Because the potential for risk is always present, we take a proactive approach to planning for emergencies such as natural disasters, security events, releases and other emergency situations.
Plains attracts a diverse safety workforce with a variety of skills and industry certifications, including Associate Safety Professional (ASP), Certified Safety Professional (CSP), Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH), Certified Hazardous Materials Manager (CHMM), and other training and certifications required by specific jobs.
We respect and value our contractors and are dedicated to keeping them safe. Our Contractor Safety Program is designed to provide a clear understanding of Plains’ safety expectations of contractors and sub-contractors and to assist them in maintaining a safe workplace.
In addition to offering safety and emergency preparedness training to members of our workforce, every employee receives annual security awareness training, to ensure they are familiar with potential risks and how to protect against them. In addition, we undertake quarterly drills and annual exercises for regulated and pipeline critical facilities to ensure we are ready to respond to security threats or incidents.
Hazard Recognition, Risk Assessment and Incident Investigation
All employees are encouraged to participate in our Hazard Recognition program, which is focused on training them to recognize and eliminate workplace hazards. Hazard categories are based in part on resources published by the National Safety Council and these categories are mirrored on the Plains General Work Permit. Training materials include hypothetical situations based on real events.
Our Operational Risk Management Program defines risk controls across common incident types. Reported events are regularly reviewed to identify trends and corrective actions, which could include updates to risk controls and/or lessons learned sharing.
Plains follows the American Petroleum Institute (API) Recommended Practice (RP) 1173's incident investigation requirements and conducts investigations on all near misses and incidents. The investigation technique and participants are determined by our risk assessment matrix.
Industry-wide Preparedness Efforts
We strive to be an industry leader in emergency response. We actively participate on multiple emergency preparedness committees through trade associations, including: the Association of Oil Pipelines, the American Petroleum Institute, the Association of American Railroads and the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association. Together, we develop standards, educate emergency responders and strengthen programs throughout the United States and Canada. Plains employees also participate on many Area Contingency Planning committees and other local community emergency preparedness committees across North America.
Plains engages employees, regulators, spill response organizations and contractors in more than 100 emergency response training exercises annually to test the effectiveness of our plans and procedures. We work closely with first responders in the communities where we operate to share information about Plains’ pipelines, terminals, trucking, rail and gas operations and to enlist their assistance in reducing risks related to possible emergency situations. We develop relationships and provide education about our assets with community first responders, volunteer firefighters, Emergency Management Services (EMS) and members of the local EMS organizations.
Plains Crisis Management Services
Plains is on a journey to zero incidents, injuries and impacts to the environment. In December of 2015, the American Petroleum Institute (API) published Recommended Practice (RP) 1174: Onshore Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Emergency Preparedness and Response, to provide pipeline operators with a framework to create adaptive emergency planning and response processes, which includes the identification and mitigation of risks. Plains has publicly declared its commitment to API RP 1174 implementation efforts and the industry-wide goal to prioritize protection of human life and the environment.
Our Crisis Management Services (CMS) group is a team of dedicated emergency response professionals focused on providing employees with proper training, response strategies and other processes in place to effectively manage and mitigate emergency situations, should they arise. Our well-trained internal team works closely with contractors and members of the emergency response community to engage in emergency situations quickly and effectively. The CMS team ensures key employees throughout the company receive training on the Incident Command System so they understand, and can work effectively within, the Unified Command structure, alongside federal, state and local responders.
Learn more about our Emergency Preparedness efforts here.
Plains takes very seriously the responsibility to safely and reliably transport crude oil and natural resources.
View the video below for a glimpse into our dedication towards emergency response.