[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 148 (Tuesday, August 3, 2010)]
[Notices]
[Pages 45696-45697]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-18947]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

[Docket No. PHMSA-2010-0194]


Pipeline Safety: Personal Electronic Device Related Distractions

AGENCY: Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA); 
DOT.

ACTION: Notice; Issuance of Advisory Bulletin.

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SUMMARY: PHMSA is issuing an Advisory Bulletin to remind owners and 
operators of natural gas and hazardous liquid pipeline facilities of 
the risks associated with the use of personal electronic devices (PEDs) 
by individuals performing operations and maintenance activities on a 
pipeline facility.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Cameron Satterthwaite by phone at 202-
366-1319 or by e-mail at cameron.satterthwaite@dot.gov. General 
information about the Department of Transportation initiative on 
distracted driving may be found at http://www.distractions.gov. 
Information about PHMSA may be found at http://phmsa.dot.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    The U.S. Department of Transportation is leading the effort to end 
the dangerous practice of distracted driving on our nation's roadways 
and in other modes of transportation. The use of PEDs, such as cellular 
telephones and mobile computers, while operating motor vehicles has 
been the subject of recent Departmental regulations and guidance. 
(e.g., Restrictions on Railroad Operating Employees' Use of Cellular 
Telephones and Other Electronic Devices, 75 FR 9754, May 18, 2010; 
Limiting the Use of Wireless Communication Devices, 75 FR 16391, April 
1, 2010.) In furtherance of this effort, PHMSA recognizes that the use 
of PEDs by pipeline employees who are performing operations and 
maintenance activities may pose a similar risk to safety if those 
individuals are distracted, especially when such use is for personal 
business.
    The Federal pipeline safety regulations in 49 CFR Parts 190 through 
199 prescribe minimum safety standards for pipeline transportation and 
for pipeline facilities. Owners and operators of natural gas and 
hazardous liquid pipeline facilities are required to have and follow 
written procedures for safely conducting operations and maintenance 
tasks. (49 CFR 192.605, 193.2503, and 195.402) Individuals performing 
those tasks, particularly activities that affect the operation or 
integrity of the pipeline facility, must be qualified under a program 
developed by each operator that ensures individuals are trained and 
have the knowledge, skills, and ability necessary to perform the tasks 
safely and to recognize and react to abnormal conditions. (49 CFR 
192.805, 193.2707, and 195.505.)
    There may be increased risks associated with the use of PEDs by 
personnel performing pipeline activities affecting operation or 
integrity. Pipeline operations and maintenance tasks require a critical 
level of attention and skill, which may be compromised by visual, 
manual, or cognitive distractions caused by the use of PEDs. Such 
distractions may also hinder their prompt recognition and reaction to 
abnormal operating conditions and emergencies.
    PHMSA recommends that operators integrate into their written 
procedures for operations and maintenance appropriate controls 
regarding the use of PEDs by individuals performing pipeline tasks that 
may affect pipeline operation or integrity. PHMSA is not discouraging 
the use of PEDs as a part of normal business operations. PHMSA

[[Page 45697]]

also recommends that operators provide guidance and training for all 
personnel about the risks associated with the use of PEDs while 
driving, and while performing activities on behalf of the company if 
that use poses a risk to safety.

Advisory Bulletin (ADB-10-06)

    To: Owners and Operators of Hazardous Liquid and Natural Gas 
Pipeline Systems.
    Subject: Personal Electronic Device (PED) Related Distractions.
    Advisory: As with other modes of transportation, PHMSA recognizes 
the use of PEDs by pipeline employees who are performing operations and 
maintenance activities may increase safety risks if those individuals 
become distracted. In furtherance of the Department's effort to end the 
dangerous practice of distractions caused by PEDs throughout the 
various modes of transportation, PHMSA is issuing this Advisory 
Bulletin about the potential for distractions affecting pipeline 
safety.
    PHMSA reminds owners and operators of natural gas and hazardous 
liquid pipeline facilities that there may be increased risks associated 
with the use of PEDs by individuals performing activities that affect 
pipeline operation or integrity. Pipeline operations and maintenance 
tasks require a critical level of attention and skill, which may be 
compromised by visual, manual, and cognitive distractions caused by the 
use of PEDs. Such distractions may also hinder their prompt recognition 
and reaction to abnormal operating conditions and emergencies.
    Owners and operators of natural gas and hazardous liquid pipeline 
facilities should integrate into their written procedures for 
operations and maintenance appropriate controls regarding the personal 
use of PEDs by individuals performing pipeline tasks that may affect 
the operation or integrity of a pipeline. PHMSA is not discouraging the 
use of PEDs as a part of normal business operations. Owners and 
operators should also provide guidance and training for all personnel 
about the risks associated with the use of PEDs while driving and while 
performing activities on behalf of the company if that use poses a risk 
to safety.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on July 27, 2010.
Jeffrey D. Wiese,
Associate Administrator for Pipeline Safety.
[FR Doc. 2010-18947 Filed 8-2-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-60-P