This week’s Pipeliners Podcast episode features John Hill, the chair of the API Pipeline SMS Industry team, and Colin Frazier, the manager of system programs at API, discussing the creation and formation of API RP 1173 (Pipeline Safety Management Systems) with host Russel Treat.
In this episode, you will learn about how the Pipeline SMS framework was developed, the foundational 10 elements of the framework, the various starting points for pipeline operators to start their Pipeline SMS journey, the importance of collaboration and peer-to-peer learning to support the industry, and the future of Pipeline SMS.
API RP 1173: Show Notes, Links, and Insider Terms
- John Hill is the VP of Natural Gas System Safety at Black Hills Energy and the Chair of the API Pipeline SMS Industry Team. Connect with John on LinkedIn.
- Colin Frazier is the Manager of System Programs at API. Connect with Colin on LinkedIn.
- API (American Petroleum Institute): Since its formation in 1919 as a standards-setting organization, API has developed more than 700 standards to enhance industry operations. Today, it is the global leader in convening subject matter experts to establish, maintain, and distribute consensus standards for the oil and natural gas industry.
- API Process Safety Site Assessment Program (PSSAP) primarily involves the assessment of a site’s process safety systems by independent, credible, third-party teams of industry-qualified process safety expert assessors.
- API (American Petroleum Institute): Since its formation in 1919 as a standards-setting organization, API has developed more than 700 standards to enhance industry operations. Today, it is the global leader in convening subject matter experts to establish, maintain, and distribute consensus standards for the oil and natural gas industry.
- API Recommended Practice 1173 established the framework for operators to implement Pipeline Safety Management Systems (SMS). A significant part of this recommended practice is a training and competency aspect.
- PipelineSMS.org is a useful resource with various safety tools that was developed by pipeline operators to help other operators enhance safety in their operation. Read the website resources or email firstname.lastname@example.org with inquiries.
- The Plan Do Check Act Cycle (Deming Method) is embedded in Pipeline SMS as a continuous quality improvement model consisting of a logical sequence of four repetitive steps for continuous improvement and learning.
- NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) is a U.S. government agency responsible for the safe transportation through Aviation, Highway, Marine, Railroad, and Pipeline. The entity investigates incidents and accidents involving transportation and also makes recommendations for safety improvements.
- PHMSA (Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration) ensures the safe transportation of energy and hazardous materials.
- The CRM Rule (Control Room Management Rule as defined by 49 CFR Parts 192 and 195) introduced by PHMSA provides regulations and guidelines for control room managers to safely operate a pipeline. PHMSA’s pipeline safety regulations prescribe safety requirements for controllers, control rooms, and SCADA systems used to remotely monitor and control pipeline operations.
- API Recommended Practice 1175 (API 1175) establishes a framework for Leak Detection Program Management for hazardous liquid pipelines within the jurisdiction of the U.S. DOT (specifically, 49 CFR Part 195). API RP 1175 is specifically designed to provide pipeline operators with a description of industry practices in risk-based pipeline LDP management and to provide the framework to develop sound program management practices within a pipeline operator’s individual companies.
- API Recommended Practice 1130 defines the requirements for leak detection in pipeline operations.
- API 1130 Figure C-1 (page 31) shows how a CPM (computational pipeline monitoring) system should use instrument data.
- The Pipeline Safety Trust (PST) is a public charity promoting pipeline safety through education and advocacy by increasing access to information, and by building partnerships with residents, safety advocates, government, and industry.
- ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) develops codes and standards to create a safer world.
API RP 1173: Full Episode Transcript
Russel Treat: Welcome to the Pipeliners Podcast, episode 167, sponsored by the American Petroleum Institute, driving safety, environmental protection, and sustainability across the natural gas and oil industry through world-class standards and safety programs. Since its formation as a standards-setting organization in 1919, API has developed more than 700 standards to enhance industry operations worldwide. Find out more about API at api.org.
Announcer: The Pipeliners Podcast, where professionals, Bubba geeks, and industry insiders share their knowledge and experience about technology projects and pipeline operations. Now your host, Russel Treat.
