Texas Tech University

Petroleum Engineering Safety Plan

Asbestos, Environment, Fire, Health, Safety, and Security Policy

This document establishes the Texas Tech University Bob L. Herd Department of Petroleum Engineering's policy for the protection of life, environment, health, safety, and security. The intent is to maintain a safe and healthful environment conducive to the accomplishment of the mission of the Department, college, and university. This policy will be reviewed and changes implemented if necessary in June of even-number years.

All Department employees (faculty, staff, teaching assistants, research assistants, and student assistants) have the responsibility to assure compliance with these policies and procedures, as well as promote sound work practices and good housekeeping, develop safe work habits, be familiar with hazards present in their work area, follow all procedures and rules, and contact their supervisor whenever a potential hazard is recognized. Demonstrated failure to conscientiously discharge these responsibilities (by either supervisors or other employees), may be grounds for dismissal since it is in direct conflict with Department's stated goal of providing a safe and healthful work environment.

With full cooperation at every level, the Department can continue to maintain a safe and healthful work environment, while minimizing occupational injury and illness to employees, students, and loss to the Department, College, and University.

Bob L. Herd Department of Petroleum Engineering, Texas Tech University

Safety Related Operating Policies & Procedures

Safety Type Section Subdirectory
General Safety 60.01 University Health & Safety Program
Chemical Hygiene 60.02 Hazard Communication Act
Emergencies 60.03 Hazardous Material Spills
Chemical Hygiene 60.04 Use of Laboratory Hoods, Biological Cabinets, and Special Exhaust Ventilation
Respirators 60.05 Respiratory Protection Program
Electrical Safety 60.06 Lockout/Tagout System Procedures
Reporting 60.07 Safety Hazard Report
Asbestos 60.08 Asbestos Compliance & Abatement Program
Lab Safety 60.10 Use and Disposal of Sharp Objects
Radiation Safety 60.11 Procurement, Usage, & Disposal of Radioactive Materials & Radiation Producing Devices & Lasers
Fire Safety 60.12 Fire Safety Program
Fire Safety 60.13 Reporting of Fires & Fire Drills
Fire Safety 60.14 Building Decorations & Decorative Materials
Reporting 60.16 Safety Activity Program
Chemical Hygiene 60.17 Chemical Hygiene Plan
Workers' Compensation 70.13 Workers' Compensation Insurance
Appendix A   Copy of Relevant Forms

The Key to Safety Success: The Supervisor

The key to the success of any safety program is the actions of supervisors. No safety program can be successful without their support, cooperation, and participation. There are many reasons for this, and a few will be examined. Supervisors are any Department employee (faculty, staff, teaching assistant, research assistant, student assistant), who may at any time be supervising other individuals.

Supervisors have detailed knowledge of the tasks each employee performs, and are in the best position to observer employee attitudes and actions. This familiarity with the job and workers allows them to know what physical hazards are present and to provide training in avoiding accidents related to those hazards.

Supervisors have daily contact with the workers they supervise in most cases. This routine contact gives the supervisor the opportunity to adopt the role of mentor regarding the safest way for the employees or students to discharge their duties. By teaching employees and students to incorporate safety as they learn their jobs, it all becomes a routine part of performing the task. For those workers already trained, daily contact allows the opportunity to detect and correct any unsafe practices due to poor previous training or development of bad safety habits.

In most cases, supervisors have the trust and respect of their workers. This means the worker will often heed warnings from the supervisor more readily than those from labels, Material Safety Data Sheets, or safety manuals. This feeling of trust and respect cannot be sustained if the worker begins to feel that the supervisor is failing to maintain safe and healthful work conditions.

It is commonly said that the safer a workplace, the more productive it is. This is a logical premise since workers performing with injuries or away from work due to injury certainly will not be as productive, as workers who are on the job functioning at 100% of their physical capability. Since, among other duties, a supervisor has productivity to deal with, keeping the employees safe and healthy should be of prime interest.

The supervisor has the authority, by virtue of his/her position, to demand adherence to safety policies and procedures. Nobody else is in a position to enforce safety standards in as a immediate and direct way as the supervisor. The supervisors' ability to make compliance an integral part of a satisfactorily completed job makes these positions unique.

