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MSETC at Penn College Trains OSHA Oil, Gas Inspectors

The Marcellus Shale Education & Training Center at Pennsylvania College of Technology recently delivered training for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s National Training Institute.

The objective of the OSHA 3000 course is to familiarize OSHA compliance officers with the processes used in the extraction of oil and gas. It was presented by Jeffrey F. Lorson, director of MSETC workforce training, and Douglas Mehan, director of health, safety and environmental for Dallas-Morris Drilling Inc.

“This is a great opportunity for MSETC and Penn College to help create additional value for this industry,” Lorson said. The three-day session included a tour of a drilling rig, offering a hands-on component to the training. The MSETC worked with Precision Drilling Corp. and Range Resources Appalachia for the tour.

“The participants were able to see a state-of-the-art technology on the Precision Drilling Super Single drilling rig,” Lorson said. “Education and training is not only a key deliverable for the workforce, but equally important for those who are regulating the industry.”

The course aims to help inspectors better understand the process, so they can be more effective at understanding the challenges in terms of workforce health and safety. Irvin Gleason, environmental health and safety operations manager for Range Resources, and Ken DenBleyker, HSE advisor for Precision Drilling, led the discussion during the visit.

They also talked the inspectors through the drilling process and discussed worker protections that are put in place to ensure a safe workplace during operations.

“Our focus is on reducing the risk to our people, through engineering the hazards out of the job or establishing administrative controls to manage the risk,” DenBleyker said. “We complement the focus through investing in our people through training and development strategies.”

Range Resources Appalachia, the operating company on the drilling site, focused on the process, as well as the complexity of operations on a site. The course also emphasized the importance of working proactively with all of the stakeholders, including OSHA, to ensure that operations are conducted in a safe and environmentally responsible manner.

“Safety is a team effort,” Gleason said. “Working with Penn College and Precision Drilling to provide training on an operating drilling rig in Lycoming County for a nationally recognized course can only strengthen the team. With this industry being new to the central Pennsylvania area, it was a perfect opportunity to get these OSHA trainees on an active site. Working together, we can all make this a safe industry.”

This course is offered annually by the OSHA National Training Institute, based in Arlington Heights, Ill. The OSHA inspectors who were enrolled in the course traveled from Alaska, Oklahoma, Texas and other well-known oil- and gas-play areas nationwide to participate.

For more about the MSETC, a collaboration between Penn College and Penn State Cooperative Extension, visit on the Web or call 570-327-4775.

For more about Penn College, visit online , email or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

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