Training Temporary Workers in the Oil and Gas Industry at the National Level

Rick Ingram of BP discussed the origins of STEPS and how the organization helps bring temporary workers up to speed.

ATLANTA -- Day one of NSC 2015 kicked off with a busy show floor and some very relevant technical sessions. Rick Ingram of BP held an afternoon session where he discussed the challenges and opportunities available for training temporary workers in one of the biggest industries at the show: oil & gas.

Ingram is partially responsible for the creation of STEPS: The South Texas Exploration and Product Safety Network. Working with Marianne McGee who represents OSHA's National STEPS Network, Ingram developed the idea after OSHA highlighted a high number of injury rates in the oil & gas sector in 2003.

According to McGee, the oil & gas industry represented anywhere from 25 to 33 percent of the injuries that occurred in the Corpus Christi, Texas, area. Some of the biggest problems were a failure to understand OSHA requirements, a lack of shared information among companies and organizations, and clients using a number of different safety protocols.

The solution came via the STEPS program in 2004. By entering an alliance with OSHA, oil & gas companies were able to train new workers that would be ready to work for any of the clients, such as BP, who needed them to step up and perform in a safe manner.

Another result of the alliance is the SafeLand USA program. SafeLand USA is an all-volunteer organization comprised of operating companies, contractors and industry associations. The program is hazards-based in order to see what problems exist in the field and how the industry can train new workers to better tackle those hazards. An extensive ID card system shows employers which employees have been trained in specific safety categories.

In total, more than 875,000 workers have gone through the program.

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