All of the above reasons for supervisors being the key to a successful safety program really come back to one thing...responsibility. The supervisor is responsible for the productivity and welfare of the employees, for properly and safely training them, and for evaluating their performance in safety as well as other areas. Altogether, this amounts to a rather hefty burden. There are many resources available at the federal, state, and university levels. Some of these are the accident investigation and workplace survey programs, advice on specific problems, and help on safety training needs. The Department will rely heavily on university environmental health, fire, security, and safety professionals seeking their advice, complying with their procedures, and coordinating annual and bi-annual tours and meetings with Department employees.

Once each semester, during a semi-monthly faculty and staff meeting (1st and 3rd Friday lunch meetings), issues related to this play will be discussed.

The Role of the Safety Coordinator

The safety coordinator is the Department's lead technician. All Department employees have a duty to ensure safe operations. The safety coordinator is the focal point for safety and serves as the Chair's primary agent for safety matters. He/she acts as the point of contact within the Department and as liaison with all other college, university, state, and federal safety agencies. This includes: being knowledgeable about how to fill out accident forms and hazard reports, as well as having forms on hand; being the conduit for information from and questions to theses agencies so questions can be answered as they arise; arranging for safety meetings twice a year; reporting unsafe conditions and stopping unsafe acts where possible; coordinating visits by safety agency personnel and accompanying them during these visits; and promoting general safety awareness in the Department. The safety coordinator is not a safety expert, having received limited training. The safety coordinator is the Department's go-to person to coordinate all safety-related activities.

Accident Reporting

TTU EH&S (Environmental Health & Safety) has copies of accident reporting forms, MS 1090, and can assist the department in filling them out. The forms are:

  1. Employer's First Report of Injury/Illness, TWCC−1S, &minus accident involving lost time or medical costs − supervisor, chair
  2. Witness Statement, WCD−74 − witness/witnesses
  3. Employee's Election Regarding Utilization of Sick Leave, C−80 − employee
  4. Employee's Report of Injury, WCD−29 − employee
  5. Authorization for Release of Information, 24−016−C − employee
  6. Supplemental Report of Injury/Illness, TWCC−6 − employee
  7. Supervisor's Investigation of Employee's Accident/Incident, AGS−10−91/TWCC−121 − supervisor, chair
  8. Accident Report for University Vehicles, MS 1101, 2−3841, Contracting & Risk Management
  9. Incident Report Form, to EH&S for incident & near−miss, no lost time & no medical cost injury
  10. Hazard Report Form, to EH&S

Accident Investigations

The investigation of accidents will be conducted at the discretion of TTU EH&S. If an investigation is deemed necessary, TTU EH&S established procedure will be followed; the department will assist as directed.

Periodic Workplace Surveys

The department safety coordinator and chair will participate in the biannual workplace surveys and visit by TTU EH&S. Activities on the visit may include, but are not limited to: measurement of noise and lighting, hazard communication program review, and walk-through of facilities for identification of hazards. During these safety surveys, recommendations for the abatement of hazards will be presented orally and a memorandum will be sent to the chair with a copy to the safety coordinator.

Hazard Communication Program

The Texas Hazard Communication Act (THCA) requires that all employees who work in non-exempt areas be informed about chemical hazards in their workplace by means of container labeling, Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) and training. Areas which are exempt have been informed of this fact in writing by EH&S. The department is not exempt.

To comply with the THCA, the following actions have been taken:

  1. To comply with the THCA, the department:
    • semiannually updates employees at faculty/staff meeting.
    • briefs new employees within the first week of employment.
    • briefs students during the first lab session.
    • briefs research assistants during the first research session.
    • maintains MSDS notebooks in each respective lab/office area.
  2. Ensure that all containers for products containing hazardous chemicals are properly labeled.
  3. Ensure that all employees know that the University has a centralized collection of SDS's located on the EHS website. Copies of SDSs must be maintained in a notebook or on a computer in each respective lab/office area. Computer access to SDS must not be dependent upon internet access.
  4. Supervisors/safety coordinators must provide the following information and training to all employees working in a non-exempt area:
    • the requirement of the THCA
    • the location and availability of the written Hazard Communication Program
    • The location and availability of MSDS's within the department or work area
    • identification of chemicals or chemical products present in the work place operations
    • physical and health effects of the hazardous chemicals
    • how to use the identified chemical products safely
    • how to read labels and MSDS's to obtain appropriate hazard and safety information
  5. Training must be documented and the documentation kept on file within the department for 30 years.

