ARCHIVED - Session 2 - The Role of Leadership - Al Monaco, CEO Enbridge Inc.

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Safety Forum - June 5-6, 2013

Al Monaco, CEO
Enbridge Inc.

Do you measure safety culture? If you do, high level, how do you do it?

Enbridge measures safety culture on a regular basis. We use a number of methods including third-party-administered safety culture assessment surveys (such as the Bradley Curve), documentation reviews, behavioral observations, focus groups and direct interviews. We also use fit-for-purpose evaluation methods that target specific elements of our safety management systems. We continually measure and assess our safety culture, review and communicate the results and develop action plans and key performance indicators to measure our progress.

Executive leadership is engaged and active in this as well. Senior leaders are regularly out at field locations and project sites seeking out opportunities to listen and learn from frontline employees on what is and is not working for them. This provides a direct conduit to understanding how the organization is progressing against our values and principles in safety.

We also seek to learn from other leading organizations, both in and outside the industry sector, that have demonstrated a world-class safety culture.

Are there any specific collaborative initiatives (knowledge sharing, R&D, etc.) across companies or across industries?

At Enbridge we recognize that safety is an industry issue -we do not compete on safety. Instead this is a core requirement to be part of the pipeline industry. We openly share our best practice information on safety, integrity and emergency response within the energy transportation industry and across other industries. We recognize that in these areas, we must all strive for excellence.

Enbridge has shared a tremendous amount of information about the lessons we learned from the 2010 incident in Marshall, Michigan with individual pipeline companies across North America as well as at emergency response and disaster preparedness forums.

Collectively, the pipeline industry constantly collaborates and shares information in many ways including through industry associations, technical forums, and direct collaboration on critical safety programs like joint emergency response capabilities and pipeline integrity. Specific organizations and initiatives in which Enbridge is a contributor include:

  • The Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA), Gas Technology Institute and NYSEARCH are industry associations that allow member pipeline companies to channel input into the development of technical research programs and provide access to best practices.
  • The Pipeline Research Committee International (PRCI) is the preeminent global collaborative research development organization of, by, and for the energy pipeline industry.
  • Western Canada Spill Services and the Eastern Canada Mutual Assistance Program are cooperative structures that bring industry members together to achieve and enhance spill response readiness and natural gas outage response readiness. The cooperatives maintain spill contingency plans and make strategically placed regional Oil Spill Containment and Recovery units available to all member companies.
  • In the U.S., the American Petroleum Industry’s (API) Pipeline Exchange forum (PIX) is an annual event that enables member companies to share lessons learned from significant incidents across the industry. Enbridge is also a member of the work group developing API 1173 - Standard for Pipeline Safety Management Systems.

Enbridge participates in technology forums that share best practices and support research and development across industries. We directly fund research and development projects through suppliers, industry associations, and universities.

Enbridge has also led the development of pipeline construction safety forums across North America with an aim to collectively raise the level of safety associated with pipeline construction. These forums are regularly held with representation from major pipeline owners/operators and pipeline construction contractors.

Our industry efforts are complemented by outreach at the local level. We participate in and lead crisis response exercises in the communities in which we operate, engaging municipal staff, emergency responders, local, state/province and federal government officials and regulators.

Is a zero risk or zero incidents something that is communicated to the public?  It sounds like a dangerous precedent

Speaking for Enbridge, we are committed to our goal of zero incidents -there can be no other target. It’s something we have said publicly and repeatedly, and it’s consistent with the objectives communicated publicly by our peers individually and through various industry associations including the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association and the Canadian Gas Association. This goal aligns with the goals of the National Energy Board.

It’s an ambitious target and we understand that we all have work to do to attain this goal. We’re benchmarking our progress individually and as an industry and we’re sharing that publicly.

A target of zero incidents requires a fundamental change in the way we think about safety. It’s fair to say that in the past, as an industry, we’ve accepted that a certain number of incidents were inevitable given the nature of the business and potential of mechanical and human failures. Within Enbridge, leadership is working to shift our employees and business partners to a mindset that is based on the principle that all injuries and incidents are preventable and all operating exposures can be controlled -a mindset that starts from the belief that zero incidents is an attainable goal.

To Greg: Process risk-a low probability high consequence event:  How do you keep those rare events top of mind and not fall into complacency?

