Fostering a Culture of Safety
Chesapeake’s success is built on our strong safety culture. Each year we work to improve our safety performance and set stringent, safety-related corporate goals.
In 2017, our safety record improved from an employee TRIR of 0.27 (2016) to 0.05 (2017), the best employee safety performance in company history. We attribute this continued improvement to a more safety-aware culture driven by expanded safety programs focusing on our corporate campus and safe driving. We also continue to increase and emphasize our safety communications, highlighting both Stop Work Authority and personal accountability.
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 working to equip 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.) program, 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 and a safe corporate campus.
Improving Corporate 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 employees on our corporate campus can also encounter safety concerns.
To increase safety awareness among corporate campus employees, we host both a training program focused on campus-specific hazards and emphasize our Good Catch initiative. These targeted communications apply safety to the corporate environment, focusing on 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 review our corporate campus to suggest safety design improvements. Past safety improvements have included installing speed bumps in parking garages, increasing signage around pedestrian walkways and reconfiguring the walking and parking areas near our Child Development Center. We also have a floor warden emergency response program in which designated employees facilitate emergency evacuations and cascade safety messages to their co-workers.
Another safety awareness program that occurs on our corporate campus but broadcasts to all employees is our quarterly Safety Town Hall meetings. During these hour-long sessions, operational professionals share their personal safety experiences, as well as lessons learned through their job functions. Each meeting has a theme relevant to a particular safety need at the time, such as weather-related injuries or trends recognized through Good Catch analyses. Employees are invited to attend these Town Hall meetings in person, or they may watch a recording on our intranet.
For the fifth consecutive year, our motor vehicle accident (MVA) rate decreased, declining by more than 45% since 2013.
While we are pleased with this continued decrease in vehicle accidents, we recognize the need to always work harder at our safe driving performance. We work to improve driver safety through three programs: driver education; driver monitoring; and safe driver recognition.
Chesapeake’s drivers participate in seven 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 begin to 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.
Through our in-vehicle monitoring system (IVMS), we are able to track employee driver habits and safety concerns. Employees are alerted when they speed, accelerate too fast or brake suddenly. The system also records all accidents, and supervisors review reports of their employees’ driving behavior on a regular basis. The data gathered by this system is used to provide an IVMS rate as a leading indicator. The IVMS rate allows the company to monitor improvement in driving habits which can contribute to a reduction in motor vehicle incidents.
As further incentive to encourage safe driving habits, we also host a recognition program — the 100% Club — available to drivers assigned to a fleet vehicle. Through this program, drivers receive recognition points for reaching mileage milestones without triggering an IVMS alert. Recognition points may be exchanged for prizes, with the ultimate reward being the opportunity to purchase a fleet vehicle at a 50% discount.
New for 2017, we expanded our IVMS to further safeguard our employees. Certain Chesapeake team members spend their shifts working independently on remote sites. By wearing a personal monitor connected to the company’s IVMS, individuals in the field can receive faster response should they experience an emergency. The monitor tracks personal movements, alerting other team members if an employee is immobile for a period of time, and enables two-way communication if help is needed.
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 facilitate a comprehensive contractor safety management program.
Our uncompromising safety standard requires all Chesapeake contractors to complete a prequalification process, including both a Chesapeake safety orientation and an industry orientation course, before arriving on a company location. The orientation sets clear safety expectations in accordance with SafeLandUSA industry-standard safety guidelines, which establish minimum requirements for Health, Safety, Environmental and Regulatory (HSER) 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.
Each year we review and revise this orientation for accuracy in methodology and compliance with new regulations. We also closely monitor our contractor safety handbook, which outlines 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.
To supplement these two communications and further emphasize our commitment to safety, we host quarterly contractor and vendor safety meetings. During these meetings, our Operations staff tailor safety discussions to the individual geographies where contractors and vendors are working, as each region may have different safety-related concerns. As an additional step, we conduct contractor assessments in the field. These assessments, coordinated with our HSER audit team, confirm that our contractors are reporting their safety performance accurately.
Partnering for a Safe Industry
Chesapeake partners with several industry trade organizations to share key safety learnings with our peers. While we may compete in the marketplace, we are united in keeping our employees, partners and neighbors safe. Chesapeake is involved in safety-related committees within the American Exploration & Production Council (AXPC) and the American Petroleum Institute, and participates in the American Society of Safety Engineers and the National Safety Council. We also engage on a local level. For example, we partner with the South Texas Exploration and Production Safety Network (STEPS) to promote safety, health and environmental improvements across the industry in South Texas.