Russel: Thanks for listening to the Pipeliners Podcast. I appreciate you taking the time. To show that appreciation, we give away a customized YETI tumbler to one listener each episode.
This week, our winner is Tyler Kuhn with Blue Racer Midstream. Congrats, Tyler. Your YETI is on its way. To learn how you can win this signature prize pack, stick around to the end of the episode.
This week, John Hill with Black Hills Energy and the chair for Pipeline SMS Industry Team and Colin Frazier of API will be joining us to talk about Pipeline Safety Management Systems in API 1173. John, Colin, welcome to the Pipeliners Podcast.
John Hill: We appreciate it, Russel. Glad to be here.
Colin Frazier: Thanks, Russel. Glad to be here also.
Russel: Before we dive in, I’d like to ask you guys to give me a little bit about your background so the listeners understand who you are and such. John, would you mind going first?
John: I appreciate that, Russel. I guess what I would say is my day job, currently vice president of Natural Gas System Safety for Black Hills Energy, mainly focused on pipeline safety, risk and integrity management, training and OQ, gas control, major projects, and utility technology strategy.
Black Hills Energy is a gas and electric combo utility. We serve a little over 1.2 million customers across eight states. I would say today, I’m here representing the Pipeline SMS industry team. I’m currently chair of that team for 2021. I look forward to talking about pipeline safety here today.
Russel: Great. Thanks, John. Colin, could you do the same thing, give us a little bit about who you are and your background?
Colin: Yeah, of course, Russel. Thanks. Colin Frazier. I’m with the American Petroleum Institute. I am the manager in system programs and our global industry services division, so I am in charge of managing API’s assessment programs that go into key initiatives that we’re interested in at API.
Currently, that is the Process Safety Site Assessment Program for me, which is a downstream Process Safety Site Assessment Program. I also manage the Pipeline Safety Management System Assessment Program that we offer as part of this holistic program to help implement SMS in industry.
I’ve been with API about four and a half years now and looking forward to the conversation today.
Russel: I’m looking forward. We’re going to dive in a little bit later and talk about the assessment program. I’m interested to hear more about that. Maybe as a way to start out, I know that we probably done three or four podcasts on Pipeline Safety Management Systems. As a review, where does Pipeline SMS come from? What’s the background and driver for the program?
John: Great question, Russel. What I would say where this began, at least for the pipeline industry, was probably 10 years or so ago, a couple of incidents that we had in the industry. Out of those incidents, came a recommendation from NTSB, asking the industry to take a look at Pipeline Safety Management Systems or management systems in general.
That recommendation really led us down the path of developing API recommended practice 1173. One of the focus areas, for NTSB, was they said, “Hey, take a look at other industries that are doing this and that are successful.”
They pointed out the airline industry, petrochemical industry, the nuclear industry, and they looked to the pipeline industry to develop something similar around safety management systems.
Russel: How long has the industry been working on Pipeline Safety Management? You say that the history goes back about 10 years, but when did the industry begin to lean into this?
John: I would say 2015, Russel. Probably mid-year 2015 was when the recommended practice came out officially, went through the API balloting process, went through the industry review, public review, regulator review. That document was developed, I’d say, probably between 2012 and 2015. Final document, 2015. We’ve been at this officially, I would say, now for about five years.
Russel: Just from my perspective, John, I think it’s pretty amazing how much ground has been covered. I think pretty much every person in the pipeline business has heard about Pipeline SMS. They might not really fully understand it, but at least there’s a general overall industry awareness. Five years in our world is not a particularly long time.
John: No, we’ve got companies out there that have been operating 175, 185 years. Five years, I think the industry’s done a great job of pushing this forward in that amount of time.
Russel: What’s been accomplished so far? What have been the goals? What’s been accomplished so far with regards to Pipeline SMS?
John: I appreciate that, Russel. The way that I would look at this…First of all, I would say kudos to a couple of the leaders that came before me, Shawn Lyon, who was the first chair of the organization, and then Angie Kolar, who’s our immediate past chair. She was chair for a couple of years.
