APCA To Meet

For the American Pipeline Contractors Association (APCA) and most of its members, 2011 was another good year with the majority of members involved with new pipeline construction projects or work to expand and maintain pipelines already in place, said John Fluharty, the association’s president.

Founded in 1971 as a regional alliance of seven contractors to promote mutual interests and address industry concerns, APCA’s membership today includes members and associate members from throughout the United States.

Throughout the year, Fluharty said the APCA continued its mission to represent the interests of merit shop pipeline and station contractors. The association provided vital industry information, continuing education about ever-changing labor and employment laws, and safety education and training to ensure that contractors are in compliance with the latest laws and regulations and have the best available safety training tools and information to keep association member employees as safe as possible.

“APCA’s alliance with the federal Occupational Saftey and Health Administration (OSHA) continues to provide important benefits to association members which are also available to the industry as a whole,” Fluharty said. “As our industry moves from a compliance-based safety environment to behavior-based safety programs, APCA will be in the forefront with solutions for its members and the industry.”

During the year, meetings assisted members in keeping abreast of important industry changes and served as forums to exchange ideas and address these changes.

Fluharty said a record number of members attended the association’s 40th annual meeting in March in San Diego with the midyear meeting held in Carmel, CA.

APCA members participated in industry meetings, including NAOSH (North American Occupational Safety and Health), Veriforce Contractors Advisory Group, Caterpillar Safety Group, OSHA Alliance Program Construction Round Table and the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA) Foundation Safety Intervention. APCA also was a presenter at the 100th annual convention of the American Society of Safety Engineers ASSE.

Best Practice Sheets and Tool Box Talks are posted in English and Spanish on the association web site (www.americanpipeline.org) and are available to APCA members and the general public. The web site also hosts an active blog that provides an interactive means of posting comments and exchanging ideas.

Looking ahead, Fluharty said the vast shale plays in North America and the continued spending on integrity and maintenance will drive the health and success of the pipeline industry.

Fluharty, with the Mears Group Inc., a worldwide provider of horizontal directional drilling and pipeline integrity services, will end his one-year term as APCA president in March at the 2012 annual meeting. Taking over as president will be Ricky Dyess, of M.G. Dyess Inc., a contracting company specializing in pipeline construction and rehabilitation, station facilities and plant and pipeline maintenance.

American Pipeline Contractors Association, (337) 278-0056, www.americanpipeline.org

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