Contractor safety is an issue of major importance in the petroleum and petrochemical industry both in the United States and worldwide. Management, as well as employees, have a vested interest in addressing the contractor safety issue. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the United States, in both the Office of General Industry and the Office of Construction, has taken steps to analyze the use of contractors in the petroleum/petrochemical industry. Legislation of contractor safety issues is likely to result from these analyses. In light of this increased concern and attention, many major oil companies have taken a proactive stance and implemented contractor safety programs.
This paper addresses one major oil company who has adopted a corporate contractor safety guideline and how their exploration and producing company has implemented the guideline.
Recent catastrophic incidents within the petroleum and petrochemical industry have led to concern about the use of contractors to perform routine maintenance work at plant, platform, and facilities. These catastrophic incidents include the explosion and fire on the Piper Alpha Platform in the North Sea, the explosion and fire at the Phillip’s Chemical Plant in Pasadena, Texas, and the explosion and fire at the Arco Chemical Plant in Channelview, Texas. Each of these incidents resulted in the loss of lives and extensive property damage.