Approach to Occupational
Health & Safety
We do not compromise the safety of our employees or contractors for any business advantage, and we will not consider the execution of any project as successful unless zero injuries occur. Every Equitrans employee is empowered to look out for each other, point out hazards, and provide guidance. This empowerment strengthens our workforce and, together with our continued emphasis on safety, ensures that we integrate safety into every job function across Equitrans. Our Health, Saftey, Security, and Environmental (HSSE) Policy affirms our dedication to maintaining a strong HSSE culture.
Our safety focus extends to our vendors and suppliers. We consider these partners to be an extension of Equitrans and we require that they place significant emphasis on their own safety efforts. Being safe creates value for our business by lowering costs and enabling efficient production, as a safe employee will be more productive. At Equitrans, it is everyone’s responsibility to create a safe work environment. We strive to create a culture that values safety above all else.
We are all held accountable for following safety procedures, and employees are encouraged to demonstrate safety leadership. Each Equitrans employee has a responsibility to protect themselves and their co-workers every day. Everyone has authorization to stop work when unsafe conditions arise, no matter their position or responsibilities. We conduct every active Equitrans business operation in accordance with all applicable health and safety requirements established by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and other regulatory bodies. Regulatory compliance is the first layer of our safety practices but is by no means our only safety focus.
We manage safety at Equitrans through our safety platform ZIP Today, or Zero Is Possible—Today. Driven by our HSSE team and with oversight by the Board’s HSSE Committee, ZIP Today is the manifestation of our overriding belief that success is only realized when every contributor is safe and unharmed. As we continue to build a robust safety culture, it is important that our employees and contractors remember that their safety takes precedence above all else, a point that ZIP Today helps foster.
In 2019, we deepened our commitment to the Zero Is Possible—Today platform. ZIP Today still holds true to our original Zero Is Possible safety culture; however, it has been transformed into a way of life at Equitrans. Three safety subcommittees within our HSSE team—representing operations, construction, and office employees—developed an enhanced “way-of-life mentality” that is exhibited throughout our operations. In line with our corporate safety objectives, each committee developed and tailored safety target assignments for implementation across their respective areas. The basis for the transformation was an introduction to our Incident with Serious Potential (ISP) concept, a risk-based system focused on precursors of incidents, near-misses, and observations. Identifying precursors enables us to build safety practices that help prevent accidents from occurring.
ZIP Today and the supporting Equitrans Midstream Safety Management System extends across the company and is incorporated into every aspect of our work. Our front-line supervisors are the foundation for ZIP Today, instilling safe working practices for employees through their embodiment of our safety culture. Supervisors and employees are supported by our HSSE team, which provides guidance, training, and other resources on safety issues. Safe work practices are integrated into every job function, and employees are trained on hazard identification, elimination, and control, based on their specific job function. Each employee, contractor, or vendor has the ability and is obligated to stop work if they believe a situation is unsafe and can do so without fear of retribution.
Equitrans employees receive training to identify the hazards or potential hazards that are specific to their job; and managers frequently engage with employees to ensure potential hazards remain top-of-mind for employees. Each work order includes applicable safety policies and standard operating procedures, which outline job requirements and the necessary tools and procedures to safely and effectively perform the job. Every workday in the field begins with a Tailgate Safety Meeting (TSM) during which the team outlines and discusses the work for that day. The involved employees and contractors then work to identify potential worksite hazards and discuss and integrate safety control measures for the identified hazards into their work processes for the day. If any unforeseen circumstances arise impacting safety or if any employee or contractor questions any part of the work once it begins, every employee and contractor on the job has the responsibility to utilize their stop work authority, make the situation safe, and immediately notify their supervisor.
Equitrans developed our Standard Operating Procedures with safety in mind. These procedures explain the actions required to assess risks and perform a job safely and correctly. In addition, our Engineering Department designs our systems and facilities under applicable regulatory guidelines. We also implemented a design review process that involves several departments and employees who collectively review facility layouts and designs to mitigate potential risks and ensure safety. In addition to our Safety and Engineering Departments, our Pipeline Integrity and Environmental Departments are fully integrated into our safety culture and risk assessment processes.
