American Oil and Gas Reporter - April 2016 - 115

ConventionCoverage: Texas Independent Producers & Royalty Owners
* 142 upstream oil and gas workers
died on the job in 2014, including 71 in
Texas.
* Two-thirds of those fatalities were
associated with transport or contact/caughtbetween accidents.
* 68.8 percent of oil and gas industry
violations were classified as serious.
* Penalized companies' average initial
fine was $4,000.
Some good news, Ingram said, is that
the industry has been working through
an alliance between OSHA, the National
Institute for Occupational Safety & Health,
and the National STEPS Network, and
with AESC, and many participants through
the Independent Petroleum Association
of America and the American Petroleum
Institute. One alliance effort is the emerging issues focus group, which has been
proactively addressing the silica issue,
as well as a surge of tank gauging fatalities,
to share engineering controls and provide
the industry with educational materials.
Another piece of good news Ingram
highlighted deals with the SafeLandUSA
(SLUSA) standardized health, safety
and environment orientation for U.S.
onshore upstream oil and gas workers.
Since its 2010 debut, he said, more
than 910,000 oil field workers have
gone through the program. Operators
choose to either require or accept
SLUSA, he explained, and the contractors pay for the classes.
"Contractors participating in the program enjoy a significantly lower incident
rate," Ingram detailed. "SLUSA saves
a lot of money for the operators and
contractors through less redundancy.
This program is less confusing for workers than undergoing a different safety
and health orientation for every operator,
and most importantly, workers receive
a great foundation of knowledge about
likely hazards. SLUSA is being held
up by OSHA as an example for other
industries to follow. Not bad for something we were told would never work."
Ultimately, Ingram emphasized, company executives and safety specialists
must take a direct interest in field operations. "There is no substitute for boot
leather," he intoned. "You cannot run a
health and safety program just sitting in
an office. Get your boots and flame resistant clothing on, and go talk to folks.
That is how you find out what is actually
going on."
The LiveSafe Way
Locke's remarks about Pioneer Energy

Services' cultural transformation opened
by recounting a handful of the company's
worst accidents from decades past. "I
still fear phone calls at night because of
the ones I have had," he admitted.
Within a few years of hiring its first
safety personnel, he said the company
brought its total recordable incident rate
(TRIR) to the industry average, but Pioneer
management still was not satisfied. "We
grew our rig count from 25 to about 60
by 2006, but we still were having an average of 100 incidents a year, which is
way too high," Locke recounted.
Among the efforts Pioneer then undertook was hiring an Australian behavior
consulting firm that he said assembled
every manager in an effort to establish
the company's priorities. "No business
objective would take priority over safety,"
he summarized. "We believed injuries
truly were preventable and that we were

going to empower employees to stop activities they thought unsafe."
The approach was the turning point
in bringing Pioneer's TRIR far below the
industry average, Locke said. The company
then took accidents another step lower
when it joined forces with a second safety
consulting firm and implemented a program it called LiveSafe, which he said
influenced his own attitude toward hazards
and risks both on and off the job.
Locke offered the example of driving
down a highway and spotting an eightfoot wooden beam in the lane ahead of
him. Although he eluded it with no problem, he said, he also knew it could prove
disastrous to a driver-especially a motorcyclist-that failed to notice it in time.
"The year before, I would have kept on
going," he acknowleged. "Because of the
LiveSafe way, I went back, pulled over
safely and removed that obstruction." ❒

Country's Political Turbulence
Offers Opportunity For Renewal
SAN ANTONIO-Americans distressed
by the shape of the 2016 presidential
race and the general shape of the country's
politics should consider previous cycles
of U.S. history, recommends a longtime
adviser to elected officials on both sides
of the political aisle.
Speaking at the Texas Independent
Producers & Royalty Owners Association's
70th annual convention, political analyst
Matthew Dowd, whose former bosses include retired Senator Lloyd Benson, DTx., and President George W. Bush, acknowledged that American voters were
exhibiting tremendous amounts of frustration, anger, disillusionment and anxiety.
Nevertheless, Dowd expressed optimism.
"We are about to be told to choose
between two candidates the American
people dislike and distrust. They are unelectable on their own, but are electable
nonetheless because of who they are running against," he mused. "Being the ultimate optimist, I actually think that is
going to accelerate the change we need."
TIPRO's 2016 conference also included:
* Remarks from Speaker of the Texas
House Joe Straus, R-San Antonio;
* A view of the state budget by Texas
Comptroller Glenn Hegar;
* A look at Washington developments

pertinent to oil and gas by Congressman
Mike Conaway, R-Tx.;
* A forum of candidates running for
Texas Railroad commissioner; and
* A discussion of Texas oil and gas
property taxes by Myska & Vandervoort
partner Damien Larson.
Finding New Paths
According to Dowd, each cycle of
American history is comprised of four
generations and spans 70-80 years. The
most recent parallel to today was the
Great Depression and the beginning of
World War II, he suggested. Earlier parallels include the U.S. Civil War amid
the transition to an industrial economy
and the American Revolution, he held.
"I have great hope and optimism," he
proclaimed. "It usually was at those times
and political situations that answers or
leaders began to emerge."
Dowd likened the country's political
situation to an unhealthy building liable
to impair even the most sincere policymakers. "If healthy people spend time in
a house that has mold, lead pipes and no
air circulation, what is going to happen?"
he posed. "No matter how healthy they
are, people are going to get sick; the
only question is how badly."
Although institutions including govAPRIL 2016 115



American Oil and Gas Reporter - April 2016

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