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Vehicle safety

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Manned vehicle transportation is one of the most important aspects of the oil and gas industry. Onshore and offshore drilling and service providers continually transport employees, equipment, and products to and from a multitude of locations making safe, reliable, and cost-efficient transportation an indispensable component of the industry.

Types of manned transportation

Manned vehicles can include:

Land transportation

The oil industry is dependent on the expertise that trucking providers bring, and would not have the ability to function otherwise. There are multiple types of trucks that must be utilized in drilling tasks to complete a job properly.

Driver safety

One key factor to consider in land transportation safety is the driver. The major considerations include qualifications, training, and health.[1]


Qualifications and authorizations are very important when dealing with driving. As part of driving for work policy and procedures, the driver should be authorized to drive for work by the employer and the driver should submit the following documentation to the employer to verify that he is suitably qualified and authorized to drive:

  • Valid driving license for the type of vehicle
  • Driving license met the assigned vehicle type
  • Details of any medical conditions related to driving


Drivers should maintain their skills and knowledge by undergoing regular training. It is generally recommended that drivers refresh their understanding of the rules of the road at least once a year. There are some basic yet necessary training that can be administered to drivers by third party providers. Such trainings include:


The driver should report to work fit and refreshed for all work activities including driving duties. The physical health, psychological and emotional state, and the general attitude towards driving play a major part in being ready for duty. The driver must inform the employer about any health issues or personal circumstances that may affect tasks or driving. It is important to remember that the health of the driver can be negatively affected by:

  • Fatigue
  • Alcohol & Drugs (illicit)
  • Over the counter and/or prescription medication
  • Temporary illness
  • A medical condition
  • Daily stress events

Roadway safety

One other key safety factor for land transportation are the roadways. Traffic volumes and congestion are increasing on all roadways including freeways, highways, and interstates. Newer roadways are in the process of construction and result in long term work zones. Existing roadways are usually at an age where they require reconstruction and repair, resulting in more work zones in already high demand areas. Oil-field impacts and issues vary, so organizations should develop and implement transportation safety measures that best serve the mobility and safety needs of their roadway users.[1]

Trip planning

  • Communication between the client company and the transportation contractor.
  • Equipment inspection and reporting.
  • Securing cargo.
  • Mapping routes. Including onsite routes.
  • Observation of road and weather conditions.

Implement training

  • Covering policies and procedures.
  • Develop employees (including contractors) in correct safety behavior.
    • Dispatching or receiving passengers, products, or equipment.
    • Securing passengers, products, or equipment.
    • Handling passenger, products, or equipment.
    • Accounting/Reporting of passengers, products, or equipment.
  • Monitor employees (including contractors) in correct safety behavior.

Sea transportation

The growth in natural gas production in North America has renewed interest in exporting natural gas mostly in the form of LNG or LPG. However, this growth comes with transportation challenges as suppliers, and operators move products and equipment, to and from an expanding number of sites offshore or across the world. Gulf of Mexico, Bay of Funday, Saint Lawrence Seaway, and the coast of British Columbia are experiencing a shift in marine traffic character because of changes in oil and gas exploration, production, import, and export resulting from aggressive growth in onshore shale oil and gas development. A large number of major new oil and gas projects along the coastlines of North America are at various stages of planning, design, and construction.[2]

Policies and Guidelines

Federal National Environmental Policy Act (environmental assessment) process (40 CFR §§ 1500–1508), the U.S. Coast Guard circular NVIC 01-2011 (5) contains guidelines that address safety and security at proposed land-based LNG regasification terminals.[3]

Ship traffic

Maritime safety is vital to the day-to-day operations within the oil and gas industry. Ship traffic can pose risks in terms of accidents resulting in damage to vessels, injuries and loss of life. Environmental pollution, especially oil pollution, is of special concern in the majority of these geographically distributed sites because of the vulnerability of the aquatic ecosystem.[2]

Maritime transportation safety should encompass:

  • Local populations
    • Work force training
    • Waterway safety
  • Environment
    • Air pollution
    • Sea pollution
  • Operators and/or workers (including contractors)
    • Qualifications
    • Training
    • Health
  • Vehicle
    • Maintenance
    • Collisions of a single ship or multiple ships.
    • Grounding (Powered or drift grounding)

There are several key factors in insuring transportation safety in the Maritime setting.

