Imagine if industries didn’t have to worry about OSHA, DOT or EPA rules, regulations, or laws. Companies would face less paperwork, fewer programs to administer, and fewer bureaucrats meddling in a corporation’s business operations.
Of course the downside of this laissez-faire approach is that it means fewer employees would be going home safe at the end of the day.
So why is it in the industry’s best interests to have regulatory oversight? It’s not just because avoiding accidents and injuries help a company’s bottom line. It’s because these ultimately protect the company’s most valuable asset: its people. Today, this concern for safety and wellness extends beyond the organization, with more companies taking a stance towards environmental sustainability and reducing their carbon footprint.
However, even regulatory agencies will admit that real-world decisions aren’t always black and white. Since 1983, OSHA has issued exemptions to the oil & gas industry in their regulations concerning the control of hazardous energy – from Lockout-Tagout (LOTO) procedures and Benzene exposure to process safety management of highly hazardous chemicals and noise exposure rules. The EPA has issued exemptions to their Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act. The DOT has issued exemptions to their regulations concerning oil & gas well service drivers and how they calculate on-duty hours.1
While these exemptions are implemented from the top-down, there is always an element of risk involved when standards are lowered. Companies must depend on their workforce making the right judgment call for the situation at hand.
At Valiant, we believe it is the responsibility of everyone at the scene to assess present risks and make decisions that prioritize safety. As part of our companywide HSE culture, our people are not only trained to conduct behavioral job safety analyses (BJSAs) before any work is started, but they are also authorized to stop work any time that behaviors are deemed unsafe or questionable. Wherever our people are working, our commitment stands: to lead by example and out-perform what is expected.
Remember: No exemption can determine what is safe for you. You have the best information to assess your surroundings and determine the risks for the job at hand, so stay alert and stay alive.
- Soraghan, Mike. E&E News. (4 Nov 2014). Drilling’s safety exemptions and how they got there. Retrieved from: https://www.eenews.net/stories/1060008302
At Valiant, service is driven by safety.
We believe a fierce commitment to safety is at the heart of service excellence. As part of this commitment, we refuse to make decisions or undertake actions which compromise the safety of our workplace – wherever our people may be. To learn more about Valiant’s promise and the core values we live by, visit our About page,