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API issues new pipeline standard to increase worker safety and environmental protections

Published by , Editorial Assistant
World Pipelines,

The American Petroleum Institute (API) has issued a new standard for pipeline inspectors to enhance safety and sustainability during pipeline construction.

“The new inspection standard demonstrates the industry’s commitment to building energy infrastructure that is safe and environmentally protective,” Global Industry Services Senior Vice President Debra Phillips said. “Additional emphasis has been placed on building communication and rapport between operators, inspectors and contractors to not only create effective working relationships between the parties, but also drive a culture of safety throughout pipeline construction. The new standard is a key asset to delivering pipeline projects that are safe for the workers that build them and the local communities they serve.”

The pipeline standard, API Recommended Practice (RP) 1169, Pipeline Construction Inspection, Second Edition, updates the issues that pipeline inspectors should review when overseeing each phase of a pipeline’s construction. While the first edition of RP 1169 concentrated on new pipeline construction, the second edition expands the scope of covered activities to cover all pipeline construction along the right of way, including repairs and excavations of existing lines. The inspector’s role under the updated standard begins during the pre-construction phase of the pipeline project, and extends through the surveying process, construction activities and related work that occurs immediately after construction has been completed.

The standard’s development process for RP 1169 included representatives from the US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), which is the lead safety regulator for pipelines and other interested parties. Their participation demonstrates the openness and transparency of the API standards-setting process, which brings together both industry and the regulatory community to advance the common goal of safety.

API has also initiated the process of updating its inspector program examinations which, through the API Individual Certification Programme (ICP), conveys elements of the new standard to industry inspectors. The programme currently has over 8000 certified individuals who conduct API 1169 inspections. For those interested in the API 1169 Pipeline Construction Inspector Certification, the second edition will take effect with the 2021 exams in order to allow pipeline personnel to familiarise themselves with the new standard and its enhancements.

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API pipeline news