If non−exempt, your department's hazard communication program must be permanent and continuous. When new products are received, an MSDS must be made available and, if the product introduces a new hazard to the workplace, all employees must receive training on the new hazards prior to working with the product. All new employees must be trained prior to working with any hazardous substances.

Obtaining MSDS's

MSDS requirements are set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). TTU EH&S will assist the department in determining if the chemical requires a MSDS. The manufacturer/supply is the first option to provide the MSDS. TTU EH&S will also assist the department in obtaining the required MSDS. Copies of MSDS will be stored in alphabetical order in notebooks in the respective department lab/office area. Original MSDS will be maintained by TTU EH&S.

Interpreting MSDSs (Material Safety Data Sheets)

The department initial and periodic training will review interpreting of MSDS. Specifically:

  1. Identify − The product name used to identify the substance on the MSDS must be the same as on the product label and on your inventory. This section often contains synonyms which may be useful when looking for information in references.
  2. Physical and Chemical Characteristics − This section contains information such as flash point, vapor pressure, appearance, odor, specific gravity, boiling and freezing points, etc. This data can by very useful for determining things like whether vapors from the substance will rise or sink. The odor and appearance information can be used to train workers about how to recognize the presence of a particular substance.
  3. Physical Hazards − Information concerning the potential for fire, explosion, or reaction is found here. The type of extinguishing agent appropriate for the product will be given here. Checking this section can tell you whether or not you have the right type of extinguisher in your work area. If reactivity data is given, information about what substances are incompatible with the product will normally accompany it.
  4. Health Hazards − This section presents information about the signs and symptoms of overexposure, acute and chronic health effects, and any medical conditions which might be aggravated by exposure. Please don't interpret this to mean that if you use this product, these things will happen to you. The information is given so you will be aware of how you might react to a significant exposure and is usually based on accidental overexposure or animal studies. The information should be used as an indicator of possible overexposure or sensitivity.
  5. Primary Routes of Entry − The way the substance may enter or interact with your body is detailed here. This is typically given as ingestion (entry through the mouth), inhalation (entry through the respiratory system), absorption (entry through the skin or eyes), and contact (doesn't enter the body, but damages or irritates the skin or eyes). This information should be used to reinforce administrative controls and work practices such as washing hands after product handling or prohibiting food and drink in areas where hazardous materials are to be used.
  6. Exposure Limits − OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL), the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Value (TLV), National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommended Exposure Limit (REL), or other recommended exposure limits will be presented in this section. These values are given in parts per million (ppm) or milligrams per cubic meter (mg/m3) and are based on an eight hour time-weighted average (TWA) for a forty-hour work week. Some type of sampling and analysis or readings with equipment followed by calculations is necessary in order to have data to compare to these exposure standards. This function will be performed by EH&S or other personnel with specialized training.
  7. Carcinogenic Effects − This section must disclose information about whether the substance is recognized as a known or suspected carcinogen (cancer-causing agent) by the National Toxicology Program (NTP), International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) or OSHA. Products with carcinogenic ingredients must be handled with extra caution and require written procedures as to how they will be stored and used.
  8. Handling Data − This section provides information regarding any special precautions for handling and use. Appropriate hygiene practices, decontamination procedures, and spill and cleanup actions are found here.
  9. Control Measures − Here you will find data concerning engineering controls, work practices, administrative controls, and personal protective equipment. These requirements are based on worst case conditions, but must be followed unless EH&S has performed an evaluation and informed you in writing that less stringent controls will be satisfactory.
  10. Emergency and Firsts Aid Procedures − Necessary emergency response and first aid procedures are detailed here. Remember when reading this information that it is assumed that you have the required training and equipment to perform any emergency response or rescue actions discussed. If you don't, attempting response or rescue will probably just add another victim, so please call for qualified, properly equipped assistance.
  11. Date of MSDS Preparation − Manufacturers or importers are required to list the date of preparation or date of the last change on the MSDS. Please check these dates if you have more than one copy of MSDS's for a product. The MSDS must cover the period of manufacture for the stock of product you have on hand. If the formulation has changed, the hazards may have changed as well.
  12. Manufacturer's Data − This must contain the name, address, and telephone number of someone who can provide additional information on the hazardous substance and emergency procedures, if necessary.

Safety Activity Reporting

The department will complete a TTU Department Safety Activity Report (SAR−93) annually in accordance with OP 78.29 to TTU EH&S by 15 September to report data for the previous fiscal year.

Hazardous Waste Disposal

Minimize amount of waste generated by:

  1. Surplus chemicals can be exchanged among labs, sections, or departments. This applies not only to 'virgin' materials, but to the end products of processes or experiments which could be of use to someone else.
  2. Materials may be distilled to recover them to a point of usability, if not to the original user, to another user on campus. This is greatly facilitated by segregating potential wastes to the extent practical at the point of generation.
  3. Substitution of a less hazardous material for one requiring special handling will not only cut disposal costs, but reduce hazards in a the laboratory as well.
  4. Micro−scale operations reduce the waste volume by proportionately reducing the amount of chemicals input for the reaction.
  5. Neutralization − Acids and bases, uncontaminated with substances of a different hazard category, can be treated to bring the pH within the range of 5 to 9 and washed down the drain with 50 times their volume in water. There is no reason to turn in materials that can be neutralized at the point of generation.
  6. Steps must be taken to ensure faculty and staff members do not depart until all substances in their work areas are clearly marked as to contents. Compliance with the Texas Hazard Communication Act will eliminate most problems of this type, however, the cost of analysis for the identification and hazard classification of unknowns is high enough to make this a cost effective endeavor.

Once it has been determined that the substance can't be exchanged, recycled, or neutralized, contact EH&S to arrange for it to be picked up for entry into the waste stream. Waste pickups are made on Tuesday and Thursday of each week. Wastes should not be allowed to accumulate as this presents health and environmental hazards.

Submit a Chemical Waste Request Form to EHS after all waste containers are properly secured and labeled for pick up.

EH&S labels are available. The waste generated should fill out the following information:

  1. Contents − list all wastes in the container
  2. Building − your facility
  3. Room − self−explanatory
  4. Accumulation Start Date − the date you first placed any waste in the container
  5. Hazard − check the appropriate block for the hazard(s) associated with the waste

Bob L. Herd Department of Petroleum Engineering, Texas Tech University − Laboratory Policy for Students

The following policies apply to all students (graduate and undergraduate) working in the departmental labs, research facilities and touring field locations. Violation of these polices will result in suspension of lab and research privileges.

  1. The University does not provide insurance to cover medical bills incurred by a student. Consequently, students injured in the lab are responsible for their own medical bills.
  2. All students must complete a safety training class and sign a statement to this effect before they will be allowed to use the equipment in the lab. This safety training will be conducted during the first lab session; a student missing the safety training will be un−enrolled from the respective course.
  3. Students must review the Material Safety Data Sheets before using any chemicals.
  4. Many of the experiments are hazardous if not handled properly. Ask the lab instructor about safe operating procedures.
  5. Students must operate all lab equipment in a safe manner. Use of safety goggles when core drilling, cutting, handling caustic soda or concentrated acids, or working with pressurized vessels. In general safety goggles should be worn at all time while in the Core and Rheology Labs.
  6. Whenever a student observes a dangerous situation (i.e. a chemical spill, broken glass, someone who is not following safe procedures, etc.), the student is to report the hazard to the instructor.
  7. Students will wear appropriate clothing (this may include long sleeved shirts, long pants, steel toed shoes, safety goggles, gloves) that is not loose or bulky that might become entangled in moving equipment. Any long hair must be secured in such a manner that it will not become entangled with moving equipment.
  8. Fire Extinguishers are marked. In case of fire call 9−911.
  9. All labs with the exception of the PVT (Pressure Volume Temperature) and Test Well Facility are equipped with eye−wash and shower stations. Wash off immediately, with water any chemical that make skin contact.
  10. In general, students will be very safety conscious, and exercise common sense such as:
    • not leaving equipment laying on the floor that could cause tripping
    • cleaning up oil or other fluids that could cause slippage
    • not distracting other people while they are operating equipment

