What is Operator Qualification Training?

 In Utility Contractor Services

Operator Qualification Training (OQ) is a safeguard mandated through congress from 1992 and is currently enforced through Pipeline Safety Acts. To ensure the safe transportation of hazardous liquids and gases through pipelines, operators must be qualified. The burden of getting pipeline operators properly trained lies on private pipelines or pipeline contractors.

“To assure safety in the transport of hazardous gases and liquids in the nation’s pipelines, pipeline operators who perform covered tasks must be qualified. Qualified means that an individual has been evaluated and can perform assigned covered tasks and recognize and react to abnormal operating conditions.(1)

The Office of Pipeline Safety (OPS) is the authority for assuring reliable, safe, environmentally friendly transportation of material within US pipelines. The Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA), oversees the OPS’s program to ensure safe pipeline transportation of natural gas, petroleum, and other hazardous materials.

While some utilities train their own employees, utility contractors like Linc Energy Systems train and certify that the candidates meet all of the government’s requirements. More information on Linc Energy Systems utility contractor services can be found on the utility services page.

Links of interest:
Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (1)
Pipeline Regulations & Applicable Laws:

  • PIPES Act of 2006
  • Pipeline Safety Statutes: 49 U.S.C. Chapters 601 & 603


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