Pacific Professional Solutions, a PG&E Authorized OQ Provider
Recently several contractors performing excavation on or around PG&E underground facilities have experienced work shut-downs due to a lack of qualified or “OQ” personnel on-site. This is a result of PG&E’s ongoing compliance with regulations set forth under the Department of Transportation’s “OQ Rule” which requires only qualified personnel perform covered tasks on regulated gas pipelines and their adjoining facilities. These regulations require any person performing a Covered Task must pass a training and testing process to possess PG&E’s Operator Qualifications (OQ’s) for that specific covered task.
For example, the excavation of a gas facility (transmission or distribution main, service from street to meter, gas-occupied joint trench, etc.) is a covered task that requires Operator Qualified personnel on-site to ensure the safety of the public and property by monitoring the excavation and adhering to PG&E’s Safe Excavation practices.
PG&E Operator Qualifications fall under the DOT Operator Qualification (OQ) Rule (49 CFR Part 192, Subpart N) and are designed to qualify the workforce (both internal and contractor) for what constitutes a covered task. A covered task is an activity, identified by the operator (i.e. PG&E) that meets the following criteria:
Another example of a covered task would be the installation of a new gas service performed by a contractor on an applicant install project. The contractor must adhere to PG&E’s material and design standards for everything from approved pipe and fitting manufacturers, trench configurations, backfill sand requirements, shading, compaction, warning tape installation, minimum cover requirements, etc.
If you on a job where PG&E is not the project owner (e.g. water and sewer installation), then PG&E may still require your workforce to hold OQ’s specific to the work you are performing around their underground facilities due to the inherent risk and danger posed to their facilities. If PG&E has not stated there is a requirement to hold these qualifications, then your work would be governed by the 811 Law (California Government Code 4216) and follow the construction related activities guidance found within that law.
If you are in-need of further clarification, or if you are pursuing PG&E Operator Qualifications for your workforce, please contact Pacific Professional Solutions, a PG&E Authorized OQ Provider, at (916)800-7676 or firstname.lastname@example.org