Guidance from NDA Safety Committee.

The National Drilling Association's (NDA) safety committee has introduced a series of Tailgate Safety Tips (TSTs) to provide training on specific jobsite hazards and provide safety instruction required by many government organizations such as OSHA and MSHA. Jobsite foremen or superintendents can hand out the TSTs and review them with operators. Many topics are specifically designed for use in the drilling industry while others deal with more general safety topics.

Although the TSTs are not a substitute for formal training, they can be used to illustrate that a company is actively promoting safety in the workplace and can help document a company's good faith effort for a safety program in the event of an OSHA or MSHA inspection. The TSTs also provide a record of training in case of an injury or lawsuit. NDA provides a Tailgate Safety Meeting Report sign-off sheet to assist in collecting such documentation.

It is expected that four TSTs will be issued each quarter. Here, we present the TST on fueling safety. For more information, contact NDA at 727-577-5006 or

The prices are scary enough - don't invite possible disaster.

Cell Phones and Fueling

Shell Oil Co. recently issued a warning after three incidents in which cell phones ignited fumes during fueling operations.

  • A cell phone was placed on a car's truck lid during fueling; it rang and the ensuing fire destroyed the car and the gasoline pump.

  • A person suffered severe facial burns when answering a phone call while refueling.

  • An individual suffered burns to the thigh and groin as flames ignited when the person's cell phone, which was in a front pocket, rang while refueling.

Cell phones can ignite fuel or fumes. Phones that light up when switched on or when ringing release enough energy to provide a spark for ignition. Cell phones should not be used - or should be turned off - around materials that generate flammable or explosive fumes or dust, such as solvents, chemicals and gases. A specialist from Chevron Texaco suggests four rules for safe refueling:

1. Turn off the vehicle's engine.

2. Don't smoke.

3. Don't use a cell phone. Turn it off or leave it inside the vehicle.

4. Don't re-enter your vehicle during refueling.

Following are results of a study of 150 cases of fires resulting from static electricity at gas pumps:

  • Almost all cases involved people getting back into their vehicles while the nozzle still was pumping gas. When they returned to remove the nozzle, the fire started as a result of static electricity.

  • Most victims were wearing rubber-soled shoes.

  • A good number of incidents occurred before, during or immediately after the gas cap was removed and before fueling began.

If you absolutely must get into your vehicle while gas is pumping, make sure to touch the metal on the door as you exit the vehicle. This discharges the static from your body before you touch the nozzle.