At Ovintiv, we lead with safety. It is a foundational value and drives decision-making across the organization. We want every person who steps foot on our site to leave in the same condition they arrived. We take a “safe work always” approach that is rooted in the belief that serious injuries and incidents can be prevented.

We work to improve our safety performance every day. Ensuring the safety of our staff, suppliers, the public and surrounding communities is core to how we manage our operations. If something cannot be done safely, then it should not be done on an Ovintiv site. Each year, the Board, led by the Environment, Health & Safety (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.

We lead with safety

We take a “safe work always” approach that is rooted in the belief that serious injuries and incidents can be prevented.

Acting with Urgency

Over the course of 2023, we took decisive action to further challenge ourselves and our approach with the goal of making a sustained improvement in our safety performance. Company-wide safety stand-downs were held in both field and corporate offices. We also undertook an extensive, Company-wide review of our safety practices through an internal Safety Advisory Task Force and commissioned an independent review by a third party, both of which reported directly to our executive leadership team and Board.

Through these reviews, immediate steps were taken, and four strategic actions emerged:

Start Work Safely Authorization

Our worksites are complex and dynamic. The Start Work Safely authorization process is being formalized as a mandatory, Company-wide process designed to help ensure everyone involved in a job understands their scope of work, the hazards associated with that scope and the procedures in place to make sure the job is executed safely.

 Integrate Safety into Commercial Processes

We want to partner with service providers whose safety culture aligns with ours. We are continually working to build clear systems and processes that ensure safety considerations are integrated into service provider selection, onboarding and performance management. Our service providers are critical to our operations and we prioritize their safety.

Safety Leadership Development

Everyone is a safety leader, no matter their role. We have updated our Foundational Leadership Capabilities to encompass the importance of safety leadership and are building a comprehensive safety competency development program with differentiated training for all employees and contract staff, reflective of their roles and responsibilities. Safety leadership is learned, and we are committed to providing safety leadership competency development to all staff.

Embed One Safety          Culture

We have a deep-rooted safety culture at Ovintiv. Our Board and executive leadership remains committed to reaffirming, reinvigorating, and reinforcing this culture, driving consistency through all of our areas of operation and teams. Our people are united in upholding one Company-wide safety standard.


We are working to implement new and improved programs identified as key deliverables linked to the strategic actions. While the formal work of the Safety Advisory Task Force is transitioning to various teams across the Company, our focus on safety continues each day. Leading with safety and looking out for one another will help us achieve both safety and business excellence in the workplace.

Strengthening our Safety Culture

We know that leadership motivates safety improvement, but culture sustains performance. To shape our behaviors, we are working to refresh and revise our approach to safety. One area of focus is increasing connection and understanding between field and office staff to improve awareness of how decisions made in the office can impact safety outcomes in the field. Other initiatives are under development to demonstrate visible safety leadership, share learnings and shape our overall approach to safety.

Speaking up and stopping work can be difficult. This is why we continually work to enhance psychological safety to create an environment where speaking up is always encouraged and expected. Stop Work authority is a practice that empowers workers to stop the job when they see a potential hazard or risk that could cause harm to themselves, their coworkers, the environment or the equipment. From planning to execution, everyone has a responsibility to step back and stop work to potentially save a life.

“We are resolute in our commitment to ensuring our employees and service providers go home safely every day. This starts with safety leadership, attention to serious injuries, understanding core safety concepts, and reinforcing a culture that prioritizes safe work always.”

Greg Givens

Chief Operating Officer

Prioritizing Serious Injury and Fatality (SIF) Prevention

Through the work of our Safety Advisory Task Force and in collaboration with our independent third-party advisor, we have developed a SIF prevention program, and a safe decision-making learnings process. We have improved our understanding of the connection between Total Recordable Incident Frequency (TRIF) and the number of workplace fatalities, and are building on our safety program with SIF Prevention.

While it is important to avoid all safety incidents, any conditions or actions on our locations that could lead to life-altering or life-threatening incidents, are unacceptable. We continually pursue the elimination of all serious injuries and fatalities on our work sites. Since actual SIF events are rare, it is important to look at incidents that had the potential to lead to a SIF event, learn from the event and prevent the same conditions from occurring again. To ensure data informed decision-making, we analyze and track SIF data to understand results.

Before a serious injury or fatality occurs, a combination of factors must be present to contribute to the incident. This is referred to as a SIF precursor — a high-risk situation (high-hazard exposure combined with a risk amplifier) in which safety management controls are either deficient, absent or ineffective, and if allowed to continue, will lead to a SIF. To learn from potential and actual SIF events, it is important to understand what the high-hazard exposures, risk amplifiers and controls are and how they are related. By doing so, we can effectively manage and implement corrective actions and prevent similar events from occurring again in the future.

Process Safety

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.

Life Saving

Our evolving safety culture and focus on the prevention of serious injuries and fatalities is reflected in our updated Life Saving Rules. Built on the International Association of Oil & Gas Producers’ life-saving rules, Ovintiv’s Life Saving Rules provide clear guidelines for making safe decisions in a variety of operational situations. The expanded rules are based on in-depth analysis of our SIF data and focus more on high-hazard exposures.

