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How do you know which individuals need qualified for each covered task?

Under the Operator Qualification rule, each pipeline operator is responsible for developing an OQ program and defining the requirements for personnel performing covered tasks on their pipeline facility. Part of each operator’s OQ program is to define the span of control for each covered task. 

Span of Control, or Direct and Observe, are terms used to define the ratio of qualified individuals to unqualified individuals that can safely perform a covered task. 

For example, many operators designate the span of control for Abnormal Operating Conditions (AOC) as 1:0.  That means for every qualified person, there can be zero unqualified personnel.  Another way to look at it: everyone performing work on site must have the OQ for Abnormal Operating Conditions.  Another example is the covered task for application of coating using hand application methods.  Many operators designate the span of control as 1:2. In this case, it is required to have one qualified individual that has direct observation of two unqualified individuals who are applying coating by hand.

The Operator Qualification rule does not designate a minimum span of control for each covered task; therefore, you must check with each operator to understand the requirements of their program.  Span of control can vary for each operator.

Following are ten quick facts regarding span of control:

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