ESH Commitment

We are committed to pursuing a zero-incident culture by continuously working to mitigate risk and eliminate incidents that may bring harm to our employees, contractors, the public and the environment.

Our strategic plans establish an expectation of environment, safety and health (ESH) performance that is required for long-term success. Strategic oversight is provided by the ESH Leadership Committee, which is composed of senior management and subject- matter experts representing key areas of ESH. 

ONEOK’s Operating Commitment defines five key drivers that require a balanced focus for successful operation of our assets - Safety and Environmental Responsibility; Compliance; Customer Service; Quality; and Cost Effectiveness.

The key drivers relating to ESH are Safety and Environmental Responsibility and Compliance. Safety and Environmental Responsibility is defined as “continuously improving safety and environmental culture and performance,” and Compliance, which is defined as “aspiring to 100 percent compliance with applicable laws, regulations and internal procedures,” represent our commitment to corporate responsibility.

In 2016, to help internal and external stakeholders more clearly understand their roles in helping us achieve our ESH expectations, the ESH Leadership Committee expanded our ESH Commitment to include five expectations for all employees and contractors: 

  • All employees have the responsibility and the ability to control operating exposures that may cause an incident and prevent incidents, even if it means stopping work;
  • All levels of management and all employees must have personal involvement with and commitment to ESH management and compliance;
  • All employees have the responsibility to report or elevate potential ESH compliance risks, incidents and near misses to the proper level in the organization;
  • Protection of human health and safety and the environment is a priority, no matter how urgent the job, project or commercial interest; and
  • All employees and contractors are responsible and accountable for understanding and complying with all laws, regulations, permits, requirements and procedures related to their roles and responsibilities, including those associated with ESH.

We also provide our board of directors with quarterly updates on ESH statistics and continuous improvement efforts.

In addition, two metrics related to ESH influence short-term incentive compensation for our employees, including:

  • Total Recordable Incident Rate, which calculates total Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) illnesses and injuries; and
  • Agency Reportable Environmental Event Rate (AREER), which is the total number of releases and excess emission events that trigger a federal, state or local environmental reporting requirement.

Ariele Brownfield, operations engineer at Mont Belvieu storage and fractionation facility.