For every safety-related incident or observation that transpires, regardless of whether an injury occurred, we carry out a comprehensive incident investigation—the results of which help us to learn and improve. Our investigation process starts with the identification of the incident or observation root cause and what precursors may have led to the incident’s occurrence. The front-line supervisor leads the investigation, with assistance from the HSSE team and experts from the associated incident or observation. Next, we evaluate and identify solutions to prevent a similar incident from occurring again. This process may involve multiple departments within Equitrans as the corrective actions identified may encompass multiple functions within the work process. For each incident in which an injury does occur, we record the nature of the incident, as prescribed by the OSHA Injury/Illness Recordkeeping Guidelines. This record serves as another source of information for our incident investigations. We actively communicate each incident or observation across Equitrans along with the identified corrective actions. Safety bulletins, alerts, and training materials also may be available to supplement this communication.
Safety Education & Training
An informed employee who is able to identify safety risks and can take action to mitigate hazards is less likely to be injured. We place considerable emphasis on safety education and training, and we are committed to providing our employees the resources they need to work safely and successfully. In 2019, Equitrans employees completed more than 7,500 hours of safety education and training. Every Equitrans employee participates in the Equitrans general orientation upon their hiring which includes information on our safety culture. Each employee also receives an in-depth safety orientation upon arrival at their work location. Employees also attend core safety training annually, in addition to monthly specialized OSHA and Equitrans education tailored to an employee’s applicable work responsibilities. Examples of these tailored trainings include how to investigate incidents, safe driving practices to follow, and how to recognize and control hazards. Employees are also required to complete Equitrans-specific Operator Qualification (OQ) training specific to their job responsibilities. Lastly, employees receive extensive on-the-job training from their supervisors and peers.
For our contractors, we provide a general hazard awareness training and a detailed hot work training to contractors during project kickoff meetings. Contractors are also required to take a Safety and Environmental Awareness Program (SEAP) training focused on both environmental and safety issues. Contractors involved in tree felling operations are required to take specialized safety training. In June 2020, we developed and implemented a comprehensive contractor orientation video a part of our safety training program. All contractors and suppliers are required to review this video prior to performing work at any Equitrans facility or project site.
Our Safety Performance
Total Recordable Incident Rate
Lost Time Incident Rate
Equitrans diligently tracks numerous safety-related metrics to evaluate our safety performance. Utilizing our Safety Metric Tracking System, we track all OSHA related injury metrics as well our Equitrans-specific safety metrics. These metrics include Incidents with Serious Potential (ISP), which includes events or situations where a behavior or activity may have the reasonable potential to cause serious injury or significant property damage; and Observations with Serious Potential (OSP), which includes observations of activities or behaviors that, if allowed to continue, have the potential to cause serious injuries or significant property damage. We recently developed a new safety metric that we began tracking—Corrected Safety Opportunity (CSO). The CSO metric reflects reported hazards (without serious potential), deficient procedures or process, or suggested improvements that have been corrected or implemented. With the CSO metric, we aim to encourage employees to report all safety observations and opportunities for improvements in order to help increase safety awareness across Equitrans. As a result of our collective ISP, OSP, and CSO efforts, we saw a 600 percent increase in total reported safety observations during the first quarter of 2020, as compared to the first quarter of 2019. This increase included approximately 100 reported observations, 40 of which resulted in opportunities for Equitrans to reduce risk and enhance the safety of our work environment.
Our internal safety metrics are incorporated into employee bonuses as part of our Short-Term Incentive Program (STIP), which aligns employee interests with those of our shareholders and the strategic objectives of our company. By tracking and evaluating these safety metrics and linking them to compensation, we can more effectively address any safety issues that may arise, increase the safety of our worksites and offices, identify opportunities for improvement, and achieve employee buy-in.
In 2019, the injury and incident types most frequently recorded involved back and leg injuries. The most frequently observed safety opportunities were associated with process safety (how a job-task can be changed to make it safer) and hazardous energy exposure. These observations were positive examples of our employees proactively identifying potentially hazardous situations at the worksite. As a result of our ISP observations, we made changes to our work policies and procedures, contributing to our objective of maintaining a safe work environment for our employees and contractors, at all times.