At Enbridge we are working to become a Highly Reliable Organization (HRO): an organization that avoids catastrophic incidents in an environment where normal accidents can be expected due to risk factors and complexity. We know that a constant, relentless focus on process safety is a critical component of our path to zero incidents. We recognize that human factors are a critical component of our safety management systems. HROs are preoccupied with failure, so we know that we too need to be preoccupied with failure -and to build that preoccupation into every component of our operations.  

Enbridge has aggressively started down this path, while at the same time understanding this is a process of systemic, long-term and sustained change requiring both emotional and intellectual engagement of all employees and contractors. Leadership needs to keep the risk of catastrophic failures top of mind for everyone

Mr. Ebel & others: what are your thoughts on moving beyond using the traditional lagging metrics primarily for measuring safety performance?

At Enbridge, we currently use a number of leading safety metrics to track our performance in addition to the traditional lagging metrics like total reportable injury frequency.

Examples of leading metrics that we have adopted include:

  • performance of safety observations,
  • completion of audits, reviews and inspections,
  • implementation of corrective action plans, and
  • percentage of pipelines and facilities inspected with advanced tools.

We are continually reviewing and updating our performance measurement process to ensure that both the leading and lagging indicators that we use throughout our operations are driving improvements in our safety culture and moving us toward our goal of zero incidents.

To Russ (Girling): Industry working together - If a safety practice is best practice and seen as a competitive advantage, how do you share?

At Enbridge we recognize that safety is an industry issue - we do not compete on safety, instead this is a core requirement to be part of the today’s pipeline industry. We openly share our best practice information within the pipeline industry and across other industries on safety, integrity and emergency response -we recognize that in these areas, we must all strive for excellence.

As outlined in the response to question #2, as a company, Enbridge has shared a tremendous amount of safety information within the energy transportation industry, we are an active participant in numerous industry forums intended to promote sharing of information, best practices and technology, and we support research and development initiatives intended to be of benefit across the industry. We appreciate the similar efforts of our industry peers. And while we have each set a goal of “industry leadership”, we know that we are all held to account for the industry’s track record. It’s the interest of every member of our industry to achieve excellence in fulfilling our public service of delivering energy safely and reliably

The objective is to achieve 0 incidents. Is there a desired timeline on this?  If not, should there be so that this is a very tangible goal?

We’re already working towards our goal of zero incidents. We have multiple measures of safety including leading and lagging performance indicators. We track each indicator throughout the year and set annual targets to drive toward the goal of zero incidents of any kind i.e. no personal or public safety incidents and no environmental incidents. Each individual metric has a timeline and progress toward zero in each area is measured as a percentage improvement on our 3-year average.

In some instances, Enbridge has been able to achieve this goal for extended periods of time. For example, many areas of our field operations have operated safely for years without any lost time incidents. We know that if we can achieve this at one location, we can achieve it at all locations.

Re: previous question, the goal is 0. The objective should be getting as close to 0 as possible so annual targets and measures are needed to be tangible

Enbridge has six safety principles, the first two of which articulate our fundamental belief that all incidents can be avoided and that no incidents are inevitable or acceptable. This principle guides and informs our goal of zero incidents.

However, we recognize that getting to zero incidents will require a change in our mindset and how we think about safety at all levels of our organization -from leadership through to all employees and our business partners. We’re moving aggressively on this path, but we know this kind of cultural change will take time. Setting annual targets and continual measurement is a critical component of our path to zero incidents. We’re on our way to first reducing our incidents, and our annual targets and metrics reflect this progression. And as noted in our response to question #7, we’re pleased that in some instances, Enbridge has been able to achieve the goal of zero incidents for extended periods of time. For example, many areas of our field operations have operated safely for years without any lost time incidents.

Does the goal of zero meet the requirements of goal setting science i.e. realistic and achievable?

We believe that the goal of zero is S.M.A.R.T. - Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound. At Enbridge, we have worked with world leaders in the area of safety and have ensured that our path to zero is aligned with best-in-class practices. Zero incidents is both specific and achievable, but also a receding goal (as opposed to a singularly attainable goal/finish line) that requires focus, vigilance, commitment every minute, hour, day, year.

I would note too that while we are striving to achieve zero incidents, that overarching goal is comprised of many more granular goals and objectives that are tracked and measured against specific timeframes and targets. We are continually reviewing and updating our performance measurement process to ensure that both the leading and lagging indicators that we use throughout our operations are driving improvements in our safety culture and moving us toward our goal of zero incidents.

