ONEOK continuously assesses the risks employees face in their jobs and works to mitigate those risks through training, appropriate engineering controls, work procedures and other preventive safety and health programs.

We evaluate these processes to identify certain focus areas and opportunities for improvement that will meet the high expectations for safety and health set by company leadership and expected by all of our stakeholders.


ONEOK’s overall operational success depends in large part on an integrated management system approach founded on continuous improvement. The company’s Environment, Safety and Health (ESH) Management System provides expectations and a framework for operating assets safely, reliably and in an environmentally sensitive manner.


These elements establish standard operating guidelines across the company and represent risk controls that are key to successful operations and regulatory compliance. A “Plan, Do, Check and Adjust” model for continuous improvement is employed for each of the system’s 11 elements as they are executed throughout the organization.

Risk Identification and Management

Identifying, assessing and managing physical risks.

Operational Controls

Managing specific operational risks to include operating procedures, asset integrity, work permitting and environmental management.

Management of Change

Minimizing risk as a result of operational/organizational changes.

Contractor Management

Selecting qualified contractors, setting expectations and monitoring their work.

Design, Construction and Initial Startup

Utilizing engineering and construction standards, where appropriate, and controlling risks associated with asset startup.

Emergency Management

Having proper emergency action plans and being prepared to execute them when warranted.

Incident Reporting and Investigation

Reporting incidents both internally and externally, as required, conducting timely investigations and sharing lessons learned, as appropriate, to assist in future similar incident prevention.

Training and Competency

Providing the right training our employees need to competently and safely perform their work tasks.

Stakeholder Engagement

Fostering an open dialogue about our operations with both internal and external stakeholders.

Information and Document Control

Maintaining important information and documents relative to the operation of our assets and the management of associated risks.

Assessment and Improvement

Assessing our adherence and performance against established operating/regulatory expectations and sharing key performance indicators, as appropriate, with stakeholders.


ONEOK performs safety and health capability reviews that bring a multidisciplinary team of employees together to assess and consolidate the company’s safety and health management practices. These include standards and procedures around 14 process safety management (PSM) elements as defined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). A committee was created as an extension of the reviews to drive ongoing analysis and improvement.

Employee responsibilities and expectations for each element are defined in the PSM standards. Training is required for all applicable employees, and operations procedure training is conducted every three years.

  • Employee participation.
  • Process safety information.
  • Process hazard analysis.
  • Operating procedures.
  • Training.
  • Contractors.
  • Pre-startup safety review.
  • Mechanical integrity.
  • Hot work permits.
  • Management of change.
  • Incident investigations.
  • Emergency planning and response.
  • Compliance audits.
  • Trade secrets.


ONEOK uses several metrics to help monitor its safety and health performance, including rates tracking recordable incidents and preventable vehicle incidents. In 2019, company performance in both metrics was the best on record.

For additional safety and health data, visit


ONEOK reported a 2019 Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR) of 0.32, outperforming the 2019 target of 0.52 and showing a 45% improvement compared with 2018 actual results of 0.58. Our 2020 TRIR target is 0.31.

We have included TRIR as a part of our short-term incentive plan performance criteria for all employees since 2009. Inclusion of this important safety metric is designed to emphasize ONEOK’s commitment to safe operations and to reward safe behavior throughout the company.

ONEOK documented nine recordable injuries and no recordable illnesses in 2019. During 2018, the company documented 11 recordable injuries and four recordable illnesses.

TRIR is the number of OSHA-recordable injuries and illnesses per 200,000 work hours.


Preventable Vehicle Incident Rate (PVIR) is a key indicator of employee driving performance and helps ONEOK manage safety and health risks associated with driving. ONEOK reported a 2019 PVIR of 1.04, outperforming the 2019 target of 1.05 and showing a 6% improvement compared with 2018 actual results of 1.11. Our 2020 PVIR target is 0.94.

PVIR is preventable vehicle incidents (PVIs), where the driver failed to reasonably avoid the incident, per 1 million miles driven.

Severity categories help leadership coach employees more effectively regarding PVIs and focus attention on preventing PVIs that have a higher likelihood of resulting in injury or damage to property.

These categories are:

Tier I – Fatality, hospitalization or property damage greater than $50,000.

Tier II – Recordable injury, vehicle tow away, minor fire/release, property damage $25,000 – $50,000 or direct impact to process equipment.

Tier III – First aid injury, vehicle driven away, property damage $3,000 – $25,000 or occurs within 10 feet of process equipment.

Tier IV – No injury, minor damage (dent, scratch or ding) or property damage less than $3,000 that occurs more than 10 feet from process equipment.


ONEOK uses telematics technology to promote safe driving habits of employees and to help reduce risk while on the road. This GPS and onboard diagnostics system is currently present in more than 90% of our fleet vehicles and uses audible cues to notify drivers in real-time of potentially unsafe driving behaviors such as harsh braking, harsh acceleration or speeding.

The technology identifies individual driving patterns and assigns each driver a score, or report card, each month in order to identify opportunities for improvement.

Senior leadership recognized 232 drivers for earning “A” report cards, or driving scores of 90% or above, for all 12 months of 2019 while also having no PVIs and traveling at least 1,000 miles each month. This was an increase over the 184 drivers who achieved this top performance mark during 2018.


We prioritize the safety and health of our workforce and require various trainings to help equip our employees with the knowledge they need to operate safely and responsibly. Depending on the job function, ONEOK employees may each be required to complete between 60 and 80 safety and health-focused core field training requirements.

Employees completed more than 36,000 total safety and health training hours during 2019. Courses included hazard communication, fire protection, hot work, atmospheric monitoring and ONEOK personal protective equipment.

Core requirements also include Emergency Response Action Plan training, which must be completed every 12 months. ONEOK’s Emergency Action Plan contains information used during emergencies to protect employees, contractors, responders and assets while maximizing the safety of the public and environment. It is created in accordance with the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), OSHA and EPA risk-management program regulations


ONEOK uses third-party contractors to assist in the construction, operation and maintenance of our facilities and assets. Contractor management is an important element of ONEOK’s ESH Management System, and we require our contractors to maintain the same high ESH performance standards that we require of our employees.

ONEOK has established contractor qualification, selection and retention criteria designed to attract the most qualified companies. Each contractor is responsible for providing personnel who are appropriately screened, trained and qualified. Once selected, contractors are monitored for compliance with ESH expectations.

ONEOK’s large construction projects team uses the Safety Tracking for ONEOK Major Projects (STOMP) safety tool, software that is designed to capture and monitor contractors’ ESH performance. STOMP assists ONEOK and contract employees in the prevention of injuries, equipment damage, environmental impact and facility downtime.

For contractor safety statistics, visit