The safety and well-being of our contractors, both in the field and in the office, is tremendously important. By focusing on contractor safety, we help foster a safer and more efficient work environment while also strengthening our contractor relationships. We hold our contractors to the same standards as our employees to ensure that our job sites and the people working at them stay safe. To do this, every company that provides contractors for our projects must hold our steadfast commitment to safety. We expect all contractors, including their subcontractors and agents, to adhere to Equitrans’ policies and practices, as well as to all applicable U.S. laws and regulatory requirements related to health, safety, and employment. The Equitrans Midstream Safety Management System applies to 100 percent of our contractors. Before a contractor can begin working on any Equitrans project, they must first be authorized by our HSSE team. Our HSSE team evaluates a contractor’s safety record to ensure its alignment with Equitrans’ safety focus by using the ISNET World database, an industry recognized platform for the monitoring and evaluation of contractor safety performance and documentation. In 2020, we will fully integrate the ISP concept that supports ZIP Today into ISNET World criteria by requiring contractors to maintain a proactive safety culture focused on ISP precursors. Contractors are also required to complete a federal OQ plan, which establishes qualification requirements for personnel performing work for our operations. Key contractor evaluation areas that our HSSE team currently monitors include: Safety Management Systems; Injury and Illness Statistics; Written Safety Programs and Safety Training; Experience Modification Rating; and Fatality History.
|Total Hours Worked
|Work-Related Total Mileage
|Preventable Vehicle Accidents (PVAs)
|Total Recordable Incident Rate (OHSA Recordables Rate)
|Days Away, Restricted or Transferred (DART)
|Incidents with Serious Potential for Injury (ISPs)
|High-Consequence Work-Related Injuries
|High-Consequence Work-Related Injuries Rate
|Recordable Work-Related Injuries
|Work-Related Ill Health Fatalities
|Recordable Cases of Work-Related Ill Health
|Lost Time Incident Rate
Evaluating Our Safety Performance
It is critical that we continually evaluate our safety performance so that we can identify what we are doing well, what we can improve, and most importantly, where we are able to develop strategies to keep our employees and contractors safe. Accordingly, we continuously strive for improvement by evaluating and reviewing our policies and standard operating procedures. We also actively engage workers to evaluate opportunities to improve upon established safety processes. If an incident or observation does occur, we utilize our investigation process to identify the root cause. Our policies and procedures are then amended, and education is provided to our workforce based off the discoveries.
We empower our employees to provide feedback on issues regarding occupational health and safety and the development of management methods, including recommendations on safety policies and standard operating procedures based upon their own work experiences. Employees also engage in safety audits and assessments where they provide insight based upon their first-hand knowledge of our operations.
Health & Wellness
Equitrans facilitates employee access to healthcare through the offering of High Deductible Health Plans (HDHP) from two providers. With these plans, an employee has an annual deductible. Once the deductible is met, the plans pay 100 percent of eligible expenses in-network or 80 percent for out-of-network expenses. Additionally, each plan pays 100 percent of eligible preventive care expenses even if the deductible has not been met. The healthcare program covers all full-time employees, as well as part-time employees who work between 20 and 35 hours each week, and their eligible dependents. Coverage is effective on the first day of employment.
Employees enrolled in the healthcare program also have the opportunity to establish and contribute to a tax-effective Health Savings Account (HSA) to assist with part of the annual deductible or save for future healthcare expenses. Equitrans contributes to employee HSAs during their first year of employment with the company. In subsequent years, employees can continue to receive HSA contributions from Equitrans, based on completion of annual wellness requirements.
In addition to healthcare insurance, Equitrans also offers dental and vision insurance for employees and their eligible dependents. For dental insurance, coverage provides comprehensive dental care services with in-network preventive services covered at 100 percent. For vision insurance, an eye exam once every calendar year is included along with specific allowances for lenses and contacts once every calendar year and eyeglass frames once every other calendar year.
Our Take Charge Wellness program, managed in conjunction with an external wellness partner, offers wellness information, education, and special programs to employees and their family members on topics such as nutrition, fitness, safety, and disease prevention. The voluntary program also includes access to online wellness programs and resources as well as health coaching.