Local populations


Release of air and/or sea pollutants from ship incidents is a vital concern.

Depending on the type of cargo these pollutants can include:

  • Hydrocarbon release
  • Flammable gas dispersion
  • Explosion overpressure
  • Toxic gas dispersion (if there are toxic components present in the material)
  • Pool fire thermal radiation

Operators and/or workers (including contractors)

Human monitoring systems (HMS) for sea transportation are being investigated as a viable source to combat accidents due to human error. The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport Japan has been working towards establishing a human monitoring system specifically for “Preventive Measures against Human Error in Public Transport”. The Ministry’s committee concluded in its final report that the development of human monitoring techniques is an urgent objective in ensuring preventative safety.[4] The aim of the HMS is to monitor inattention or lapse of concentration during a voyage and to call his/her attention to the navigation of the ship before accidents or dangerous minor incidents occur.[4]

Vehicle safety

Navigational systems like the Automatic Identification System (AIS) can be used to map traffic routes. In addition AIS data contains information about the ships, a breakdown by ship type, local speed, ship type, deadweight tonnage, ship size, and direction. Navigational systems are able to track routes in real time and make available crucial information that can be evaluated to point out areas of safety concerns.

Noteworthy papers in OnePetro

Akhmetov, M., Tate, D., & Alary, F. 2010. Lives in My Hands-A Driving Safety Campaign for Transport Contractors. Society of Petroleum Engineers.

Allison, D., & Frasineanu, M. 2010. How The OGP Land Transportation Safety Recommended Practices Led Petrom To Significantly Reduce Fatalities In Just 18 Months. Society of Petroleum Engineers.

Al Kurdi, O. F., Al Marzooqi, A. M. H., Yousef, A. A., & El-Farmaoui, M. A. 2008. Improving Road Safety in Corporate Fleet Settings. Society of Petroleum Engineers.

Catten, C., & Harry, D. 2010. Effective Driver Coaching - The Next Best Practice for Measuring and Understanding Driving Behavior. Society of Petroleum Engineers.

Guadalupe, D. R. 2013. Safety Management of Steel Pipes Road Transportation Project. Society of Petroleum Engineers.

Hill, R., Retzer, K., O’Connor, M., Lincoln, J., & Gunter, M. 2014. Fatal Injuries in Offshore Oil and Gas Operations: United States, 2003-2010. Society of Petroleum Engineers.

Soliman, Y., & Diaa, M. 2014. Land Transportation Contractor Management: A Case Study from Egypt. Society of Petroleum Engineers.

See also


External links

Anay Luketa, M. Michael Hightower and Steve Attaway, 2008 “Breach and Safety Analysis of Spills over Water from Large Liquefied Natural Gas Carriers,” Sandia National Laboratories, SAND2008-3153.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Tawfik, M. 2015. Effective Implementation of a Transportation Management System (HSE Integrated Approach). Society of Petroleum Engineers.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Hamedifar, H., Spitzenberger, C., Stahl, C., Brown, A., Nilberg, B., Demay, V., & Aspholm, O. (2015, May 4). Terminal and Transportation Risk Assessment for LNG Export in North America. Offshore Technology Conference.
  3. United States Coast Guard, Navigation and Inspection Circular No. 01-2011, Guidance Related to Waterfron Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Facilities. NVIC 01-2011. January 24, 2011.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Arima, M., Okabe, N., & Wakimizu, T. (2009, January 1). Development of a Human Monitoring System In Sea Transportation For Preventative Safety. International Society of Offshore and Polar Engineers.