How safety is at the heart of all that pipeline companies do.

April 28th was the National Day of Mourning in Canada, a day commemorating workers who have been killed, injured or suffered illness due to workplace related hazards and incidents.

In 2016, 905 workplace deaths were recorded in Canada.

It’s shocking to think that with today’s technology, awareness and education, we are faced with such incredible tragedy.

For Canada’s transmission pipeline industry, safety is at the heart of all that we do. That’s why every meeting starts with a safety moment, a reflection on how we can all stay safe – whether on the job or at home.

And that’s why CEPA members have made fostering a strong safety culture a priority.

 

What is safety culture?

 

Safety culture is the shared beliefs, attitudes, norms and behaviours within an organization that influence safety-related outcomes. It means that safety is embedded as one of the core principles of an organization, and every action that employees take is done with safety in mind.

A strong safety culture begins at the top, with powerful leadership that cares about employees, communities and every Canadian who comes in contact with the industry. Pipeline company executives and managers lead by example. They value safety efforts, expertise, promote an inquiring/reporting attitude and nurture a just culture.

Other elements of a strong safety culture in an organization include:

  • Vigilance: knowing what’s going on, understanding safety information, reporting errors, sharing safety information
  • Empowerment and accountability: participation in safety activities, organization-wide safety ownership and communication, willingness to do what’s right
  • Resiliency: being ready to respond to unanticipated or changing conditions in a timely and effective manner

A strong safety culture does not spring up overnight. It requires systematic, long-term work, consistency and perseverance.

CEPA members have been developing their safety cultures for years, focusing on how to facilitate excellent safety performance within their own organizations. They are regularly evaluating their safety processes and programs by preparing audits on their own performance – constantly asking “how might we do this better?”

That’s why in 2015, all member companies came together to collaborate on safety culture with a commitment to developing a guidance document and facilitating shared learning opportunities arising from incidents. This work has led to a nearly 40% decline in work-related injury rates among CEPA member company employees and zero fatalities over the past five years.

Canada’s transmission pipelines are the safest and most responsible way to transport the energy that Canadians use every day. Developing a strong and deep safety culture is just one of the ways CEPA members work to make sure this continues to be true.