We are committed to operating responsibly for the benefit of all our stakeholders. We are developing intentional and robust governance systems that support our environmental, social, and governance (ESG) efforts and our commitment to keeping our workforce, communities, and the environment safe. We place the highest priority on the safety and health of our employees and contractors and the protection of the communities and environment in which we operate. We proactively manage workforce safety, asset and pipeline integrity, emergency preparedness, and community safety through a comprehensive Health, Safety, Security, and Environment (HSSE) management system and risk management process.
Western Midstream is a master limited partnership formed in September 2012. The General Partner is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Occidental. We have implemented a range of governance best practices to enhance unitholder rights and management accountability to unitholders and other stakeholders. Over the course of 2019 and early 2020, we further expanded these best practices by making important changes to our legal ownership and governance and employment systems that help appropriately realign incentives to benefit Western Midstream and its stakeholders.
We have developed corporate governance and ethics guidelines to provide clear direction to our Board of Directors, management, and all employees. These include our Corporate Governance Guidelines, Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, Code of Ethics for our CEO and Senior Financial Officers, found on WesternMidstream.com
of Board Committee members are independent
Enterprise Risk Management
As we continue to develop as a stand-alone midstream enterprise, Western Midstream is in the process of formalizing an enterprise-wide risk management policy and function. Currently, we identify financial and HSSE risks in detail in our SEC filings and provide a summary of key financial risks to the Board’s Audit Committee on a quarterly basis. Additionally, we have detailed risk management protocols for topics such as HSSE and asset integrity.
Employee and Contractor Safety
In accordance with our formal health and safety policy, we strive to continuously improve our safety performance and reduce work-related injuries by championing and enhancing our safety-first culture and focusing on continuous performance improvement.
For the past five years, we have consistently improved our Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR), and for the past three years, we have outperformed the average safety performance of peers in our size class. For example, in 2019, we achieved a 0.34 TRIR for our own employees compared to a 0.703 industry average among Division 1 peers (defined as companies with 1 million or more midstream operational work hours in the year).
Our safety-first culture is supported by the LiveSAFE philosophy, which promotes personal and corporate discipline to help ensure that each employee and contractor returns home safely every day and encompasses our belief that every incident or injury is important. LiveSAFE requires everyone at our worksites to accept responsibility for their safety and the safety of those around them. We ask all employees and contractors to report unsafe behaviors and hazards, which we use to identify trends and eliminate hazards to prevent the occurrence of incidents. We expect all workers to use stop-work authority to halt operations on a job site if they have concerns or questions about potential safety issues.
Consistent and robust safety policies and procedures are the foundation of our LiveSAFE commitment, including:
Companywide hazard and risk assessments
Job safety analyses
Safety observations, high-potential incidents, and near-miss reporting
Public Policy Engagement
We engage in public policy processes to help governments understand our business and make informed decisions as they set new policies. Through engagement, we aid in the creation of effective regulations that will protect and benefit our workers, customers, communities, and the environments where we live and operate. Currently, we engage in topics such as stationary source emissions, tax policy, operator agreements, public health, safety, environment and wildlife resources, and county road maintenance through industry organizations. Our Code of Ethics allows us to make financial contributions and lobby to the extent permitted under federal and state election laws, rules, and regulations. However, in 2019, we did not make direct political contributions or incur lobbying costs.
Accountability for Safety Performance
We endeavor to create a culture in which safety underpins all decision-making throughout the organization. To create awareness and establish accountability, we review leading and lagging safety performance indicators with senior management at least weekly and with the Board of Directors at least quarterly. Leading indicators reviewed include potential safety concern observations, near misses, and high potential incidents; lagging indicators include low- and high-severity incidents, recordable incidents, DART metrics, and fatalities. We use these reviews to identify trends and eliminate hazards to prevent the occurrence of incidents. Additionally, we establish annual safety performance targets to promote and improve our safety-first culture. Employee compensation, including executive compensation, is based in part on meeting safety performance goals.
reduction in employee Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR) from 2017 to 2019
hours of safety training for employees in 2019
DOT Reportable Pipeline Incidents
The one reportable pipeline incident in 2019 occurred on our Wamsutter pipeline in Wyoming. The line where the incident occurred has since been decommissioned and the area remediated.
Western Midstream’s Crisis and Emergency Management (CEM) team manages the preparation and response to emergencies, including potential operational issues, natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and cyber attacks. The CEM team works closely with our HSSE and Operations team to reduce risk, provide operational consistency, and enhance regulatory compliance. We follow a systematic preparedness planning process (see graphic below) focused on continuous improvement across an ongoing cycle of planning, organizing, training, equipping, exercising, evaluating, and taking corrective action to ensure effective coordination during the response to an incident. Risk assessments, response plans, and training are done collaboratively across relevant business functions to ensure a coordinated and effective response.
Ensuring the security of our worksites, operations, and workforce underpins the safety and integrity of our operations and communities. We have implemented a range of security standards and processes to maintain a secure work environment including:
Proactive planning for potential threats and emergencies
Coordinating responses across the company