Officials, Petroleum Council Tout New North Dakota Oilfield Safety Program

June 25, 2019

The North Dakota Petroleum Council and state officials say a new oilfield safety training program, 18 months in the making, will be a time-saver for tens of thousands of contract workers.

Fifty oil companies worked on the standards for the One Basin-One Way curriculum that aims to save time for oilfield contractors who often sit through multiple, redundant safety trainings on workplace hazards in a year, according council President Ron Ness. North Dakota’s oilfield has about 32,000 contracted employees.

The two-part program involves four hours of classroom instruction, followed by refresher training the next year and then repeats, the Bismarck Tribune reported. The training network TrainND Northwest in Williston and the North Dakota Safety Council will conduct the orientations in Bismarck, Dickinson, Fargo, Minot, Watford City and Williston. Contractors will carry an ID that shows their training credentials.

“Ensuring that moms and dads who encourage their kids to go into the oil and gas industry or the energy industry know that there’s a safety-first mentality, I think, is extremely important,” Ness said.

Republican Gov. Doug Burgum challenged those in the room for the June 20 program unveiling to invest further in research and development to innovate the oil industry and work safety. He pointed to the state’s “Vision Zero” initiative to strive for zero traffic fatalities as a similar effort.

“Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford and I have said that our mission as it relates to the state of North Dakota is we want innovation, not red tape,” Burgum said. “We want innovation, not regulation.”

A grant from North Dakota Workforce Safety and Insurance will discount training costs for the first 2,500 contractors to attend.

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