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Subchapter 14. Petroleum Safety Orders--Drilling and Production
Article 44. Miscellaneous Tools and Equipment
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§6646. Miscellaneous Tools and Equipment.

(a) When there is fluid inside of a length of pipe above the derrick or mast floor that is being disconnected from pipe in the well, a means shall be provided and used to prevent, as far as is practicable, fluid spraying on employees on the floor.

(b) An oil saver shall be provided and used when swabbing a well, also when bailing a well, where experience indicates that the well has sufficient gas pressure to cause the well to flow or that hazardous quantities of gas may be released.

(c) An oil saver shall be provided and used when perforating for oil or gas production in a well that has sufficient gas pressure to cause the well to flow. The two parts of a wire line oil saver shall be handled separately.

(d) Oil savers when used shall be installed and maintained in a manner to convey the fluid being swabbed or that may flow, to a safe place of disposal.

(e) Drill pipe slip handles shall be short enough that they will not project beyond the inner edge of the metal step around the top outer edge of the rotary table when the slips are in position to hold the pipe in the rotary table. In the event the slip handles extend beyond the rotating portion of the rotary table, a metal safety ring 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch high and 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch wide, or equivalent, with edges rounded shall be permanently attached at the perimeter of the rotary opening of each rotary table so that it will not create a tripping hazard. The diameter of the safety ring described shall exceed the diameter of the arc described by the slip handles.

(f) In well servicing operations a torsion stress shall not be applied to a string of sucker rods in a well by the use of any wrench, tong or tool other than a power driven tong or device or a rod-wheel wrench. The rim of a rod-wheel wrench shall be free of projections on which employees' clothing may be caught.

This does not apply to normal hand rod wrench operations.

(g) No tool or device of any kind shall be used in connection with a rod-wheel wrench as a means of additional leverage.

(h) A rat hole shall be provided to rack the kelly and/or swivel in when it is not in use in the well unless it is laid on the derrick walk or racked in the derrick or mast.

When mouse and rat hole pipes are provided, they shall be covered when not in use except when the pipe extends at least twelve (12") above the floor.

(j) Splash plates that are used on drilling fluid pump piston rods shall be constructed of rubber or similar material which offers protection to an employee's hand should it be caught between the splash plate and the pump.

(k) When a tubing sand pump is used, the discharge shall be to a safe area so as not to endanger any employees. When discharge hoses or piping is used, they shall be secured against movement. When a bailer is used, a dumpkey shall be provided and the discharge shall be away from the person doing the dumping and not endanger other employees. When there are signs of gas in the bailer, the bailer shall be secured prior to emptying.

(l) Tube testing shall be in accordance with the following:

(1) The top packer of the tubing assembly shall always be set below the working level of the employees at the wellhead to guard against the possibility of an employee being struck by pressurized fluid that has escaped through a rupture in the tubing.

(2) When a leak is detected in the section of tubing being tested, the tester shall bleed off the remaining pressure of the pipe, and not repressurize until that section of pipe is pulled above the tubing slips. All employees shall be at least ten feet (10') away before repressurizing is done to find the leak location.

(3) The derrickman can remain in the derrick, as long as the testing of the pipe is being done below platform position. When it is necessary to pull the pipe above the derrickman's platform to locate the leak, the tester shall bleed off the pressure on the pipe and wait until the derrickman descends to ground level.

(4) Employees shall be at least ten feet (10') away when pipe is being plug tested.

(m) When a pipe wrench extension is used, the maximum length of the extension shall be two times the length of the pipe wrench handle. The extension shall be constructed of steel pipe of such a diameter to snugly fit the pipe wrench handle and cover the full length of the pipe wrench handle. The force exerted on the wrench shall not exceed the manufacturer's rated breaking strength of the wrench.

NOTE: Authority cited: Section 142.3, Labor Code. Reference: Section 142.3, Labor Code.


1. Amendment filed 7-20-59; effective thirtieth day thereafter (Register 59, No. 12).

2. Amendment of section and Note filed 5-8-95; operative 6-7-95 (Register 95, No. 19).

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