The injury rate for pipeline workers in Canada dropped to near historically low levels, said a report by the National Energy Board. The NEB’s annual report found that the injury rate fell nearly 50% from one injury for every 100 workers in 2008 to 0.53 injuries for every 100 federally regulated pipeline workers in 2009. This marked the second year in a row that the injury rate has been cut in half.
The report also said there were no fatalities on NEB-regulated pipelines in 2009, down from two fatalities in 2008. The improvement in worker safety came at a time of heavy pipeline construction as those working at NEB-regulated sites logged 32,567,727 hours in 2009, nearly twice the number of hours worked in 2008 and the most since 2000.
There were five pipeline ruptures in 2009, all on natural gas pipelines. On average there are 1.9 ruptures on regulated pipelines yearly. Four of the incidents were caused by metal loss or fatiguing while the fifth occurred when a pipeline company contractor struck the line.