Safety by choice, not chance: A Pennsylvania pipeliner’s life-saving advice

Enbridge video chronicles the dangers of confined spaces and atmospheric hazards

He saw it. He owned it. And, as a result, Ash Brechbill saved a life that day.

Brechbill, an Enbridge pipeliner based in Chambersburg, PA, dropped by a farm along the Texas Eastern Transmission pipeline right-of-way in advance of some in-line inspection work, and discovered that the landowner was about to do some repair work inside an underground storage tank.

Organic matter stored in tanks can produce poisonous gas as it breaks down. And Brechbill, using his safety training in the area of confined spaces, advised the landowner that he needed a multi-gas meter—not a portable fan—to guard against atmospheric hazards and ensure his personal safety.

“You think it’s safe, but you don’t actually know . . . you don’t want to rely on some $30 fan from a box store to keep you alive,” says Brechbill in a recently produced Enbridge safety video.

“Later, he thanked me. He said, ‘Man, Ash . . . that monitor that we acquired went off twice while I was down in that tank. I’m so thankful that you pulled me aside and explained that to me.’ ”

Safety is not just a core value at Enbridge—it’s the very foundation of our business. Our employees spent more than 99,000 hours in 2016 building their safety knowledge and skills, and our rates of recordable injuries and lost-days injuries were the lowest in 2016 as they’ve been since we started tracking them.

Still, for safety to be ingrained into Enbridge’s workplace culture, we encourage our workforce to make the choice to be safe every day—and take chance out of the equation.

“I can’t believe the luck that guy had that day, with Ash stopping by like he did . . . I feel Ash saved his life that day,” says Eric Krotzer, an Enbridge environmental health and safety analyst based in Harrisburg, PA.

“Safety is personal. It’s about you . . . it’s a choice that you make.”

Watch the video by clicking on the player above.