The 2022 Pipeline Awareness & Safety Summit Focuses on the Role of Field Data

Moderator: Kesley Tweed – Executive Director, PAPA

Tina Beach – Representative, Government Relations Senior, CHS
Chad Shannon – Business Development Manager, MEA Energy Association
Ryan Martin – Public Awareness Administrator, Phillips 66

The annual Pipeline Safety & Awareness Summit, held at the Global Excavation Safety Conference, brings together major gas & oil voices to discuss pressing industry issues. The 2022 Pipeline Safety & Awareness Summit, held in Phoenix, AZ, on the Global ESC Expo floor, turned its focus to the expansion of available field data. PAPA Executive Director Kesley Tweed led the discussion, joined by panelists Tina Beach of CHS, Chad Shannon of MEA Energy Association, and Ryan Martin of Phillips 66.

Field Data Sources
More field data is being collected than ever before, but what data is proving most useful?

Tina Beach pointed out that the data collected varies from state to state. Tina engages with public stakeholders for operations across six states and used Kansas as an example. Initial data suggested that the state was experiencing a high level of non-responses. When CHS normalized the data, however, a downward trend in non-response probability was found. The increase in non-responses could be directly linked to a tremendous increase in locates. Further research into the data uncovered that the most populous county was disproportionately responsible for non-responses. That information can then be used to inform future staffing, training, and education demands.

Ryan Martin says they started with looking at the data collection process itself. There was a mix of legacy data collection methods still in use – handwritten forms, inconsistent notes, etc. That discovery led to an effort to digitize the process. Tablets were purchased for many field workers, and they developed an app that would create a DIRT form. They also cross-referenced each state’s unique form requirements to ensure the digital records were as universal as possible.

Chad Shannon introduced the audience to a QR badging system MEA implemented, EnergyU Badges. They created a QR badging system that tracks workers’ certification levels. QR codes can be scanned with any mobile device and data is cloud accessible, creating on-demand knowledge of any individual’s training level and access levels.

On the Future of Mapping
On the future of mapping, the hot topic on the panel and in the audience was live-GIS. The consensus was that it is making a not-so-slow march to being the norm. While more data is still being collected, it is already allowing companies to be more prescriptive in their solutions.

As an example, Ryan Martin shared a Phillips 66 geofencing case study. They used a heatmap of locations deemed “high-risk” for potential damages. They used that information to serve digital ads and follow-up landing pages to a variety of groups within relevant geofenced areas, like public works departments, Home Depot, and Lowes stores.

Data is the Future, and the Past
Collecting more data has always been an asset in protecting utilities and the people who work around them. Tina Beach shared an anecdote that drove that home. Around 10 years ago CHS realized that farmers and ranchers were at particular high risk. Further, twothirds of near misses happened after land transfers. New owners were missing a classic form of data: Tribal Knowledge. Increased field data collection will increasingly contribute to our collective knowledge and safety well into the future.

Join the 2023 Pipeline Safety & Awareness Summit LIVE

Register for the 2023 Global Excavation Safety Conference in Tampa, FL, to attend the 2023 Pipeline Safety & Awareness Summit. Moderator Kesley Tweed returns to guide another great discussion. Interested in participating as a panelist or suggesting a colleague? Contact Karin Strub at

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