Page 7 - Texas811 Magazine 2020 Issue 4
P. 7

When Doug is in the field doing inspections or marking lines for excavations, he frequently talks to landowners, and dispels a lot of myths in the process.
“Most folks think of the pipeline as a half inch gas line, but in reality, they are four inches to 36 inches, and a most people are unsure of the products in them. So, we work with them to spot indications of leaks, and how to respond if they see something. 99.9 percent of the time, they are the ones who see the issue before we know about it,” he said, adding, “their first steps are the difference between saving their lives and their neighbors’ lives.”
“We have a lot of interactions with landowners, homeowners, farmers and ranchers, emergency responders, excavators, home builders and other oil and gas companies. Anybody who is digging around the pipelines...”
Pipeliners, whose job includes a multitude of tasks including general maintenance, line locating, damage prevention, first response during emergencies, environmental concerns and safety leads are the face of the company to local excavators and landowners. And that’s by design.
“CEOs and other executives are doing great things, but most common people don’t know who the company’s executives are, but they know ‘hey, that’s my representative from Phillips 66,’” he said.
That effort has paid off, and they now have a team of watchful eyes, trained to call 911 and the pipeline company representative if there’s an emergency.
Should one of the landowners spot a hazardous situation, it’s important for local first responders to be prepared to handle the situation when they receive the call.
So, Doug and other safety officers across the state have been active in Damage Prevention Council of Texas, where stakeholders meet on a regular basis to discuss safety and other issues. First responders are frequent attendees, and pipeline companies hold training sessions specific to each department’s needs outside of DPC Chapter meetings.
For instance, most rural volunteer fire departments don’t have a large, dedicated and well-funded hazmat crew like urban fire departments do, but they’re likely to be the first on the scene at a pipeline emergency. Doug and his counterparts hold special training sessions on how to handle a variety of pipeline-related emergencies — and again, he provides direct contact information for fire crews to reach a pipeliner day or night.
2020, Issue 4
Texas811 • 5

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