We integrate safety into our business planning and decision-making processes. This helps protect our employees; the people who live, work and play in the vicinity of our assets; and the environment.
We are committed to safe and environmentally responsible operations to protect the health and safety of our employees, contractors and communities. We support this commitment through extensive, ongoing education and training, as well as investment in equipment, systems, processes and other resources. We are committed to a year-over-year reduction in total recordable injuries and federally reportable releases as we strive toward our goal of zero incidents. We strive to comply with applicable health, safety and environmental rules, laws and regulations, and to continuous improvement of our safety performance through our journey to zero incidents.
To learn more, download our Health, Safety and Environmental Policy Statement.
Our Operations Policy and Commitment
The Operations Policy is our express commitment to our core Values and to conducting our operations in a manner that protects people and the environment. We are committed to the safety and security of the public, our employees, and contractors; the protection and stewardship of the environment, including property; and the safety, security, and integrity of all Plains assets throughout the entire asset lifecycle including design, construction, operations, and abandonment. Our commitment is demonstrated through our core Values; goals for the prevention of ruptures, releases, fatalities, and injuries; our rapid and effective response to incidents and emergency situations; our drive to zero incidents; and our sustainment and continuous improvement of our Operations Management System (OMS).
Three goals direct our efforts toward achieving our operational vision:
Manage Risk – Actively and systematically manage risk to protect people, the environment and our assets, while striving to achieve zero incidents.
High-Performing Teams and Assets – Consistently deliver reliable, efficient, competitive services through continuous improvement, active collaboration and entrepreneurship.
Sustainability – Consistently operate in a manner which builds public trust, reflects our core values and demonstrates stewardship in the communities where we operate.
Key Initiatives and Programs
At Plains, our Health and Safety Management Program consists of a number of initiatives that enhance our ability to achieve our goals and establish the framework for defining accountabilities, establishing risk controls and enabling competencies to ensure safe and environmentally responsible operations. Below are some examples:
The Plains Life Rules are a set of 11 rules that our employees and contractors use to guide the way we work. We believe following these Life Rules will help eliminate personal injuries, motor vehicle incidents and environmental releases.
Stop Work Authority is intended to prevent unsafe actions or conditions before an incident occurs. Every employee and contractor is responsible for following the programs, processes, and procedures, including stopping work if an unsafe or noncompliant act or condition is identified. Operational leaders are responsible for fostering a culture that reinforces these expectations and for protecting employees and contractors from reprisal for stopping work.
The Operational Risk Management (ORM) Program provides a consistent risk management approach, with supporting tools, and establishes minimum requirements for how operational risk is managed. It builds on and strengthens existing and established core risk management practices, processes, standards and tools. The ORM Program is specifically designed to align with the OMS and leveraged by key programs to ensure ORM commitments are met. The ORM Program additionally defines risk controls across common incident types. Events are regularly reviewed to identify trends and corrective actions, which could include updates to risk controls and/or lessons learned sharing.
The Health and Safety Management Program supports our commitment to health and safety and provides the framework by which our health and safety objectives are achieved. The HSMP establishes health and safety processes and procedures to ensure our operations are conducted in a manner that protects our employees and contractors, the public and communities where we operate, and the environment.
The Incident Investigation Program enables incident and near miss learnings to be shared across the company and industry. Plains implements any required improvements to processes, procedures or controls based on these learnings. Additionally, field employees in safety-sensitive positions receive standardized hazard recognition training on how to identify, assess and implement effective controls to mitigate hazards, in line with the National Safety Council personnel injury categories.
Our Security Management Program helps to ensure the protection of the environment, public, employees, property and information through emphasis on physical security, information security, personnel security, security risk management and industry-related threat intelligence. Every employee receives annual security awareness training to familiarize themselves with identifying potential risks and how to protect against them. We undertake quarterly drills and annual exercises for regulated and critical facilities to ensure we are ready to respond to security threats or incidents.
Our Environmental Management Program focuses on protecting the environment, which is integral to our business. We are committed to doing so through complete compliance with environmental regulations and laws. We conduct our operations with efficiency and integrity and strive to minimize the environmental impact of our business through regular modification and re-evaluation of our business practices. We continuously work to identify ways to minimize and mitigate environmental impacts and are committed to an ongoing effort of promoting environmental responsibility as an organization.
Asset Integrity at Plains consists of a variety of programs and processes associated with maintenance and operational assurance of our pipelines, processing and fractionation plants, storage tanks and caverns. Maintaining the integrity of our assets is a priority and our responsibility as a safe operator. Our Integrity Management Plan is comprised of ongoing inspection and maintenance activities that verify the safety and integrity of our pipeline systems.
Our Emergency Management Program is focused on considering all hazards when identifying and mitigating risks. We train to be ready to respond appropriately to any unplanned incidents utilizing the Incident Command System to manage our response and increase our interoperability with industry and regulators. Our EMP meets or exceeds all applicable federal, state, and provincial regulatory requirements, in addition to our internal standards that are governed by our OMS. Our EMP works together with other programs at Plains which assists us in identifying and managing hazards, responding to incidents and emergencies, and effectively communicating with stakeholders.
Through a comprehensive Damage Prevention & Public Awareness Program, Plains develops partnerships in the community, improves operational performance and gains heightened vigilance in identifying potential risks. The Plains Damage Prevention Program, including our participation in 811 and Click Before You Dig One Call programs, is our first line of defense against third-party line strikes. It helps create awareness of the location of our pipelines among excavators and other parties most likely to be engaged in construction activities in the vicinity of our assets. The Plains Public Awareness Program provides elected officials, first responders, residents who live in proximity to our pipelines and persons engaged in excavation activities, the information necessary to avoid a pipeline emergency, as well as to recognize and report pipeline emergencies to the proper authorities.
Our Process Safety Management (PSM) Program focuses on prevention, preparedness, mitigation and response measures associated with process safety incidents. Effective implementation of PSM practices can enhance facility safety by reducing the frequency and severity of incidents, such as potential product releases. An important feature of the PSM Program is the Process Hazard Analysis (PHA), which is a system to identify and analyze the significance of potential hazards associated with the processing or handling of petroleum products. Plains completes PHAs for required facilities on a five-year rotational basis. Various scenarios are considered, and any necessary safeguards are put in place to mitigate risks.