APGA and its members recognise that the financial wellbeing of our industry and each member company depends on the wellbeing of employees and the environment.
We recognise our responsibility to ensure that all of our people get home safely at the end of each day, and the legacy that our resource use and environmental impact leaves for future generations.
While our social licence to operate depends upon our record on safety and the environment, our commitment to each goes beyond complying with relevant laws and regulations – protecting our people and our environment is fundamental to our culture.
The committee has set its priorities, terms of reference and future agenda to build upon the significant achievements of the many APGA members who have helped drive our industry-leading commitment to doing no harm to our people or our environment.
APGA’s commitment to safety starts and ends with the premise that everyone has the right to a safe workplace.
Everyone, at every level, in every company, is responsible for workplace safety.
APGA’s committees play a role by providing guidance and keeping all member companies up-to-date on the latest issues, technology and systems to help make building pipelines safer.
Part of this work includes managing the APGA Safety Statistics – a register of safety incidents and near-misses which can be used to identify trends and areas of concern to be addressed, as well as provide the necessary evidence to demonstrate our safety record to regulators and other interested parties.
The committee is currently reviewing the 4WD Vehicle Safety Guidelines and the Electrical Hazards Guidelines, with a review of Landholder Relations Guidelines to follow.
Part of the committee’s focus is also considering ways to develop more consistent vocational-based training, particularly for the construction sector, to better enable workforce mobility and build consistency in skill levels of workers.
The Australian pipeline industry has an enviable safety record – but this record is strong because the work continues. The APGA Health, Safety and Environment Committee will ensure that we remain an industry-leader on pipeline and construction safety in Australia and internationally.
APGA and its members are committed to being leaders in ecologically sustainable development and active contributors to national goals on biodiversity protection and greenhouse mitigation.
Each pipeline construction job is unique – each requires an environmental protection and management plan that reflects the individual nature of the pipeline and its location. That is why each of our member companies develops and adheres to its own stringent Environmental Management System.
At APGA, we are helping our members by formalising the latest advances in environmental protection and restoration through the APGA Code of Environmental Practice.
The Code, which has since been written into most specifications for building pipelines in this country, provides the minimum environmental management standards for Australian onshore pipeline construction, operation and decommissioning.
First developed in the 1990s, the Code was substantially rewritten in 2005, and has since been updated in both 2009 and 2013. The Code has incorporated not only the work of our members, but also key environmental regulators across the nation.
The Committee continues to coordinate our industry’s response to State and Territory Government environment and cultural heritage initiatives, and to manage our industry’s approach to the Australian Government’s National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (NGER) framework.
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While most construction jobs are static and in urban areas, pipeline builders constantly move, drive and build in some of the most remote places on our planet. To combat the risks these challenges present APGA’s Health and Safety Committee has completed a number of studies, the results of which have been incorporated into APGA’s Safety Guidelines, including on:
The Committee has reviewed its guidelines on Safety Management Plans, introduced guidelines on Occupational Health and Safety to reflect national standards, initiated Safety Issues in Tender Documents and released a DVD on vehicle safety.
In 2008, the Safety Committee introduced APGA Induction and Training passports to demonstrate and track competency in the many skills, including in safety, for workers in the pipeline construction workforce. Around 12,000 passports are currently in use.
In 2005 APGA’s Environment Committee released the APGA Code of Environmental Practice, first developed in the 1990s. The Code was updated 2009 and again in 2013.
In 2011 the APGA Secretariat used the Committee’s work to convince the Australian Government to modify the methodology used to calculate fugitive emissions under the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting framework. The government’s original methodologies required the use of artificial factors to determine a pipeline’s emissions and did not reflect actual emissions. As a result of the Committee’s work, regulators agreed to allow our industry to use engineering calculations and direct observations to estimate fugitive emissions. This outcome is critical for the industry, as it will allow a company’s efforts to reduce emissions to be reflected in reported emissions. Under the original methodologies, the emissions reduction efforts could not be recognised.