Page 22 - MS811 2023 issue 1
P. 22

  We just went through another national
election. You may agree or disagree with the results, but you may find the following interesting. One of the results of the election was the 4,155-page FY 2022 Omnibus Funding Act. Just for kicks,
I downloaded a copy (https://www. bill/2471/text) and did a word search
for “pipeline.” The word “pipeline” occurs 14 times in the entire document (including twice with respect to foreign pipelines). The relevant fact is that
the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) was funded to the tune of $29.1 million
for next year (basically no change in budget) IF “. . . a final rule on automatic and remote-controlled shut-off valves and hazardous liquid pipeline facilities leak detection systems as required under section 4 and section 8 of the Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job Creation Act of 2011 (Public Law 112-90), respectively, [is issued] not later than 120 days after the date of enactment of this Act [12-23-22]. . .” If PHMSA is unable to issue the final rule by April 22, 2023, PHMSA (hypothetically) will get docked $5,000 per day. If my math is correct, pipeline safety is less than 0.0002 percent of next year’s budget. I find it hard to believe Congress is truly
concerned about pipeline safety.
What about employers? In my experience, the overwhelming
majority of employers are genuinely concerned about the safety of their employees. That said, it is, in my opinion, unreasonable to expect safety personnel to be everywhere all the time someone else is working. Furthermore, not every accident happens “on the clock.” Employees have lives outside the workplace and accidents happen outside the workplace. A “safe” employee is more also likely to be
safe outside the workplace and less likely miss work because of an injury. If nobody gets hurt and nobody gets killed, EVERYBODY wins!!
What about Mother Nature? Mother Nature does not care who you are or what your pronouns are. The more effort you put into your safety and the safety of those around you, the less likely Mother Nature or Murphy’s law will bite you in the a**!!
My father used to say, “Think before you do something.” There are times when speed is important. However, the faster you try to get something done, the more likely something could go wrong. Plan the work, work the plan, and be ready to react to changed conditions.
I played football all through grade school, high school, and college. One of my favorite coaches had a saying: “Always run with your head up.” The same is true with safety. ALWAYS
be aware of your surroundings. If something doesn’t seem right, slow down. If you see something, SAY SOMETHING!! If necessary, DO SOMETHING!! If you understand a risk and are willing to accept it, keep on trucking but be ready to accept the consequences if things don’t work out the way you planned. Remember that things you don’t know that you don’t know can be dangerous. Things that you think you know but really don’t, can be even more dangerous.
Safety always has been and always will be PERSONAL!
I am truly blessed. I have worked with my hands all my life and, even though
I have done some stupid things, I still have all my fingers and toes and, AFIK, so does everyone that has ever worked for or with me. May you enjoy the same blessings.
Be safe out there!!
John Jacobi retired from PHMSA. For questions or comments, email:
Pipeline Safety - It Is Personal!!
 20 • Mississippi 811 2023, Issue 1

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