Safety is more than a priority — it is a foundational value and behavioral trait at Ovintiv. In 2021, we delivered the company’s safest year for the eighth consecutive year.
We work to improve our safety performance every day — believing that all occupational injuries and illnesses are preventable. Ensuring the safety of our staff, suppliers, the public and surrounding communities is one of our company values and a basic tenet of managing our operations. If something can’t be done safely, then it shouldn’t be done on an Ovintiv site. Each year, the Board of Directors led by the EH&S Committee and members of the senior operational team participates in a field tour of our operations to see first-hand advances in safety and emissions improvements.
Industry Leading Safety Culture
We are responsible for creating sites where our employees can perform their work without health hazards. Our occupational health and industrial hygiene initiative is a specialized component of our overall operational management system, focused on eliminating potential health hazards found in the workplace. This initiative predicts and monitors potential workplace chemical exposure, evaluates exposure risk and suggests control of environmental factors that may cause sickness. Through this program, our employees may adopt different procedures or increase their personal protective equipment for their safety when needed.
Incidents associated with the failure of process equipment or mechanical integrity can result in critical impacts to worker safety and the environment. To mitigate these risks, we have implemented a set of comprehensive process safety practices.
Our process safety standard focuses on the appropriate design, construction, operation and maintenance of facilities and equipment to prevent the release of hazardous materials. In addition to maintaining proper containment, we integrate process safety tools and techniques into our management system, continue to enhance our process safety practices and expectations and train our teams on preventing hazard exposure throughout our operational lifecycle.
Each year we set a company goal, tied to compensation, to minimize our process safety event frequency. We reduce our number of process safety events—unexpected releases of hazardous materials or energy—through site assessments, employee training, integrity management programs and data tracking and analysis.
Measuring EH&S Performance
Strong safety and environmental performance reflect the importance of protecting our employees, contractors, suppliers and the communities where we operate. Together, we work toward making every year our safest on record and look for new and innovative ways to drive ESG progress.
By setting environment, health and safety (EH&S) goals that we all can aspire to achieve — as individuals and within teams — we work toward continuous improvement. These goals are included in our annual compensation plan, which offers a cash award for strong company performance. As we strive to improve upon the prior year’s performance, we set progressively more challenging targets each year.
Safety Scorecard and 2021 Performance
*Definition of process safety was broadened in 2021 to include additional events
Total Recordable Injury Frequency
Process Safety Event Frequency
Motor Vehicle Incident Frequency
EH&S Strategy and Performance Management
We believe all injuries and incidents can be prevented, which is why we focus every day on making our workplace free of recognized hazards.
Managing EH&S performance includes our commitment to a safety culture, environmental stewardship, protected and secure work sites and reliable regulatory performance. Critical to our success is employee development and integration with our area operating teams.
We support our commitments with programs and policies that set expectations and clearly identify governance. From our Board of Directors to employees on the frontlines of our operations, everyone plays an important role in our EH&S performance.
Improvement stems from measuring the effectiveness of our systems and standards. We utilize Ethos — an operations management system — to measure, track and understand our performance.
How Ethos Works
Ethos is a documented set of standards that outline how we work. Within each of Ethos’ 12 standards are practices that define roles and responsibilities, performance measurements and necessary training for employees and service providers. Certain practices may require operating procedures that are often area or site specific.
Through Ethos, we use a plan-do-check-act methodology that guides employees to consistent results. Both the standards and methodology are used at every level of our organization to consistently manage operational, health, safety and environmental risks. Ethos also acts as an accountability tool — measuring and tracking our EH&S performance, including the metrics used for our compensation program.
Expectations and Practices
- Companywide policies and metrics
- Ethos management system and audit
- Standards, practices and team training program
- Operational implementation of EH&S practices
- Day-to-day field procedures
- Individual knowledge of and active engagement with EH&S programs and procedures
- Board and executive leadership team
- Operational EH&S team
- Operating area leadership
- Corporate and field employees
Setting clear expectations for EH&S performance and educating our employees on potential hazards are key goals for our EH&S training program. Each year our EH&S and operations teams work in partnership to develop individualized training plans so that employees receive EH&S trainings specific to their roles. Through this approach, we offer more than 120 courses to our workforce, guiding our team on the best methods for managing EH&S risks and the procedures they must follow to complete work safely.