New Department Employees Orientation Briefing

The department safety coordinator will brief all new employees (faculty, staff, teaching assistant, research assistant and student assistant) during their first week on environment, fire, health, safety, and security issues and procedures related to their job assignments. This may include:

  1. Material Safety Data Sheets
  2. Proper Lifting Procedures
  3. Fire Procedures
  4. Storm and Tornado Procedures
  5. Handling of Hazard Chemicals
  6. Electrical Hazards & Procedures
  7. Pressure Vessels
  8. Unique Issues Related to Research and Lab Facilities
  9. Health Issues
  10. Safety Issues
  11. Security Issues
  12. Environmental Issues
  13. Other Issues

Department Research & Lab Facilities

The department has several unique research and lab facilities which require special consideration. Prior to accessing each of these facilities permission must be granted and training received by the respective facility faculty coordinator. The department chair and department safety coordinator will assist individuals to gain access by coordinating with the respective faculty facility coordinator. Each facility has additional separate safety and health issues.

  1. The fenced five acre Test Well Facility is located one half mile east of the east part of loop 289 between 19th and 4th street. It is enter via an access road north of the old Texas Instruments Calculator Plant and south of TTU's Textile Research Facility. Issues:
    • remote location requires a minimum of two individuals on−site and reporting in and out to departmental office
    • high−voltage equipment with special operating instructions
    • high−pressure equipment with special operating instructions
    • large moving equipment which starts and stops automatically
    • tripping and overhead hazards
    • steel−toed shoes, safety glasses, and hard hat area
    • tall equipment, climbing hazards
    • high pressure N2 and CO2 gas cylinders
  2. TFPERB 108 North − Core Lab
    • high−pressure gases and liquids
    • high−temperature ovens
    • volatile fluids used, special storage cabinet
    • N2 high−pressure storage bottles properly secured
  3. TFPERB 108 − Rheology Lab
    • high−pressure gases and liquids
    • high & minus temperature heating apparatus
    • acids used
    • bases used
    • special acid−storage explosion−proof cabinet
    • special base−storage explosion−proof cabinet
    • disposal of environmental waste container
    • disposal of broken glass container
    • N2 high−pressure storage bottle properly secured
  4. TFPERB 101 − Production Lab
    • N2 high−pressure storage bottle properly secured
    • rod−breaking test apparatus
    • gas−value test apparatus
    • drilling machine
    • table saw
    • chop saw
  5. TFPERB 103 − Core Preparation Lab
    • diamond−coring drill press apparatus
    • diamond−cut−off saw apparatus
    • lathe, drill press, grinder, & other machine shop equipment
  6. TFPERB 212 − Chevron Reservoir Simulator Center
    • department computer security procedure
  7. TFPERB 107 − Anadarko Unconventional Technology Center
    • high−pressure gases and liquids
    • high−temperature ovens
    • mercury apparatus
    • volatile fluids used, special storage cabinet
    • N2 high−pressure storage bottles properly secured
    • poisonous gases and liquids used in negative−pressure room
  8. TFPERB 105 −Pressure Volume Temperature Lab
    • high−pressure gases and liquids
    • high−temperature ovens
    • mercury apparatus
    • volatile fluids used, special storage cabinet
    • N2 high−pressure storage bottles properly secured
    • poisonous gases and liquids used in negative−pressure room
  9. TFPERB 203−Chevron Drilling Simulator Center
    • department computer security procedure
  10. TFPERB 201 − Apache Upstream Research Center
    • department computer security procedure

Bob L. Herd Department of Petroleum Engineering