A lot of kudos go to them for the work that they’ve done over this five year period. I would say that breaking it down into a couple of areas, I think about it from who’s participating, how is the industry participating, our stakeholder engagement piece, and then this idea of providing ongoing support.
The accomplishments, I would say, probably at a high level would be the broad industry participation. In that amount of time, five years, we’ve got nine trade associations that are a part of the SMS industry team. It covers operators. It covers contractors and a really good representation of the pipeline industry, whether it’s oil or liquids, natural gas, transmission, or distribution.
This idea of standing this organization up and getting participation across the full spectrum of the pipeline industry has been one of our key accomplishments. We engage stakeholders, external stakeholders like NTSB, like PHMSA, the Pipeline Safety Trust.
One of the key things is this organization, the Pipeline SMS industry team, we speak with one voice for the pipeline industry when it comes to the Pipeline Safety Management System. I think that’s a key accomplishment.
I would say the final high-level or big-picture type of accomplishment that I would say in the last five years has been developing tools and providing ongoing support for the operator’s journey when it comes to pipeline safety.
That’s regular webinars; that’s tools that are out there on the PSMS website. Those sorts of things that we’ve spent time on developing to help operators engage in this conversation.
Russel: I think that’s awesome, John. The tools that have been created there, it’s been a lot work put into that. [laughs] They’re pretty substantial. We’re going to talk about that a little bit later.
I guess I want to pivot a little bit and talk about…What are the goals now? Now that you’ve created the overall industry awareness and a level of engagement, what’s next?
John: It’s a long journey ahead of us, I think. The focus areas still continue to be this idea of increasing industry participation. I think we’ve got a good percentage of the industry that’s involved already. It’s really, I’ll say, getting down with the smaller operators, helping them along this journey, making sure that they’re engaged with the industry as well.
I’ll say a continued proactive engagement with our external stakeholders, increasing industry participation focused on the smaller operators going forward, proactively engaging our external stakeholders.
There still continues to be a lot of conversation at a legislative level, a regulatory level, where are we going ultimately with this pipeline safety framework, and making sure that we are educating and engaging those stakeholders along the way.
Finally, this idea of continuing to provide these tools. You said we’ll dig into them a little bit more here, but I think over the journey that we’re on, it’s important for us to continue to develop new tools to engage the industry with what’s needed along this journey.
I know Colin will talk about it a little bit in more detail when we talk about the third party voluntary assessment. It’s thinking about those sorts of tools out in the future, where we want to go, ultimately supporting the operator’s journey.
Colin: John, this is Colin. I was just going to hop in to add that, from the API perspective, given that we’re the custodians of those documents and those tools, I know providing the real, day-to-day support of industry is a big focus for API. We understand how important the initiative is.
We’re committed to connecting the dots for operators who are on their journey and might need some help with the tools or getting connected to other operators for some peer-to-peer learnings because one operator might be doing something exceptional that they want to share with somebody else.
I agree with everything you said. From the API perspective, we look at it as trying to connect all the dots and making sure that operators are getting what they need to make this as seamless an implementation as possible.
Russel: Colin, you said something there. You glossed over it, but it’s a big part of the program. That’s this idea of connecting all the dots. When you look at the Pipeline SMS framework, there are a [laughs] fairly lengthy number of standards that are already in place that help people have pretty detailed guidance about how to implement this program. There’s probably some gaps in that.
Colin: I assume there are as well, Russel. Something we’re looking at API is how 1173, for instance, interacts with the other standards that we have. We’re really committed to 1173 being that foundational document. I know API will be going through the process of evaluating how 1173 interacts with other like-minded standards as well.
Russel: That’s an interesting question, too, because some of the API standards that are referenced in the framework are programmatic standards like the Leak Detection Program Management.
Russel: Others of those are very much technical standards like API 1130 related to using computerized systems for leak detection. Those things get quite technical. Understanding how to connect all the dots is…It’s a process. It’s not trivial, I guess is what I’m trying to say.
