetings.  Buckeye STEPS ad-hoc Director Joe Greco explains that the meetings are meant to provide safety information to those organizations that have people working in the field.  Mr. Greco took a few minutes out of the kickoff to chat with EID:

Any company that is involved, which is basically all of them for environmental stewardship, personal health and safety in particular. What we want to do, is follow OSHA, who more proactively engaging experiences that companies have had out in the field so that the same mistakes aren’t made over and over again. So again, it’s education by experience at this level, and then if you want a more advanced level you go to OOGEEP—Joe Greco, ad-hoc Director, Buckeye STEPS (1:22)

The kickoff meeting treated attendees to a variety of speakers from David Mustine, Director of Energy, Chemicals, & Polymers for JobsOhio, to Dennis Tomick, Chief of Field Operations for the Ohio Emergency Management Agency.  The keynote address was given by Warren Hubler, VP for HSE & Training at Helmerich & Payne on “The Business of Safety”.  He presented five case studies to show the audience how better safety practices can avoid devastating monetary and emotional costs to businesses.  Kim Nelson, Assistant Regional Administrator of OSHA’s Chicago office, explained how STEPS was created.  She said the oil and gas industry stepped up and created the organization in October of 2003 after a large number of fatalities occurred in the Corpus Christi jurisdiction.  Now, there are nine independent organizations in six states.

The creation of Buckeye STEPS is another example of the oil and gas industry’s commitment to safety.  Knowing the industry would soon rapidly grow, the Ohio legislature passed increased regulation and safety measures to ensure Ohio workers and the general public were safe as the state begun to see incredible benefits from shale development. Now, with Buckeye STEPS there is a group of people focused on making safety the top priority in Ohio’s oil and gas industry.

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