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One Big Thing for Pipeliners From This Year’s Conference Season

The EnerSys team attended several pipeline industry conferences in Spring 2019. We appreciated the opportunity to connect with pipeline operators, control room operators, regulatory and compliance directors, and other personnel directly responsible for supporting safe and effective pipeline operations.

We also heard many valuable presentations and participated in several discussions as the industry pushes forward to a zero-incident goal surrounding the big 2019 focus on Pipeline Safety Management System (Pipeline SMS).

We know that you may not have been able to attend every conference or every presentation. Therefore, we want to share each of our team member’s “One Big Thing” for pipeliners to know from this year’s conference season.

One Big Thing for Pipeliners: Pipeline SMS

Russel Treat, EnerSys CEO: After attending several conferences this year, it’s clear that pipeline SMS is coming like a freight train. Here are the two main points of consideration:

Capture documentation to perform analysis. How effective are your pipeline SMS programs to support safety?
Quickly and effectively make modifications. Are you easily able to modify processes, policies, and tools to improve the effectiveness of your operation’s safety commitment?

There were many conversations around the idea of hurdles or constraints preventing operators from fully embracing — or even starting — their journey to align with pipeline SMS.

Whether the hurdles are attitudes and behaviors, inadequate tools, cumbersome processes, or a lack of documentation, every operator needs to think about how to address each hurdle. And, you don’t need to finish the entire race in one period of time; take one hurdle at a time. Once that hurdle is cleared, move to the next one.

Ultimately, the journey to zero incidents comes down to culture and needing universal buy-in from the top level of the operation. Start there. Then, continuously make updates and implement changes to support safe operations.

One Big Thing for Pipeliners: Focus on Documentation

Dale Schafer, VP of Business Development: A clear takeaway from the 2019 API Pipeline Conference was the importance of well-defined documentation that is easy to access during a control room audit.

Well-defined documentation that is readily available for a PHMSA inspector makes a significant difference in the audit outcome.

EnerSys understands the importance of supporting documentation for pipeline operators, which is why we developed the Control Room Management suite (CRM Suite). This software helps operators create appropriate documentation, capture activity in the control room, keep accurate records, and easily access reports to comply with the audit process.

Based on our conversations and the public discussions at API 2019, we understand more than ever how important documentation is for operators. Therefore, we will continue to grow our software capabilities to help operators stay ahead of the curve for their next audit.

One Big Thing for Pipeliners: Review Lessons Learned

Ross Adams, Regulatory and Software Support: A big takeaway from conference season was operators needing to utilize their “lessons learned” reviews.

The traditional approach is a control room manager comes up with a topic and funnels the information down to controllers and other support personnel. Oftentimes, this information ends up in a drawer without being reviewed.

Consider instead the best practice of utilizing a form. Allow employees to identify issues in the control room and use the form as part of the regular discussion during safety meetings.

The key is proactive engagement. It’s a paradigm shift to empower controllers and other personnel to provide their feedback, be heard, evaluate the feedback, and share the lessons learned to support continuous improvement.

Connect with EnerSys for More Information

For pipeline operators, the takeaways from conference season boil down to pipeline safety programs, supporting an audit (external), and improving lessons learned (internal).

We hope that you find this information helpful and applicable to your pipeline operation. To continue receiving timely updates and information for pipeliners, subscribe to our email newsletter.

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