Life Saving Rules

In addition to our Life Saving Rules, we have identified Risk Amplifiers and Controls. Risk Amplifiers apply to every task, every day and remain critical to the prevention of serious injuries and fatalities. Controls refer to safety mechanisms such as engineering controls, administrative controls and personal protective equipment in place to protect employees and contractors on the job.

Life Saving Rules

Measuring Safety Performance

Safety metrics are included in our annual Company scorecard which guides our compensation and rewards strong safety performance. This year we have added injury severity to our safety metrics to align with our goal of preventing the occurrence of serious incidents.

If an incident does occur, we immediately work to address the situation. We use an incident management system to capture data, including injuries and illness, motor vehicle incidents, spills and near misses, which helps us gain knowledge from these events. This data is analyzed by our safety specialists and operations teams to identify root causes and improve our practices. It is also used to inform EH&S audits and inspections.

Scorecard Safety Metrics

Total Recordable Injury Frequency

Injury Severity*

* Injury severity was added to our scorecard in 2023 and is defined as the simple average of the severity of all recordable injuries experienced in the year where severity is determined using the U.S. Workers’ Compensation Injury Classification System.

EH&S Strategy and Performance Management

Managing EH&S performance starts with our commitment to safety, environmental stewardship, protected and secure work sites and reliable regulatory performance.

We support our commitments with programs and policies that set expectations and clearly identify governance. From our Board 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 our operations management system (OMS) to measure, track and understand our performance.

Ovintiv’s OMS guides our:

  • Company-wide policies and metrics
  • 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

Governed by:

  • Board and executive leadership team
  • Central EH&S team
  • Operating area leadership
  • Corporate and field employees

Our EH&S and Chief Operations Engineering teams are currently collaborating on refreshing our OMS to ensure the system is robust and relevant to our current operating practices.

Employee Training

We are committed to providing the necessary tools, training and leadership capacity required to conduct our work safely every day. As identified in the work of our Safety Advisory Task Force, we have incorporated safety expectations into our Foundational Leadership Capabilities and delivered Safety Leadership Awareness training to all staff with a plan to roll out an expanded safety competency development program to all staff in 2024.

Each year, our EH&S and operations teams work in partnership to develop training plans so that employees receive EH&S training specific to their roles. Through this approach, we offer approximately 100 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.

Motor vehicle incidents are the leading cause of injury and death in the oil and natural gas industry. 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 which gathers data for risk analysis and driver performance to identify areas for improvement.

Collaborating with Service Providers

It is imperative that we collaborate with service providers who share our commitment to safe work always. We are continuing to streamline our systems and processes to ensure safety considerations are integrated into service provider selection, onboarding, and performance management, including:  

  • Integrating specific safety considerations into our Request for Proposal process
  • Developing a digital Company-wide general service provider orientation to replace local processes

In addition, we continue to engage with our suppliers through:  

  • Annual Service Provider Excellence meetings to discuss EH&S expectations, perform lookbacks on incidents and ask for feedback
  • Quarterly EH&S Key Performance Indicator (KPI) reviews to ensure suppliers are continuing to meet our EH&S standards with regards to quality, operability and reliability  
  • Monthly engagement to discuss ongoing EH&S efforts
  • Routine audits to evaluate compliance with Ovintiv’s safe work expectations
  • Pre-project orientations to check equipment, brief crews on Ovintiv’s Service Provider Expectations manual and ensure crews have required training

In addition to tracking these assessments to maintain a performance history on our suppliers, we use ISNetworld to further evaluate supplier safety programs and performance. ISNetworld allows Ovintiv to verify that our suppliers have acknowledged and adopted the required EH&S procedures before starting work. 

Incident and Emergency Management

Ovintiv’s primary concern is the well-being of our employees, contractors, service providers, first responders and citizens in the communities where we operate. Undesired and unplanned events can happen, and if they do, we have robust plans in place to manage these situations.

Our emergency preparedness program outlines all aspects of our response requirements for staff who may be expected to fill a roll within the incident command system. Our emergency response and incident management practice describes the expectations and protocols to be followed in responding to incidents and emergencies. Our staff conduct training and exercises annually to ensure proficiency and to meet regulatory requirements.

Our business continuity program enables organizational resilience by identifying critical business processes, assessing potential risks for business interruptions, guiding the organization’s response to those disruptions, and guiding Ovintiv in returning to effective operations. Should a crisis arise, a crisis management team comprised of the executive leadership team members responsible for Operations, EH&S and Corporate Services along with senior leadership members from EH&S, Human Resources, Information Technology, Legal, Communications and others deemed appropriate is formed to guide crisis response.


Monitoring community needs and protecting our assets

During the 2023 wildfire season in Alberta and British Columbia, our teams intently monitored wildfires and stayed in close contact with provincial emergency management personnel, Indigenous communities, first responders, and local evacuation shelters to provide aid and/or assistance as required. We coordinated with industry partners and area operators to prepare our assets for any necessary response. In addition to using resources from provincial wildfire monitoring services, we developed our own environmental hazard monitoring dashboard to track fires as well as other weather and geological events with potential to impact our operations.