ARCHIVED - National Energy Board - 2013 Safety Forum

This page has been archived on the Web

Information identified as archived is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please contact us to request a format other than those available.

National Energy Board - 2013 Safety Forum [PDF 451 KB]

National Energy Board - 2013 Safety Forum

Gaétan Caron
Chair and CEO
National Energy Board

5 and 6 June 2013

Safety Forum  - 5-6 June 2013


Slide 1 speaking notes (click to view)
  • Welcome to the National Energy Board’s 2013 Safety Forum.
  • Thank you to all participants that have made it a priority to participate.
  • We are pleased to see such a diverse group of participants here today.  They include regulated companies and their associations, governments, regulators, landowner organizations, the Metis Nation of Alberta, the service industry, consultants, the upstream oil and gas sector and their associations, gas distribution companies, safety regulators from Canadian provinces, and academia.
  • This broad range of participants demonstrates that safety in the energy sector is a top priority for a large number of people, just as it should be.
  • I am also excited to welcome youth to participate and contribute. We have here today representatives from Mount Royal University and the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology. They are the future leaders of our society. We can never begin instilling the critical importance of safety too early.


Safety Forum Stack of newspapers showing heading: Morning News - Breaking News


Slide 2 speaking notes (click to view)

Year in Review:

  • This year has been one of change for the National Energy Board, further strengthening our regulatory mandate to achieve continual improvements in all areas of safety.
  • The Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act brought about key changes for the NEB including:
    • increasing inspections by 50% and doubling the number of comprehensive audits;
    • the Government of Canada providing the NEB with an additional 13.5 million dollars to hire additional staff; and
    • Administrative Monetary Penalties which will be in place by July of this year to promote safety and environmental compliance.
  • The year has also seen some challenges for industry:
    • Increased public scrutiny of major projects such as Northern Gateway, and Keystone XL;
    • Increased expectations of environmental accountability from the public; and
    • Growing concern over the safety of energy infrastructure.
  • An industry wide effort to achieve a strong safety culture will increase protection of the public, workers and the environment and at the same time help to build public trust in the energy sector and its regulators, a critical component to its continued success.


Safety Forum Top: Inspectors on pipeline construction site; bottom left: Inspector on excavation site; bottom right: Inspector


Slide 3 speaking notes (click to view)

Forum Overview:

  • Key topics of this forum will include safety performance measurement, effective management systems and corporate leadership’s role in building and maintaining a safety culture.
  • I look forward to each one of you actively participating in both days of the Forum.
  • We have set out 4 key outcomes at the 2013 Safety Forum. We want to…
    • Facilitate a discussion on emerging trends and opportunities;
    • Promote an investment of effort on these issues as part of continual improvement;
    • Identify concrete actions that both industry and regulators can take to improve safety outcomes; and
    • Generate interest in additional means for further discussion and change following the Forum.


Safety Forum Pipeline construction site


Slide 4 speaking notes (click to view)

Performance Measures:

  • Well-chosen performance measures allow industry, regulators and the public to more effectively focus on hazards and risks.
    • This includes both incidents like typical worker injuries as well as those that are lower frequency but high consequence such as blowouts or fatalities.
  • The NEB recognizes that a reduction in the number and severity of pipeline incidents depends on actions taken by the NEB and by industry. Safety is a shared responsibility.
  • We expect pipeline company executives to set performance measures that provide a complete view of their organization’s current state of safety in order to identify areas of weakness and to proactively manage safety before an incident occurs.
  • Strides are already being made to increasing our use of performance measures.
    • Last year, 30 companies submitted their first reports on a suite of forward looking performance measures for 70 pipeline systems across the country.
    • The NEB will examine if these measures need improvements in 2013.


Safety Forum Inspector


Slide 5 speaking notes (click to view)

Management Systems:

  • The NEB believes that carefully designed and well-implemented management systems are the best way for the energy sector to keep people safe and protect the environment.
  • Management systems are critical. The Board has recently amended its Onshore Pipeline Regulations to further clarify requirements for management systems.
  • Management systems must now:
    • apply to the key company programs for safety, pipeline integrity, security, environmental protection and emergency management;
    • be in place throughout each phase of the lifecycle of the pipeline - from design, construction, operation and all the way through to abandonment;
    • include provisions that focus on a company’s senior leadership for accountability of its management systems, the company’s safety culture and the achievement of outcomes related to safety of the public and environmental protection; and
    • companies must have an internal reporting policy that will encourage employees to bring forward, without fear of reprisals, the hazards and risks that they may encounter during their work activities.
  • The management system approach will ensure continual improvement and will promote a lasting safety culture.


Safety Forum Safety Culture: Systems + Leadership = Culture


Slide 6 speaking notes (click to view)

Safety Culture:

  • An effective safety culture is about more than just avoiding slips, trips and falls. Safety management is made up of several different strategies and activities designed to eliminate or reduce risk to the public, workers, the environment and assets.
  • An effective safety culture includes but is not limited to:
    • leadership commitment and adequate resourcing;
    • effective communication between employees and management about potential hazards in the workplace;
    • employee involvement in safety-related activities; and
    • processes and procedures to ensure continual improvement and learning from previous occurrences.
  • When there is a strong safety culture, leadership focuses on safety as much as the bottom line, and employees have the confidence that they will be backed up from the very top of the organization if they stop or delay a project over safety concerns.
  • A leadership commitment to safety will help to focus attention on prevention as the priority and reduce incidents of all varieties.


Safety Forum Inspector in the Foothills


Slide 7 speaking notes (click to view)

The Way Forward:

  • The Board believes a commitment to build and maintain a strong safety culture is key to achieving our target of zero incidents and in turn better protecting people and the environment.
  • This forum is only the first step towards building a pervasive culture of safety across industry. The Board will keep working on the best means of achieving this as we move ahead.
  • The Board has embarked on a journey to continually improve our requirements around all forms of safety. We expect our regulated companies to demonstrate a similar commitment to continually improving their safety culture in the months and years ahead.
  • Thank you once more for joining us as we and our esteemed panelists delve deeper into the key areas of performance measures, management systems and how we can build a robust and effective safety culture.
Date modified: