ARCHIVED - Session 2 - The Role of Leadership - Ian Anderson, CEO - Kinder Morgan Canada

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Safety Forum - June 5-6, 2013

Ian Anderson, CEO
Kinder Morgan Canada

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

I believe that trying to measure “culture” itself is not the true effort that should be undertaken. Companies should strive to understand the indicators and metrics that provide evidence of the status of culture. In other words, what behaviours and measurable results can be aggregated to assemble an objective view of safety culture?  Examples of indicators, measures and activities that we track in order to determine how our employees view safety and its importance would be: lost time incidents; vehicle accidents and their cause; near misses and level of near miss reporting; safety rewards and recognitions; direct communication to President of each and every safety related incident immediately with cause and corrective actions; public pronouncements of safety commitment; and regular safety awareness interviews and monitoring of changes.

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

The pipeline industry is sharing more initiatives related to safety performance, post incident reviews and findings and integrity program technology advancements. We are collaborating on several key initiatives related to emergency response and technology development. Additionally, the pipeline and upstream producing industry are regularly sharing views and strategies to advance our interests in a collaborative supporting way.

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

We all work every day towards a zero incident record, in an industry where we will never have zero risk. We strive to rigorously understand the risk involved in our business, be it workplace safety, driving, facilities integrity, natural hazards or third party damage prevention. Communicating that our programs are designed to manage those risks through procedures, processes and systems is critical to demonstrating to the public that we are diligently looking after their interests.

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

Sharing near miss data is a way to learn, however there are always challenges in gathering this information in a way that can used to understand and take action to correct.

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?

The objective is always and always has been zero. Progress to zero is tracked and compared to historical performance. The goal will remain a clear objective regardless of timeframes.

Re: next 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

We target each year’s goal to be the lesser of industry average and our own 3 year average. That way we are always working our targets down towards zero.

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

Year by year objectives around performance can be established to ensure improvement, while maintaining a goal of zero. We should not confuse our stated goal (zero) with our metrics we track to drive performance better and better.

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?

The fact we are all finance background is, I believe, a coincidence.  As leaders of our company’s we must have a solid base on all aspects of the business -operations, safety, and finance, commercial and legal.

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?

Not at all, all employees will clearly agree that “zero incidents” is the goal. How we establish year over year metrics and targets for improvement are designed to progress to zero.

How do you know you have a positive safety culture?

This is accomplished by being very aware of the behaviours and results achieved by employees with respect to safety. What do they say, what do they see, are we aligned, ensure its not just corporate speak, and above all be exceedingly transparent about incidents, causes and consequences.

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

I believe that academics and industry associations each have a voice in communicating practices and influencing public perception.

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

All indicators must be looked at together and never separately. When a company is setting goals and evaluating performance all indicators must work in harmony and not have unforeseen consequences.

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

I believe that communications of safety performance, objectives and learnings is fundamental to helping both the public and employees see alignment of interest and collective responsibility. The extent to which organizations structure their communications will differ, and I don’t think the responsibility needs to be narrowly placed in a communications group.

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