Colin: Exactly. We understand that lift and are going to be working diligently to try and connect those programmatic standards but also to have resources available when companies need that more technical guidance also.
Russel: We ought to talk a little bit about the content of the Pipeline SMS. What is in the framework? Can one of you guys walk us through a little bit about what is the SMS framework?
John: I’ll jump in. From a framework perspective, it’s broken down into 10 elements. Honestly, Russel, we could spend days [laughs] on a podcast talking about the 10 elements but I know that wouldn’t be very exciting. We’ll try to limit it to a couple of minutes.
Russel: I don’t know. If you break that up into 30-minute segments, it probably would be right up my alley. [laughs]
John: We could do that. There’s enough detail probably in each of those elements to do that. At a high level, I’ll just run through them real quick. The 10 elements start with leadership and management commitment. To me, it’s a cultural thing. It’s foundational. What’s the commitment to the safety management system?
From there, we roll down through. It’s stakeholder engagement. It’s risk management. It gets into operational controls. It gets into some pretty detailed, I’ll say some specific elements around incident investigation and how we share lessons learned, safety assurance, internal auditing sort of stuff, management review, continuous improvement, emergency preparedness and response.
The last two are competence awareness and training, a focus on training. The last one around documentation and record-keeping, which as an industry, we all know how important that is.
Russel: The documentation and record-keeping only is important when you need the documentation and record-keeping, which is generally well after when the documentation and record-keeping should have been done.
Russel: I’m just talking about my experience, probably not yours.
Colin: I’m sure we’ve all had some sort of similar experience. Russel, the only thing I’d like to add in here, too, is what I find interesting about the framework and how it’s meant to function is those 10 elements make up the requirements of the standard, but it’s about how they all come together to force an organization to continually improve that I think is the most impressive portion.
We spend a lot of time talking about the Plan Do Check Act cycle. If people haven’t seen it, I would encourage them to go to pipelinesms.org and take a look.
It’s a way of framing these 10 elements in this Plan Do Check Act cycle that forces an organization to plan what they’re doing, do what their policies and procedures say they’re going to do, and then re-evaluate themselves, and make changes accordingly to be better. It really is a framework that’s meant to drive that continuous improvement.
John: That’s a great point. Go ahead, Russel.
Russel: I was just going to say I’ve had some conversations, some other podcasts about this specifically. My education and my master’s degree was around process management and quality management. We studied all the Deming stuff and all of that, this science, this technology around management systems. This Plan Do Check Act thing’s been around a long time.
The question I wanted to frame around that is, where do you start? Of the 10 elements, what’s the first one you focused on building as a capability in your company?
John: That’s different with every company, Russel, to be honest with you. Some have taken the path of, “Hey, let’s look at those 10 elements and see if we know of a gap, maybe around emergency preparedness and response, or safety assurance.”
They begin by taking one of those elements and begin to improve in that area. I know other companies take a more, I’ll say, systematic approach or a broader approach where they start with, “Hey, what’s our commitment? Let’s get some documentation. Let’s get some process documentation. Let’s get leadership to sign off on these documents, and then let’s start rolling through the other elements.”
I would tell you and one of the things I love about this framework is that it’s so flexible. I think either of those starting places is a good place because you’re starting to do something, and that’s been a message that the industry team has pushed our trade associations that you have to start, just start working on something. There’s lots of different approaches out there.
Colin: Russel, the interesting part about that question, “Where to start for a company,” is complicated because all companies probably have some of the requirements already covered. RP 1173 has 234 “shall” statements in it, but a lot of this has to do with how an organization functions and how different requirements are interconnected.
Doing that preliminary gap analysis is crucial to helping an operator truly understand where they are within the framework and within the maturity levels.
At least in my experience in talking to operators, a lot of them realize after doing that gap assessment that they’re actually much further along in the process than they thought. It’s a matter of connecting the right pieces together so that it works all in cohesion.
John: Something you said before, too, Colin, around…I appreciate you pointing people to the pipelinesms.org website because lots of great information out there. One of the things that I found helpful about it is that…
Russel, you talked about Plan Do Check Act cycle. It’s broken down on the website around planning tools, around implementation tools, and around evaluation tools. People that go to that website can start to look at those tools and break the sheer volume of things down, be able to break them down into that Plan Do Check Act cycle.
Russel: That’s right. One of the big challenges in pipelining, just by the nature of what we do, is it’s very technical. It’s a lot of different technical disciplines. Because the nature of the work is technical, we tend to end up in silos of technical expertise.
To get to the next level of safety performance, we’ve got to break those silos down and work more effectively as teams. That whole process of looking at what you’re doing is more of a, “Who are the teams, and how do they work together,” versus, “Are we actually doing the things that are inside of SMS?” Kind of the point, but maybe the point you guys are making just set a different way.
John: It’s a great point. When you think about…I keep going back to 1173 as a framework, and the framework pulls together. You point out, Russel, all the things that we have in the industry.
We already have PHMSA regulations. We have 192, 193, 195 depending on what industry you’re in. You’ve got ASME standards out there that are referenced in the PHMSA requirements.
When you think about all those things and all of the technical pieces that go along with it, I think 1173 provides the framework to connect, just like you said before, to connect those dots together and help people walk through that.
Russel: I would certainly agree. Let’s talk a little bit more about the tools. In particular, I’d like to take you up on talking about the assessment program. What is the assessment program, and what tools are available to operators to support that part of the SMS program?
Colin: Perfect, Russel. As some of these listeners might be aware, RP 1173 does have an audit requirement in Section 10.2, I believe is the reference.
What API wanted to do from an assisting operators and an implementation standpoint is to take those tools that already exist that we referenced on pipelinesms.org, take that to the next level, and to build a pool of what we call assessors that can go out and help operators assess where they are in the process and on the journey to maturity.
What the assessor program does is it’s the next extenuation of using those tools to aid in your implementation. What we do is we create a team of assessors that we work with clients to tailor for the size of the company and what they’re looking to achieve based on their perceived maturity at the outset.
We build a group of experts in each of the 10 elements that are a part of Pipeline SMS. We send them out to a site for about a week, obviously, not currently [laughs] because of COVID restrictions, but in a normal world, that would be the case.
We send out these experts. They’re meant to assess your programs but to also help by sharing good practices that they’ve seen at other sites within the industry. All of this is done blindly, of course. No names are spoken of. We thought it was a great opportunity to build in some peer-to-peer learning as part of this assessment process.
API is the arbiter of the assessment protocols which, like I said, are based on those SMS tools. The assessors go out and assess against those protocols, but it’s always a two-way conversation. Assessors are there to listen, to truly understand a site’s process, and where they are, and provide insight based on their expertise wherever they can.
We view it as a way to fulfill that three-year audit requirement that’s in the RP, but it’s also really meant to help the industry.
Russel: [laughs] One of the things that I’ve talked about a lot with this whole Plan Do Check Act thing is the education I got was more of a manufacturing-centric education. You tended to look at processes and break them down mechanically. What’s going on on a manufacturing line? Try to determine, what are the key things I need to measure at this point in the process?
I think one of the things that’s interesting about Pipeline SMS is that it’s not a machine process. It’s a people process, much more so. That creates some interesting challenges.
One of the things I wanted to ask you guys is, ultimately, I would think you want to drive this whole process right down to the guys that are in the boots, doing the work on the pipeline. Ultimately, that’s where the most impact occurs.
I guess two questions. First, would you agree with that premise? Secondly, if you agree, how do we get there and where are we in that part of the maturity process?
John: I absolutely agree, Russel. What I would say is, as you said, it’s pushed through the whole organization. Frontline techs all the way up through the CEO. I think that’s critical. To me, it’s an underpinning of the culture. We have opportunities to engage.
