Fostering a Culture of Safety

Chesapeake’s success is built on our strong safety culture. We work to improve our safety record each year, and set stringent, safety-related corporate goals to drive this performance.

In 2014, we implemented a number of systemic changes to emphasize making safe decisions and stopping work if unsafe conditions exist. While these safety culture-focused programs continued in 2015, we saw our Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR) increase slightly — a growth that does not reflect our commitment to continuous improvement. To respond to this increase, we expanded existing safety programs and developed new initiatives to target areas and locations, such as our corporate campus, where we saw an increase in incidents. 

Equipping Employees to Make Safe Decisions

Creating an incident-free work environment starts with setting clear expectations among employees, contractors and suppliers regarding our safety standards, and providing these individuals with the skills necessary to promote safety in their areas of work.

The foundation of our safety training efforts is our Stay Accident Free Every Day (S.A.F.E.) initiative, which encourages all workers on our sites to take personal responsibility for their safety and the safety of those around them. This behavior-based program addresses the activities that can often lead to safety incidents and encourages actions that create safe work sites.


Improving Campus Safety

Ensuring that everyone goes home safely every day requires a commitment from all employees. Field employees are often exposed to a greater number of on-the-job hazards, yet in 2015, employees on our corporate campus experienced a number of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recordable incidents.

To increase safety awareness among campus employees, we initiated both a training program focused on campus-specific slips, trips and falls, as well as other related hazards, and expanded our Good Catch initiative to include campus. These targeted communications apply safety to the corporate environment, pointing out behavior often caused by distraction or lack of safety knowledge.  

In addition to providing corporate employees with tangible safety tips and a dedicated campus safety page on our intranet, we made campus design improvements, from installing speed bumps in parking garages to increasing signage around pedestrian walkways. We also adopted a floor warden emergency response program where designated employees facilitate emergency evacuations and cascade safety messages to their co-workers. And, we increased the frequency of our fire and tornado drills to test our emergency action plans, as well as initiated quarterly campus safety Town Hall meetings and frequent topical lunch and learn sessions.

Raising Safe Driving Performance

In 2015, our motor vehicle accident (MVA) rate decreased 22% compared to 2014 (from 2.46 per million miles in 2014 to 2.02 in 2015). While we are pleased with this decrease, we continue to work diligently to improve our driving safety performance through driver education and recognition programs.

Chesapeake’s drivers participate in six online and classroom courses, including the Smith Driving System, which offers hands-on driving training common in driver’s education and defensive driving curriculum. Armed with this training, employees acquire consistent habits that help prevent accidents. In field offices where extreme weather is more likely, we offer employees simulator training where they can experience driving on ice, in the snow and rain, and receive notes to improve their inclement weather driving.

As further incentive to encourage safe driving habits, we also initiated a recognition program for fleet vehicle drivers who average 1,000 miles per month and drive six consecutive months without receiving an alert from our fleet tracking and driver behavior management software. Referred to as the 100% Club, this recognition program rewards employees for not speeding, accelerating too fast, braking suddenly or being involved in an at-fault accident. With more than 696 members across the company, the 100% Club drivers are recognized at monthly safety meetings and receive a gift.

Applying Our Uncompromising Safety Standard to Everyone

We recognize that safety depends on everyone at our work sites. For this reason, and to further our commitment to providing a safe work environment, we implemented a comprehensive contractor management and safety program.

Our uncompromising safety standard requires all Chesapeake contractors to complete a prequalification process, including both a Chesapeake safety orientation and an industry training course, before arriving on a company location. The orientation sets clear safety expectations in accordance with SafeLandUSA industry-standard safety guidelines, which establishes minimum requirements for EHS practices. Volunteers from major and independent operating companies, industry associations and educators developed the SafeLandUSA guidelines specifically for the U.S. onshore exploration and production industry.

In 2014 we revised our contractor safety handbook to further outline and emphasize the basic safety and environmental requirements that all personnel must follow when working on our sites. This handbook sets the minimum expectations for acceptable work activity, and reiterates an employee or contractor’s responsibility to stop work that is believed to be unsafe or that could lead to environmental impact. Coinciding with this handbook update, we hosted a number of contractor safety orientations, and are continuing these orientations in 2016.