Maintaining a safe work environment and supporting safe behaviors is a commitment that our employees and contractors own together. We hold each other accountable for keeping our sites, workforce and communities safe. To further this accountability, in 2022, we tied contractor safety to our employee compensation metrics.
2021 Contractor Safety Performance
Specific to contractor safety, we know we must do better. In 2020 and 2021, we had two incidents (one in each year) that resulted in the loss of life. Three of our contractors died and one was seriously injured following a well-control incident in Burleson County, Texas, on Jan. 29, 2020. In July 2021, one of our Haynesville contractors sustained a head injury following a fall, and subsequently lost his life.
While investigations are ongoing, we’re committed to understanding what occurred, ensuring the necessary action is taken and sharing key learnings throughout our operations.
We facilitate a comprehensive contractor management program to reinforce and maintain our safety standards and communicate best practices.
Our safety standards begin at the hiring process. From the start of a relationship with Chesapeake, contractors must pass a qualification process including an evaluation of each potential contractor’s safety and environmental record. We use an online contractor-management platform during the hiring process and for ongoing monitoring of our contractors, which reviews and verifies contractor regulatory, environmental and safety-related requirements and documentation. Before approval, the prospective contractor must also agree to abide by Chesapeake’s Supplier Code of Conduct, committing to honor our core values and provide a safe and healthy workplace for all employees.
Our Suppliers Must Agree to:
Implement the necessary precautions to protect all employees and members of the communities where we operate
Observe all HSER laws, regulations, rules and permit requirements that apply to our mutual operations
Report and take immediate steps to correct all accidents, injuries, unsafe or unhealthy work conditions
Stop work activities that pose a real or perceived safety risk
Prohibit harassment, violence, weapons or drug or alcohol use when conducting Chesapeake business, on or off company premises
Report concerns to Chesapeake through any number of outlets, including our anonymous website
Once approved, Chesapeake contractors complete both an industry orientation course and a Chesapeake-specific safety orientation before they arrive at a company location. The orientation sets clear safety expectations in accordance with industry-standard safety guidelines, which establish minimum requirements for HSER practices. Subject matter experts from major and independent operating companies, industry associations and educators developed the guidelines specifically for the U.S. onshore exploration and production industry.
Each year we review and revise this orientation for accuracy in methodology and compliance with new regulations. We also regularly review our contractor safety handbook, which outlines the basic safety and environmental requirements that all personnel must follow when working on our locations. This handbook sets the minimum expectations for acceptable work activity and reiterates an employee or contractor’s responsibility to stop work that’s believed to be unsafe or that could lead to environmental impact. The orientation and handbook can be accessed via the online contractor-management platform, Chesapeake’s supplier portal or from Chesapeake HSER team members. The handbook and orientation are available in English and Spanish.
To further emphasize our commitment to safety, we host contractor safety meetings, during which our Operations staff tailor safety discussions to the operational areas where contractors are working.
As an additional step, we conduct contractor assessments in the field. These assessments, coordinated with our HSER audit team, confirm that our contractors are reporting their safety performance accurately. If a contractor’s safety program doesn’t meet our minimum standards, they receive disciplinary action that could include terminating their work with Chesapeake.
We also recognize the importance of supporting short service employees (SSE), or employees with fewer than six months experience, in their initial on-the-job training and performance. This effort is especially important because of the extensive employee turnover experienced in the service industry during the recent downturn. With that challenge in mind, we collaborate with contractors to help ensure the proper onboarding of SSEs.
Partnering for a Safe Industry
Chesapeake partners with several industry trade organizations to share key safety learnings with our peers. While we may compete in the marketplace, we’re united in keeping our employees, partners and neighbors safe. Chesapeake is involved in safety-related committees and/or membership with:
- American Exploration & Production Council
- American Society of Safety Professionals
- ISN User Group
- National Safety Council