What is an Operator Qualification Program?
Title 49: Transportation, Part 192 – Transportation of Natural Gas and Other Gas by Pipeline, dictates minimum safety requirements for pipeline facilities and the transportation of gas, including pipeline facilities. Subpart N outlines Pipeline Safety: Qualification of Pipeline Personnel.
The purpose of this program is to ensure a qualified workforce, and to reduce the probability and consequence of incidents on natural gas pipeline facilities caused by human error. At a minimum, an Operator Qualification Written Program would include the following categories:
Do you have such a program? If you want to perform gas work on a utility company system, you will need to create one. First begin by assessing your current operations; then determine what covered tasks you will need. A covered task would be:
Performed on a pipeline facility
An operations or maintenance task as defined by [49 CFR Part 192]
Performed as a requirement of [49 CFR Part 192]
Affects the operation or integrity of the pipeline
After December 16, 2004, qualifications in part require operators to provide training, as appropriate to performing covered tasks, and to notify the utility administrator or a state agency if the operator significantly modifies the program, after the administrator or state agency has verified that it complies with this section.
Each operator shall maintain records to demonstrate compliance, and shall include:
Identification of qualified individual(s);
Identification of the covered tasks the individual is qualified to perform;
Date(s) of current qualification; and
Operators must have a written qualification program. The program must be available for review by the utility administrator or by a state agency participating under 49 U.S.C. Chapter 601 if the program is under the authority of that state agency. If you do not have a written program, consider utilizing an audit consultant to assist your team, or perform this function for you, so that you can focus on what′s most important to you – your customers.
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