Dominion Energy places safety as the first among the company’s five core values — ahead of ethics, excellence, Embrace Change and One Dominion Energy, our term for teamwork. No other value can last long in any organization that does not put safety first.
To put safety at the forefront of everything we do and strive constantly toward a perfect safety record.
How We Performed:
2017 was our best safety year ever. Dominion Energy has cut OSHA-recordable injuries by more than half since 2010, in both actual numbers and on the basis of the OSHA-recordable rate, which is based on a ratio of incidents to hours worked. When there is an emergency gas-related call, company employees are on-site within one hour at least 98 percent of the time.
|We will maintain and enhance our programs designed to maintain zero work-related fatalities and to lead the industry in eliminating serious injuries. We aim to demonstrate that commitment by achieving and maintaining first-quartile performance in the Southeastern Electric Exchange peer utility benchmark.||At the end of the second quarter, we were in the first quartile and second overall for safety performance in the Southeastern Electric Exchange peer utility benchmark.|
|Dominion Energy’s natural-gas division has developed comprehensive pipeline and storage integrity programs for decades. These include ongoing programs that evaluate the condition and threats on pipelines and storage wells to inform decision-making and provide targeted, proactive approaches to Operations and Maintenance. These programs include internal and external corrosion evaluations, smart pigging, aerial and foot patrols, public awareness, landowner engagement, third-party damage prevention, storage-well inspections, high-tech logging of storage well downhole components and many others. For 2018:
||Twenty-eight miles of bare pipe have been replaced. 140 remotely controlled valves and 14 mainline valves to enhance the safety of our transmission pipelines were installed by the end of July 2018.|
|By the end of 2019, we anticipate inspecting 125,000 wood poles to ensure that they meet Dominion Energy’s safe design standards.||The company is on pace to complete these inspections.|
|Our Western-state gas operations plan to implement a pipeline excavation damage prevention program for safety and to reduce methane emissions.||In progress and on target.|
Where We’re Headed:
We will continue to improve our safety performance year over year until we achieve our goal: zero safety incidents for both employees and members of the public.
In workplace safety, we will maintain and enhance our programs designed to maintain zero work-related fatalities and to lead the industry in eliminating serious injuries. We aim to demonstrate that commitment by achieving and maintaining first-quartile performance in the Southeastern Electric Exchange peer utility benchmark, and we strive to achieve first-quartile performance compared to American Gas Association companies of similar size and category.
As part of our comprehensive pipeline integrity programs we consistently seek ways to go beyond compliance and improve our effectiveness. The company pipelines conduct reviews for targeted portions of the pipeline each year. And we have proactively committed to replace 50 miles of bare transmission pipeline by 2020 across the Dominion Energy Transmission, Inc., system. Company pipelines have partnered with the industry to improve response times; to support this initiative, we have committed to install an additional 250 remote-controlled or automated valves across the Dominion Energy footprint by 2020.
As another proactive program to improve response times, Dominion Energy has committed to install 20 additional mainline valves on critical areas of our natural gas pipeline systems.
We also increased the number of storage wells logged to more than 80 percent with plans to exceed 84 percent in 2018, and 87 percent in 2019.
By the end of 2019, we anticipate inspecting 125,000 wood poles to ensure that they meet Dominion Energy’s safe design standards.
We are scheduled to inspect approximately 20,000 padmount transformers to ensure that they meet Dominion Energy’s design standards by the end of 2019.
In 2017, as part of expanding our already robust pipeline and storage integrity programs, we set a record for miles inspected using smart pigging tools at more than 820 miles in a single year — with plans to pig at least 1,100 in 2018. We also increased the number of storage wells logged to more than 80 percent with plans to exceed 84 percent in 2018 and 87 percent in 2019.
Keeping Everyone Safe
Our first and most fundamental workplace goal is to send every employee home safe and sound, every day. That is the only acceptable standard of performance.
A few years ago we launched a vigorous effort to instill safety awareness at every level of our operations. That begins at the very top: CEO Tom Farrell begins each quarterly earnings call with an update about the company’s safety performance. Meetings at the company start with a safety message – whether it’s a reminder to stay hydrated during hot weather or a warning to steer clear of downed power lines after a storm.
Our philosophy is that working safely is our way of doing business. All employees are expected to follow safe work practices and accept accountability for their actions. On an ongoing basis, all levels of management and employees must work together to foster this safety culture.
That culture is driven by four interdependent components:
- Management commitment and involvement at all levels
- Employee commitment and involvement
- Hazard analysis, prevention, and control
- Training and education
Our strategy focuses on improving safety performance continually. To do this, the company relies on several basic practices acting in concert. We want to make sure personal accountability for safety remains strong, situational awareness remains high, workplace hazards are minimized, regulatory compliance is achieved, and public safety is never compromised. An active and visible leadership commitment to safety serves as a constant reminder of the important role a strong safety culture plays in the company’s overall success.
The core of the safety program rests on a set of corporate policies that set clear expectations for safety excellence. For instance, managers are expected to make sure that employees follow proper safety procedures, that hazards are addressed before work begins, that employees are encouraged to report workplace injuries, and that only trained, authorized employees are permitted to use or maintain machinery and equipment. Among other things, employees are expected to stop working if conditions are not safe, to report safety issues, and to refrain from horseplay or practical joking.
Each business group tailors these policies to their specific work activities. We foster strong collaboration, and share incident information and best practices – both within the company and outside it, through peer groups such as the Southeast Electric Exchange and the Edison Electric Institute, the American Gas Association and the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America.
We reinforce safety expectations with employees and contractors through classroom and practical training on safe work practices, the use of personal protective equipment, and by stressing the importance of situational awareness. To make them effective, the lessons are tailored to specific jobs, and the company safety program is guided by the expertise of safety professionals with extensive education and experience. These efforts have produced a strong safety record that has received industry recognition. In August 2018, Dominion Energy Ohio received the American Gas Association’s Safety Achievement Award for excellence in employee safety for large local distribution companies, recognizing DEO’s 2017 performance. The company has won the award — the natural gas utility trade group’s highest employee safety honor — multiple times. Dominion Energy operations in Utah and West Virginia, as well as Dominion Energy Questar Pipeline and Dominion Energy Transmission, Inc., also received AGA Industry Leader in Accident Prevention awards for performance in 2017.
A Record of Performance
We use engineering controls to increase the margin of safety where specific tasks involve hazards that warrant added protection. Safety specialists from across the company meet regularly. Safety committees include employees and highlight and reinforce heightened safety awareness both at work and at home.
Root-cause analysis enables the company to fully understand and address the factors that contributed to significant incidents. This ensures that the corrective and preventive measures taken in response will be effective.
The results speak for themselves. Dominion Energy has cut OSHA-recordable injuries by more than half from 2010 to 2017, in both actual numbers and on the basis of the OSHA-recordable rate, which is a measure of injuries per 100 employees. At Cove Point, in Maryland, we logged 22.4 million hours of construction and operation worked with zero fatalities and only three injuries since construction began in 2014 – an OSHA-recordable rate of just 0.41.
Cove Point, Maryland
All companies have a financial interest in reducing injuries, which raise health care costs and lower productivity. Ultimately, though, our desire to do so is driven by care for one another and the desire to send every person home after a day’s work in the same condition as – or better than – when they arrived. Dominion Energy employees care about one another, and none of us wants to see anyone else get hurt. That’s why we place such a high emphasis on safety.
But we’re not done yet. We set stringent standards for ourselves and strive to lower our incident rates each year. We will not rest until we reach zero – to us, the only acceptable standard.