Safety and Health Capability Review

In 2016, our ESH department began a Safety and Health Capability Review to evaluate the effectiveness of various safety programs, processes and tools we use across our operations.

This review was an opportunity to better understand the existing practices used across our company and to identify areas where knowledge sharing and increased consistency will yield improvements.

The primary goal of the Safety and Health Capability Review was to capitalize on the countless safety improvements we have made over the years by delivering improvements in a more consistent and effective manner. Our Integrated Operations Services (IOS) group was created and tasked with doing just this - integrating our technical and compliance capabilities in all of our operating groups into a cohesive group with a singular purpose.

Since the inception of the IOS group in 2014, we have steadily increased the number of safety and health initiatives across business-segment boundaries, thus creating a more cohesive safety and health program.

The results of the review are expected to be completed in 2017, and subsequent improvements are expected to manifest themselves in improved relationships with customers, efficiency gains, quicker adoption of best practices, improved focus, reduced waste and more effective utilization of resources. Ultimately, improvements made will enhance our ability to deliver on our key drivers.

Stakeholder Outreach

As our business grows and our geographic footprint expands, it is essential to continue strengthening our commitment to improving ESH performance.

As we remain focused on our mission to operate reliably, safely and environmentally responsibly, we continue to build stakeholder value. We are committed to creating value for all stakeholders through the optimum development and utilization of our resources. That’s why Stakeholder Outreach is a key initiative among the five established in 2015 by the ESH Leadership Committee.

Stakeholder Outreach is designed to proactively tell our story and create a more targeted approach to sharing information with those who want to know more about us.

ONEOK stakeholders include:

  • Customers;
  • Employees;
  • The public;
  • Regulatory agencies; and
  • Investors.

Stakeholder outreach helps us understand what information these groups receive about ONEOK and through which vehicles they are receiving the information. From there, we can review outcomes and ways to improve.

Public Awareness Program

We are committed to providing safe, reliable energy and energy-related services, and promoting the safety of people who live and work near our pipelines and other facilities. As a result, we allocate the necessary resources and funding to develop, implement and manage our Public Awareness Program.

The objectives of the program are to:

  • Raise the awareness of key stakeholders of the presence of pipelines in their communities;
  • Educate those who live or work near our pipelines to recognize and react to a pipeline leak or emergency;
  • Help excavators understand the steps they can take to prevent damage and to respond safely and promptly should their actions cause damage to our pipelines;
  • Better educate the affected public, emergency officials, local public officials and other key groups about our organization’s emergency response and key safety procedures in the unlikely event of an operating problem or incident; and
  • Allow emergency response agencies to better understand the safe and proper actions to take to respond to a release or pipeline emergency.

In 2016, we reached out to thousands of members of the public across our operating footprint to increase pipeline awareness.

ESH Compliance Software

In 2016, ONEOK implemented a new software solution to manage our ESH compliance and reporting.

This new system is a “one-stop shop” for reporting and managing all ESH events. With one simple, web-based form, all employees now are able to report an event by answering five simple questions: who, what, when, where and how. ESH coordinators now have the ability to more rapidly deploy follow-up actions to events. All of this information may be easily reported to support current and future ESH management needs.

This new capability has provided ONEOK with the ability to collect and report ESH event data in the same manner across all business units, thus giving us a more comprehensive view of our ESH metrics. By standardizing and centralizing our event data, we are able to track and share knowledge across ONEOK in a more efficient manner, which we expect will improve our safety and compliance.

Since November 2016, more than 800 events have been reported, including preventive events categorized as “Near Misses” and “Good Catches.” By capturing these types of events and training on them, we expect to proactively avoid potential safety or environmental issues. The system’s flexibility also allows us to quickly adapt to changes in company structure, so even as the industry changes, our systems will be able to support our ESH efforts.

In the coming year, we expect to develop a mobile event reporting application to enable employees to report events from any location. The project team also will be working to implement new modules to manage environmental compliance that will provide ONEOK with a platform to standardize and centralize compliance tasks and reporting.

Preventable Vehicle Incident Severity Ranking

ONEOK has reported its Preventable Vehicle Incident Rate (PVIR) in each Corporate Responsibility Report since 2009. This metric is a key indicator of employee driving performance and helps us manage health and safety risks associated with driving. 

A Preventable Vehicle Incident (PVI) is any incident involving a fleet or rental motor vehicle that results in an injury to any person or damage to any vehicle or property where the driver failed to reasonably avoid the incident. 

The circumstances around each PVI are not the same and results may vary. To help our leadership team coach employees more effectively regarding PVIs, a severity category was added to the PVI metric in 2016.

Now, PVIs are placed into one of four categories with Tier I being the most severe and Tier IV being the least severe. Criteria were defined to establish guidelines to categorize each PVI, which allows leadership to focus attention on preventing PVIs that have a higher likelihood of resulting in an injury to people or damage to property.

