Safety

We put the health and safety of our people, customers, and communities above all else. We strive to continuously improve a workplace where safety is the priority, and everyone feels prepared and equipped to safely undertake any task – or stop work if they feel unsafe.

We maintain comprehensive emergency response plans for all facilities and lines of business, and work closely with industry groups, communities and customers on emergency preparedness planning and training exercises. This collaborative preparation helps to strengthen relationships within our communities, while facilitating a more effective response.

Our commitment to Safety means:

  • We believe no job is so urgent that it cannot be done safely.
  • We take action to prevent environmental, health and safety issues.
  • We pursue operational excellence to ensure we deliver our energy solutions safely and reliably.
  • We proactively identify and manage risks, review best practices and integrate lessons learned to our health and safety planning.

Protecting our Customers and Communities

Our Utilities provide essential energy services to customers in Alaska, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Michigan and Virginia. Our people Every day, our people are working to ensure that our systems are operating safely and reliably.

Emergency Planning and Preparedness

Our teams are prepared and equipped to quickly and safely respond to emergency situations. We proactively identify and manage risks, share learnings, and use industry-standard best practices.

We have comprehensive emergency response plans for all facilities and lines of business. We conduct regular emergency response exercises, which are often coordinated with local first responders. These exercises help us gain a better understanding of each other’s roles and responsibilities, so we are more effective in our response.

Investing in Emergency Equipment

To ensure first responders are properly equipped, we placed nearly $200,000 in emergency response equipment in Prince George and Prince Rupert to help establish temporary command posts if needed. CN Rail also funded equipment caches for Valemont, Terrace and Smithers that can easily be transported to remote locations by helicopter if required. With this new equipment, the CN railway between Jasper and Prince Rupert now boasts the highest concentration of emergency response equipment in North America.

Firefighters

Railway training

Training Along the Railway

From construction through operation, the project focused on safeguarding the health and safety of our people, the local community and the communities along the railway connecting RIPET to our Midstream plants. To prepare first responders for the handling of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), we sponsored emergency LPG Firefighting Training in Terrace, Thornhill, Kitimat, Smithers, Telkwa, Port Edward and Prince Rupert.

Pipeline Damage Prevention

Safe Digging Campaigns

Every year, Washington Gas, ENSTAR, SEMCO run Safe Digging campaigns to help prevent pipeline damage that can cause injuries, property damage, and interrupted service. We provide educational initiatives and training sessions and emphasize the importance of dialing 811 before any excavation work begins.

National 811 Day is celebrated annually in the U.S. on August 11, and is an opportunity for our Utilities to partner with industry peers and increase awareness of the free 811 “Call Before You Dig” service.

 

Responding to our Customers

Our Utilities have 24/7 Gas Control and Dispatch Centers to respond to customers’ concerns and mobilize teams in the event of an incident. Our Washington Gas call center receives approximately 50,000 calls per year related to odour or general concerns. They respond to about 15 incidents per week, which usually involve a third-party contractor striking a pipeline during excavation. Our response time averages 30 minutes from the time the initial call comes in until our team’s arrival on site.

Protecting Our People

A healthy, safe and inclusive workplace enables our people to do their best work. We are diligent in reinforcing a strong safety culture, embrace a mindset of continuous improvement and take great care in investing in programs to keep our people safe.

Workplace Safety

Our environment, health and safety (EHS) standards and guidelines set expectations and parameters that apply across the organization and provide a framework to reinforce our safety culture. Each employee and contractor must commit to upholding our EHS policy and living our core values on the job every day.

Our EHS strategy and policy are guided by our EHS Board committee. This committee oversees the development of all EHS programs for the company.

Safety Training

Achieving exceptional safety performance and a zero-injury culture is a top priority. To strengthen safe behaviours, we use a frontline training program called SafeStart. Through open discussions and scenario-based learning, SafeStart educates employees on common mistakes and unsafe behaviours and provides tips for prevention. To date, 72 percent of employees have completed SafeStart training.

Innovative Safety Tools

In some of our facilities, employees use wearable GPS devices when working in remote or potentially hazardous locations. This allows supervisors to identify potential safety concerns and quickly locate and help employees in the event of an incident.

The business applications of geolocation technologies have:

  • improved operational accuracy
  • enhanced safety measures
  • accelerated emergency response

Using GPS to Respond to an Incident in Anchorage {case study}

GPS sensors in our service vehicles were invaluable during a recent pipeline accident in Anchorage, Alaska. A contractor accidentally punctured one of ENSTAR’s underground pipelines. Dispatch teams were able to identify the closest technicians and had a crew at the site within minutes.

Safety Performance

In 2018, we had a Total Recordable Injury Frequency (TRIF) of 1.50 per 200,000 work hours and an Employee Motor Vehicle Accident Rate of 0.85 per 1,000,000 kilometers driven.

We are committed to continuous improvement, operational excellence and a zero-incident culture.

Learn more about our commitment to the safety of our people and communities through our ESG reporting.