All of you are from finance backgrounds-that doesn't sound like a background for an operations, safety focus. How did you get to safety first?

Safety is everyone’s responsibility, and regardless of our individual backgrounds -as leaders of companies in the business of delivering energy -we all share an accountability for the safety and operational reliability of our business. Being a leader in safety and operational reliability is our highest priority as it enables everything else we do, including sustaining the growth of our company into the future.

Our safety management system reinforces the principle that safety is everyone’s responsibility. To ensure this commitment to top safety performance becomes entrenched within all levels of the organization, it is critical to have the right governance structure in place to promote and resource Enbridge’s unwavering commitment to safety. We have a team of professionals who support the safety management system. At Enbridge, the centralized role of Senior Vice President, Enterprise Safety & Operational Reliability, which reports directly to the President & CEO, is dedicated to putting safety first and building a world-leading safety culture and safety performance.

While zero is well intentioned is it eroding trust and belief at the worker level?  Is it driving wrong types of behaviors in the company?

On the contrary, the shift in our safety focus enables our employees to make the right choices when faced with upset conditions. With well-defined guiding principles and shared goals, it’s clear to everyone that bottlenecks, constraints and upsets are to be viewed as safety issues first and operational performance issues second. Our front line workers understand that they have both the responsibility and the accountability to stop unsafe work and they know that they have the full support of the entire company. Leadership recognizes, coaches and supports employees to make the safe choice towards a zero incident workplace.

How do you know you have a positive safety culture?

See Question 1.

Who can provide a credible scientific voice on the industry practices and help influence public perceptions?

At Enbridge, we recognize that pipeline industry practices need to be reviewed and compared to other industries and to world class standards, in particular, the practices of Highly Reliable Organizations (HROs) that are identified in the aerospace, aviation, nuclear and chemical processing industries.

There is a critical role for world class experts to play in reviewing pipeline operations. For example, Enbridge has been working with Dr. Andrew Hopkins, an expert in the analysis of catastrophic failures like BP Macondo, to learn from these failures, to incorporate process safety management and, throughout our safety management systems, to understand how human factors contribute to incidents.

Enbridge continues to use external experts like DNV and DuPont to ensure that our safety management systems are well designed and appropriately implemented and executed. We are also working with external experts to continually improve the technology available to support preventative maintenance programs like in-line inspections and integrity digs. There are many components to safety management and many external experts will be required to provide a credible external scientific voice and validation of our safety approach.

How do you manage the indicators that may conflict with safety performance such as cost reduction?

Put simply, safety excellence is good for bottom line earnings. At Enbridge, safety and operational reliability is our number one priority. We believe that being an industry leader in process, public and personal safety, the reliability and integrity of our pipelines and facilities, and protection of the environment is fundamental to enabling everything else we do, including sustaining the growth of our company into the future. Our commitment to safety cannot be compromised in the face of competing priorities. We also know that excellence in safety means that we have the operational discipline to be efficient and effective in our overall operations which drives overall operational performance results.

Where does PAS-55 or ISO-55000 fit into the CEO's perspective of the future - management systems, including safety and ability to audit?

At Enbridge, an effective safety management system is central to our ability to reach our target of zero incidents. PAS-55 or ISO-55000 are guidance standards for asset management systems. For Enbridge, our implementation of process safety management takes a holistic approach and ensures that the safety components of asset management are addressed, including asset procurement, maintenance practices, quality testing and many other factors. In short, asset management is one component of our integrated safety management system. At Enbridge, our safety management system incorporates regular audit and reviews.

Do you believe the integration of corporate communications into safety practices would benefit a company (internal/external communication)?

At Enbridge, corporate communications, including both internal and external communications, is an essential element of our safety management system.  The effectiveness of our safety management system and our ability to achieve our goal of zero incidents is critically dependent on the direct involvement of our employee, contractors and other stakeholders including members of the public that are directly impacted by our operations. Our ability to ensure that everyone understands their role in our safe operations requires constant and effective communication. This includes the public education campaigns we undertake with the people who live and work near our pipelines on damage prevention and emergency notifications, the online training we provide to emergency responders, the detailed training we provide to employees and contractors and our sharing of lessons learned from near misses and best practices with our employees, partners and industry peers. It is an area where we are continuing to improve our ability to provide relevant and timely information to the public at large.

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