I’ve been in the gas industry for about 10 years and the utility space for 20-plus. I think one of the things that we do well and that we can build off of is our personal safety culture. When it comes to how companies approach personal safety, vehicular safety, those sorts of things, I think this industry’s done really well over the last 10 or 15 years.
We’ve got a lot of tools already in place, whether they’d be local safety committees, or safety stand downs, or things like that that happen. I believe we have an opportunity to engage, not as a brand-new thing but as something that pulls alongside of personal safety culture. We can bring pipeline safety culture alongside of that culture that’s already been developing over the past 10 or 15 years.
Russel: I certainly think that’s a great analogy, John. If you think about…I’ve been working in the process industries and the oil and gas industries for 30 years now. I know where we’ve come from and how it relates to personal safety. It’s been a long journey. We’ve made a lot of improvements.
That, if you just think about culturally, what’s the attitude about personal safety and how it’s addressed on a day-to-day, at the worker level versus where we were 30 years ago, it’s night and day different.
Ultimately, I think that’s where we’re trying to get to with Pipeline SMS, as well, is that kind of transformational change.
John: Absolutely. I think a key to the success is building on what we have been able to do rather than coming in with something, I’ll say, brand-new, the next shiny object.
The key is let’s talk about the wins that we have had from a culture perspective in the industry and recognize the things that we still need to do to do better. Let’s pull those things together and move ahead with one combined safety culture.
Russel: Yeah, and in a thoughtful and deliberate way.
John: Absolutely. Again, the framework that comes along with 1173 allows that thoughtfulness, allows that thoroughness, that conversation to happen. What does it look like? The framework in 1173 provides that.
Colin: Russel, I would just hop in to add, too, that going through the process of doing a gap assessment and truly understanding where you sit with regard to 1173 conformance helps an operator get a better picture of where they are from a broader safety culture conversation, as well.
You’re going to have to talk to the top level of the company setting the expectations and the policies, all the way down to the field level personnel who are responsible for actually implementing those policies. The holistic review of that system can help an operator get a sense of where their safety culture is also.
John: We can look even to some incidents. I’ll speak, at least, on the gas distribution side of the business, which is what I’m more familiar with. You look at a couple of incidents that have happened just in the last couple of years. That issue continues to come up around safety culture.
Safety culture is not just personal safety, not just vehicular safety. It’s safety of the environment. It’s safety of our customers, our communities, our co-workers, and contractors. As we’ve had some of these incidents in the industry, it’s become apparent that we still have a ways to go on that journey to talk about it more holistically.
Russel: I like using the word standard of care and a fiduciary responsibility. If you can really get in touch with what you’re doing, and the impact that has on your community, and the people in the community that it’s having an impact on. That, by itself, can be pretty transformational in the way you think about these things. Ultimately, that’s what we’re trying to get to.
John: I absolutely agree, Russel. Again, it’s a little bit different. All the pipeline industry, when you start looking at transmission, distribution, liquids, and natural gas, everybody has a little bit different take, as far as their customer base goes and where that is.
I know, at least for me and for our industry on the distribution side, I’ve got 1.2 million customers across six states that I need to continue to focus on from a safety perspective. How is the system operating? What are we doing with the system? How are we improving the system?
Again, that framework, having a safety management system and a Pipeline Safety Management System provides that framework for that ongoing conversation.
Russel: Right. I think that’s a great place to wind this conversation up. What this really is is an ongoing conversation. You’re trying to have a big conversation, and small conversations, and all of that in alignment, pulling the same way.
John: It is. We continue to call it a journey with the Pipeline SMS industry team and the operators. It truly is a journey. For all of us to be on the journey together and help one another along, I think is critical.
Russel: Yeah, absolutely. What do you think the impact, from a safety performance standpoint, has been so far in the five years that the industry’s been about doing SMS. What do you think we’ll see in the next 5 to 10?
John: Again, great questions, Russel. I don’t know if I have my crystal ball out today, but I’ll give you my thoughts, anyway, for where we’ve been so far.
I think you can pull out some very specific things that I believe it’s improved the culture around. One of the ones that I go back to often is this kind of incident investigation. The second piece of that, which is lessons learned.
