Safety Concerns Aired At Marcellus Shale Gas Summit

Potter County Today

dangerrrAt the closing day of the 2010 Marcellus Summit in State College, industry, state and federal officials discussed their greatest concerns about safety. Emergency personnel across the state still lack expertise in responding to emergencies at gas sites, said Craig Konkle, operations and training supervisor of the Lycoming County Emergency Management Agency. Konkle ranked the state’s fire, law enforcement and EMA preparedness at a “2 or 3” on a scale of 10. “Even responding to a familiar emergency, you’re dealing with a different environment, where there are other potential hazards on the site you can get yourself into without knowing,” Konkle said.

Dale Glacken, a compliance officer with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, said agents with his organization had to undergo significant training to achieve familiarity with gas well sites. “Certainly it’s an emerging industry for us, but now we’re getting into point where it’s more mature, and our compliance officers are getting a lot more comfortable with the specific hazards that are involved,” Glacken said.

Trucks hauling water and equipment are a concern, said Ralph Tijerina, safety director for Range Resources. The successful completion of a gas well requires hundreds of trucks making thousands of trips to the site, hauling equipment, water and other necessities for drillng and fracking. Tijerina said his company follows federal guidelines. “We’re pretty strict with our trucking companies. We emphasize to them, if you want to work for us, you have to do this,” Tijerina said. He is more concerned with smaller trucks driven by employees who may have worked a number of long days. “Those are the guys going from location to location to location, constantly working,” he said. (Source: Centre Daily Times)

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One Comment

  1. Anonymous says:

    Many Men are working 20 hr shifts continuously. When an employee needs to take off for a funeral they are fired because they don’t want anyone who isn’t willing to work those hours. Some of these companies have no concern for the humanity of these men.

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