We are proud of our Safety Essentials for Leaders program that emphasizes the importance of strong leadership around the protection and safety of our employees.
More than 3,000 employees, contractors and service providers have completed our Safety Essentials for Leaders program since its inception in 2009.
Learning from Incidents
If an incident occurs, we report and efficiently and effectively correct the situation. We use an incident management system to capture data that includes injuries and illness, motor vehicle incidents, spills and near misses — helping us to gain knowledge from these events. This data is analyzed by our Operations teams to identify root cause analysis and communicate risks and best practices. We also utilize this system to manage EH&S audits and inspections.
Empowering Employees (Lifesaving Rules)
Increasing employee safety awareness is only part of the solution for maintaining a safe workplace. Our employees also must feel empowered to make decisions that will protect themselves, their co-workers, and the community.
We adopted the International Association of Oil & Gas Producers (IOGP)’s life saving rules to set clear guidelines for making safe decisions in a variety of operational situations.
The underlying foundation of our life saving rules is “stop work,” which gives every employee the authority to stop operations if a lifesaving rule is compromised if there is a perceived safety threat or if equipment could be damaged. There is no retaliation for exercising Stop Work Authority. In fact, if an employee observes an unsafe situation, he or she has full responsibility to stop operations and prevent the incident.
- Confined Space: Obtain authorization before entering a confined space
- Working at Heights: Protect yourself against a fall when working at heights
- Work Authorization: Work with a valid permit when required
- Energy Isolation: Verify isolation and zero energy before work begins
- Line of Fire: Keep yourself and others out of the line of fire
- Bypassing Safety Controls: Obtain authorization before overriding or disabling safety controls
- Driving: Follow safe driving rules
- Hot Work: Control flammables and ignition sources
- Safe Mechanical Lifting: Plan lifting operations and control the area
- Fit for Duty: Be in a state to perform work safely
Motor vehicle incidents are the leading cause of injury and death in the oil and natural gas industry. Our comprehensive driver safety program includes training, tools and standards to encourage a culture of zero motor vehicle incidents.
We require both driver awareness and hands-on driver training for all company fleet drivers and have established safe driving practices, including prohibiting the use of cell phones while driving. Additionally, we assign an in-vehicle monitoring system to all Ovintiv fleet vehicles. These devices provide data on driver behavior, including the frequency of hard braking, rapid acceleration and speed.
This data is gathered for risk analysis and to monitor our employees’ driving performance. If an employee shows consistent unsafe driving practices, he or she may have to participate in additional training or use additional tools to improve performance.
Driver Safety Program
- Driving Distraction
- Safe Vehicle Operations
- In-Vehicle Monitoring System
- Drive Safe Team
- Driver Safety Training
- Fleet Management
- Commercial Motor Vehicle Regulatory Compliance Requirements
- Motor Vehicle Incident Reporting
- Driver Fitness and Alertness
- Road Journey Management
- Driver Qualification and Authorization
- Driver Commitment
The ongoing challenge of COVID-19 continues to test industries and governments across the world. At Ovintiv, we have the advantage of an enriched safety mindset and a world class safety team that knows how to jump into immediate action. From the onset of this pandemic, we prioritized the physical and mental health of our employees, moving quickly to protect our team while continuing to provide safe, reliable and affordable energy.
As COVID-19 moves into a more endemic phase, we continue to lean on our robust business continuity plan to protect employee safety. At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, one of our initial steps was to establish a Pandemic Response Team (PRT) to assess and mitigate employee and contractor risks. This team continues to meet as necessary, reviewing our approach to ensure we can do our work safely and in accordance with local regulations and health agency recommendations. We continue to offer flexibility to those employees and individual circumstances that require remote working.