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Course 900 - Oil and Gas Safety Management

Safety guides and audits to make your job as a safety professional easier

SMS and Wellsite Analysis

Plan for Wellsite Analysis

The Baseline Survey process.

When planning for an oil and gas wellsite analysis, be sure to include the following four processes:

  • comprehensive baseline survey
  • change analysis
  • job hazard analyses (JHA)
  • periodic and daily safety inspections

The Comprehensive Baseline Survey

A comprehensive baseline survey and analysis is a first attempt at understanding:

  • the potential hazards that may exist at a new wellsite, or
  • the hazards that currently exist at a working wellsite.

It establishes initial levels of exposure (baselines) for comparison to future levels uncovered in follow-up surveys and analyses, so that changes can be recognized. Basically, the baseline survey tells the employer what the starting point is.

A comprehensive baseline survey should include a review of previous accidents, injuries, and illnesses; complaints; previous studies; etc. Comprehensive surveys should be performed depending on the business size and nature of the hazards at least every three years by private consultants, insurance company, and/or state-funded programs.

1. Which process is the first attempt at understanding potential and actual wellsite hazards?

a. Behavior based analysis
b. Daily safety meetings
c. Comprehensive baseline survey
d. Periodic safety stand-downs

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The Comprehensive Baseline Survey (Continued)

A baseline survey helps the company understand current issues.

The baseline survey should include a review of the following:

  1. copies of written inspections and surveys by: fire department and in-house as required by safety and health standards (e.g., overhead crane inspections, powered industrial truck daily inspection, etc.)
  2. employee report of hazards or potential hazards
  3. accident and incident investigations with corrective actions and follow-up
  4. injury and illness trend analysis
  5. personal protective equipment (PPE) assessment
  6. ergonomic analysis
  7. specific identification of confined spaces
  8. identification of energy sources for specific machines

As part of the wellsite analysis process, the employer/general contractor should also require subcontractors to perform a baseline analysis as necessary in accordance with OSHA and company requirements. The subcontractors should share pertinent information with the general contractor, and/or other subcontractors.

2. What should subcontractors do with their baseline survey analysis?

a. Share it with other contractors
b. Forward results to OSHA within 30 days
c. File the survey with other documents
d. Keep the results of the survey confidential

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Change Analysis

Change is continuous on the wellsite.

As you know, change is continuous on an oil and gas wellsite. Change analysis is simply the analysis of the management of change, conducted by competent persons, to make sure that change on the wellsite does not introduce new hazards or unsafe procedures in the work environment.

A designated person should analyze how changes on the wellsite can affect equipment, processes, and materials for hazards and potential hazards. Findings should be documented and plans developed to minimize or design out the new hazards.

Changes in the following general categories need to be reviewed:

  • wellsite layout
  • materials
  • process technology
  • equipment

All areas on the worksite should be analyzed to more specifically analyze how changes to the wellsite layout, materials, processes and equipment, affect the work being conducted. Click on the button to see specific areas that should be analyzed.

Analyze each of the following areas as part of the baseline survey:
  • site entrance and traffic routes/surfaces
  • covered walkways
  • protection from falling objects
  • danger areas
  • storage and personnel areas
  • hazardous materials/dangerous goods
  • barriers and fences
  • loading and unloading areas
  • bays and ramps
  • working, slopes for excavators, dump trucks etc.
  • safety signage
  • protection of pedestrians
  • site security
  • housekeeping and cleanliness

3. What is the purpose of conducting change analysis?

a. Assure equipment and processes are not changed
b. Ensure change is controlled in a cost-effective manner
c. Ensure compliance with OSHA oil and gas regulations
d. Make sure change does not introduce new hazards

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Job Hazard Analyses (JHA)

Job Hazard Analysis help develop safe procedures.

A Job Hazard Analysis is a technique that focuses on job tasks as a way to identify hazards before they occur. It focuses on the relationship among the worker, the task, the tools, and the work environment. Ideally, after you identify uncontrolled hazards, you will take steps to eliminate or reduce them to an acceptable risk level.

A JHA should be conducted for all hazardous jobs/procedures to determine potential hazards and identify methods to reduce exposure to those hazards at oil and gas wellsites. Here are the steps in a basic JHA:

  1. List the steps in the job or procedure.
  2. Describe the safety and health hazards in each step.
  3. Develop preventive measures.
  4. Write a safe job procedure.

You can learn more about conducting a JHA in Course 706.

4. Which of the following is the first step in the JHA process?

a. Describe the safety and health hazards in each step
b. Write a safe job procedure
c. List the steps in the job or procedure
d. Develop preventive measures

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Safety inspections help to identify and control hazards.

Safety Inspections

Employees play a key role in identifying, controlling, and reporting hazards that may occur or already exist in your workplace. Walk-around inspections should be conducted by two experienced and knowledgeable workers when possible. Safety inspection reports of potential hazards can be an effective tool to trigger a closer look at a piece of equipment, operation, or how work is being performed. Reports of potential hazards can also provide suggestions to eliminate a hazard.

The frequency of a walk-around safety inspection depends on the nature of the work and workplace. Worksites that experience more change and a higher risk for serious injury or illness require more frequent inspections. For wellsites, daily inspections are a must because of the rapidly changing nature of the site and its hazards.

At small fixed worksites, the entire site should be inspected at one time. And even for the smallest worksite, inspections should be done at least quarterly. If the small worksite uses hazardous materials or involves hazardous procedures or conditions that change frequently, inspections should be done more often.

Sound Safety Inspection Policy: All employees should inspect their area of responsibility at the beginning and end of each shift, and bridge the inspections with continual observation. If a hazardous condition is observed, eliminate it if you safely can, or report it immediately.

5. What factors determine the frequency of a walk-around inspection?

a. OSHA inspection requirements
b. Degree of change and risk at the worksite
c. Company best work practices
d. Number of employees at the worksite

Check your Work

Read the material in each section to find the correct answer to each quiz question. After answering all the questions, click on the "Check Quiz Answers" button to grade your quiz and see your score. You will receive a message if you forgot to answer one of the questions. After clicking the button, the questions you missed will be listed below. You can correct any missed questions and check your answers again.



OSHA Oil & Gas Rig Inspection Checklist for Drilling & Well Servicing Operations. There are many features that make it easy and fast for the users to complete these surveys. The surveys are uploaded to a secure cloud platform powered by Microsoft. The application is FREE for all users. However, an account must be created at the secure cloud for storage. Visit for more information.

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