We believe the severity categories will increase the effectiveness of our initiatives aimed at improving our ESH efforts.

Tier I – Fatality, hospitilization, major fire/release, property damage >$50K.

Tier II – Recordable injury, vehicle tow away, minor fire/release, property damage $25K – $50K, direct impact to process equipment.

Tier III – First-aid injury, vehicle driven away, property damage $3K – $25K, occurs within 10 feet of process equipment.

Tier IV – No injury, minor damage (dent, scratch or ding), property damage <$3K, occurs greater than 10 feet from process equipment.

Enterprise Risk-Management Assessment

Each year, our Audit Services group conducts an enterprise risk-management (ERM) assessment. These assessments are conducted by officers of the company to analyze possible risks.

The program is designed to identify, assess, monitor and manage risks that could affect our ability to fulfill our business objectives or execute our corporate strategies. Our ERM process involves the identification and assessment of a broad range of risks and the development of plans to mitigate these risks. These risks generally relate to the strategic, operational, financial, regulatory compliance and human resources aspects of our business.

Officers assess each risk using multiple criteria, including impact to finances and operations, people, reputation or image, business strategy and the likelihood of the risk occurring.

In 2016, our ERM process improved in three areas:

  • Peer reviews;
  • Linking ERM risks and controls to drive specific audit testing; and
  • Assignment of primary and secondary risk owners.

The results are used to guide the company’s audit plan to address identified risks with emphasis on the highest risks. Additionally, part of our annual ERM review process includes an evaluation of our peer companies to identify possible emerging risks. Once completed, the assessment is reviewed with the ONEOK board. Because of this process, our risks are clearly defined and monitored, and effective controls are in place to mitigate those risks.

Task Force on Active-Shooter Response

In 2016, following an increase in active-shooter incidents across the country, ONEOK formed an internal task force to review company action plans and policies related to these types of incidents.

The task force included representatives from Information Technology, Information Security, Disaster Recovery, Corporate Services, Corporate Communications, Business Continuity, Building Services, Human Resources and ESH. We also sought feedback from external government and regulatory agencies.

Following a thorough evaluation of our current response procedures and policies we:

  • Implemented physical security upgrades at ONEOK Plaza in Tulsa, Oklahoma, including opening stairwells for everyday access to encourage employees to become more familiar with this source of protection and evacuation during an active-shooter emergency;
  • Enhanced incident-response processes to include specific actions related to active-shooter incidents; and
  • Updated emergency response protocols.
  • also distributed training to employees outlining individual response protocols during active-shooter incidents and reviewing any updated policies.
  • Safety and Health Highlights and Awards
  • Cheney natural gas processing plant in Cheney, Kansas, achieved a safety milestone – the completion of 50 years without a lost-time incident.
  • Antelope Hills natural gas processing plant in Crawford, Oklahoma, achieved a safety milestone – the completion of 35 years without a lost-time incident.
  • ONEOK Partners received the Gas Processors Association of Oklahoma Chairman’s Award for Safety Improvement. The award recognizes companies achieving a 25 percent or greater reduction in the Total Recordable Incident Rate as compared with the average of the Total Recordable Incident Rate for the past three years.
  • Garden Creek natural gas processing plant in Watford City, North Dakota, achieved a safety milestone – the completion of five years without a lost-time incident.
  • Lignite natural gas processing plant in Lignite, North Dakota, achieved a safety milestone – the completion of five years without a lost-time incident.
  • Sage Creek natural gas processing plant in Glenrock, Wyoming, achieved a safety milestone – the completion of five years without a lost-time incident.
CEO Environment, Safety and Health Leadership Award

Each year, President and Chief Executive Officer Terry Spencer selects one group within our organization that exemplifies ESH leadership.

This award – the CEO Environment, Safety and Health Leadership Award – was created in 2009 to promote ESH awareness and to foster improvement in ONEOK’s ESH initiatives. The program recognizes business segments and employee groups for outstanding ESH performance that goes “above and beyond” to improve the company’s ESH culture and performance. Award nominees are evaluated on ESH results, meaningful and effective initiatives and employee engagement.

In 2016, the pipelines and terminals group within our NGL segment was selected as the award recipient.

The group had the lowest Total Recordable Incident Rate (0.50) of any of our operating segments and the group’s single injury in 2015 represents a 67 percent improvement from its 2014 results. In addition, its Agency Reportable Environmental Event Rate was second-best in the company (0.24), and its Preventable Vehicle Incident Rate was down 9 percent from the prior year.

The group stood out based on its initiatives that focused on employee ownership and communication around safety program improvements while integrating the newly acquired West Texas NGL assets and employees into ONEOK throughout 2015.

NGL pipelines and terminals operations span from Texas to North Dakota and east to Illinois.