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E-NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE - July 2010

Industry News

Jan Behrendt Ibsoe Named to National Wind Turbine Operating Safety Committee

Jan Behrendt Ibsoe, Vice President, ABS Consulting Renewable Energy, has been named a member of the National Research Council (NRC) Committee on Offshore Wind Energy Turbine Structural and Operating Safety.

The study will provide guidance to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE), formerly the Minerals Management Service, on its proposed approach to overseeing the development and safe operation of offshore wind turbines.

The Committee will consider three primary areas:

The project is sponsored by the BOEMRE, an agency of the US Department of the Interior. The TRB Studies and Special Programs Division will conduct the project. Stephen Godwin is director of the division. Madeline Woodruff will serve as the study director.

ABS Consulting and ABS Representatives Named to Committee Developing Wind Turbine Guidelines for US Installations

Rolando Vega, Lead Engineer, ABS Consulting Renewable Energy Services, and Lars Samuelsson, ABS Principal Engineer, Renewable Energy, have been named to the Large Wind Turbine Permitting Guidelines Subcommittee, a newly formed US national committee working to identify typical and specific US national wind turbine design requirements that are compatible with International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) requirements.

The effort is authorized by AWEA Standards Coordinating Committee (SCC) and consists of more than 100 members from the industry and academia. The committee has been divided into three project teams, or working groups, that will focus on the following: Structural Requirements, Offshore Requirements and Electrical Requirements.

Vega has been elected Leader of the Structural Requirements Subcommittee, which is focused on five areas: Industry Survey and Outreach, Wind Turbine Tower Design, Wind Turbine Foundation Design, Inspection and Structural Health Monitoring and a Guideline Consistency Panel. The Structural Requirements Subcommittee is a joint effort between the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

Samuelsson has been appointed Secretary of the Offshore Requirements Subcommittee. The group is split into three focus areas: Structural Reliability, Manufacturing/Qualification, Testing/Installation and Construction and Safety of Equipment/Operation/Inspection and Decommissioning.

"Wind energy is attracting a great deal of business and government interest at this time," Vega commented. "The industry recognizes that while there is the opportunity to move quickly and develop the leading proposed offshore wind generation projects, it is important to do so on the basis of sound, practical regulatory requirements and industry standards. The formation of the interindustry committee and the work that we will do over the next year will, we hope and expect, have a profound impact on the content of those future regulations and standards."

Each of the three subcommittees is developing guidelines pertaining to their specific area of expertise. Once complete, the subcommittee recommendations will be considered by the full committee and once accepted, will be offered to the US Government agencies charged with developing the regulations that will govern US wind installations. These national guidelines are expected to be available for public comment by late 2010.

CSB Releases New Hot Work Safety Video Emphasizing Effective Hazard Evaluations and Gas Monitoring Procedures around Storage Tanks

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) has released a 14-minute safety video warning of the hazards of welding and other hot work activities in and around storage tanks containing flammable materials.

Entitled "Dangers of Hot Work," the video presents key lessons from the CSB's hot work safety bulletin, released on March 4, 2010, in Wausau, Wisconsin, near the Packaging Corporation of America (PCA) facility where three workers were killed in July 2008 during a hot work-related explosion.

Hot work is defined as burning, welding, or similar spark-producing operations that can ignite fires or explosions. Since the release of the CSB hot work safety bulletin last March, there have been at least an additional 11 hot work accidents resulting in 5 fatalities and 14 hospitalizations. Included in these events is the explosion and fire at the Navajo Refining Company that killed two workers and injured two others in Artesia, New Mexico, where a crew of insulators was reportedly working on a crude oil storage tank.

The video uses 3-D computer animations to depict three hot work accidents at Partridge-Raleigh, an oil production site in Central Mississippi; the Bethune Waste Water Treatment Plant in Daytona Beach, Florida; and the Motiva Enterprises Refinery in Delaware City, Delaware.

The video also features an interview with John Capanna, who suffered burns over ninety percent of his body following a hot work accident while he performed maintenance activities at a refinery in New Jersey in 1979.

Also featured in the video is Casey Jones, the wife of crane operator Clyde Jones, who was fatally burned at the Bethune Waste Water Treatment Plant in January 2006. Mrs. Jones says, "As a wife, I just assumed that he had a normal, everyday 7:00 to 3:30, Monday through Friday job, safe as my job. I would have never dreamed in a million years he would have been killed in an explosion."

Hot work accidents occur throughout many industries in the U.S., including food processing, pulp and paper manufacturing, oil production, fuel storage, and waste treatment. CSB Investigations Supervisor Donald Holmstrom states in the video, "We typically hear about hot work accidents weekly. It has become one of the most significant types of incidents the CSB investigates, in terms of deaths, in terms of frequency."

Emphasizing key lessons from the safety bulletin, Chairman Bresland states, "Hazard assessments and combustible gas detectors should be routinely used to identify and monitor for flammable atmospheres before and during hot work. Effective gas monitoring will save lives."

The video is available for viewing and downloading on the CSB's Web site as well as the agency's YouTube channel. Free DVD's can be requested by completing the online request from www.csb.gov.

OSHA and AESC Renew Alliance to Promote Safety and Health in Oil and Gas Well Industry

Enhanced workplace safety for oil and gas well workers is the goal of an alliance renewal signed by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Association of Energy Service Cos. (AESC).

"We welcome this opportunity to join with the AESC in emphasizing employer awareness of hazardous working conditions in the oil and gas well industry," said William Burke, OSHA's acting regional administrator in Dallas. "The joint resources of this continuing relationship will help make this industry as safe and healthy as possible."

AESC, along with its member companies, will work closely with OSHA to enhance and build upon existing training and educational goals; outreach and communication goals; and workplace health, safety, and environmental goals.

Established in 1956, the AESC originally represented oil well servicing contractors. In 1996 the association became known as the Association of Energy Service Cos. to reflect an increase in energy industry service providers and members. Association members now include field crews, engineers, manufacturers, and oil and gas producers and operators. OSHA and the AESC first signed a national alliance on March 30, 2005.

Through its Alliance Program, OSHA works with groups committed to safety and health, including businesses, trade and professional organizations, unions, and educational institutions, to (1) leverage resources and expertise to develop compliance assistance tools and resources and (2) share information with employers and employees to help prevent injuries, illnesses, and fatalities in the workplace. OSHA and the organization sign a formal agreement with goals that address training and education, outreach and communication, and promoting the national dialogue on workplace safety and health.

For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.

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