I think one of the big impacts with 1173 and the safety management system is that, I’ll say, acceleration. I think the industry’s always done pretty good around sharing lessons learned, but I think, in the last five years or so, I think we’ve taken a big step forward around that.
It really, to me, hangs on this…One of the 10 elements around how do we learn from one another? How do we incorporate those lessons learned? How do we get better? I think that’s a big change from a safety perspective over the past few years.
Russel: I would say too, John, at least in my experience around the control room. There’s a real hunger for meaningful, impactful, real-world lessons learned.
John: Absolutely. That’s really a key to the element, developing that. Really going through a thorough investigation. Making sure that you understand not just a root cause, but in many situations, there’s multiple causes.
Understanding those, and being able to look at each one of those and make a change — whether it’s a process change, whether it’s a standard change, whether it’s a training change — being able to come out of that with changes, improvements from those lessons learned.
Colin: Russel, the only thing I will add to that, too, is that the whole purpose of the standard is focused on that continual improvement.
While we do hope that it provides the right framework to help each individual operator do better with regard to safety management, the framework of allowing companies to set their KPIs, to implement their plans, and then judge the result as a result of that implementation is fundamentally good for the industry. It forces you to take a harder look at those lessons learned and implement those changes that are going to drive you to lower your safety metrics.
Russel: You’ve got to start thinking about everything as a process because that’s what the Plan Do Check Act is. It’s how do I evaluate a process? I’ve got to build it, plan. I’ve got to execute it, do. I’ve got to evaluate it, check. Did I get the result I was looking for?
Then, I’ve got to do changes, act. That’s got to be applied to [laughs] everything we’re doing. At least I think where we’re coming from is we tend to be a “do” centric culture. We need to be more of an analysis centric culture, a thinking culture, if you will.
Colin: I agree, Russel.
Russel: Sounds easy if you say it fast.
Russel: Why don’t we just get out there and say it fast?
John: Make it so.
Russel: Make it so. There you go.
Russel: Now, you’re letting your true nerd come out, John. That’s awesome.
John: Yes, the engineering nerdness.
Russel: Exactly. How would you like to leave this? If you were going to tell the listeners, “Here’s the key takeaway I’d like you guys to take from this conversation,” what would that be? What I would say is this is a journey, and we’re just getting started.
Colin: I would agree with you, Russel. I also would just say, if you’re not involved and you want to be, go to pipelinesms.org. Take a look at the materials that we’ve got out there. We’ve got a read-only version of RP 1173 on the website that you can view free of charge. The industry is committed to implementing this as one industry, so we don’t want to leave anybody behind.
John: That’s great, Colin. I was going to hammer on that issue as well as we’re one industry, one team, one vision, and that vision is zero events, zero incidents in our pipeline industry. What I would say, Russel is, just what you said, get involved, understand, get on the journey with everybody else, and come along with us.
Russel: That’s so well said. The other thing I take away now that I listen to you guys, wrap this up is this is an industry program. It’s not a company program. It’s an industry program. I haven’t thought about it that way, but it’s all of us working together to improve this industry we work in.
John: It really is incredible, Russel. When you think about the nine trade associations again, everywhere from operators to contractors, it is an industry effort. We do have that vision. I believe not only are we following the letter of the NTSB recommendation, but I also believe we’re following the spirit of it as well when we come together as an industry.
Russel: That’s very well said, John. We’ll leave it there. Thank you, John, and thank you, Colin, for coming on the podcast and helping all of us get re-excited about pipeline safety.
John: I appreciate the opportunity, Russel.
Colin: Thanks for having us, Russel. We appreciate it.
Russel: I hope you enjoyed this week’s episode of the Pipeliners Podcast and in our conversation with John and Colin.
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Russel: If you have ideas, questions, or topics you’d be interested in, please let me know on the Contact Us page at pipelinerspodcast.com or reach out to me on LinkedIn. Thanks for listening. I’ll talk to you next week.
Transcription by CastingWords