Safety Overview and Our Commitment
Targa’s core values begin with the protection and safety of our employees, contractors, and communities where we operate. At Targa, we value people above all else, and as an operator of critical energy infrastructure we remain committed to making safety and health our top priority. We believe that “Zero is Achievable” and our goal is to operate and deliver our products without any injuries. By supporting our safety culture with a management system that fosters continuous improvement, action, and transparency, we seek to operate our business with the highest safety standards while striving to lead the improvement of safety in our industry as a whole.
Environmental, Safety, and Health Statement
Targa’s approach to ES&H is articulated in our ES&H Statement. Safety and operational performance are integral components of our executive and employee incentive compensation frameworks.
Fostering a safe working environment, with positive worker engagement and training, is key as we continually seek to improve our safety performance. To protect the safety of our workers, Targa maintains and implements an integrated system of policies, practices, and controls. We strive to proactively identify any workplace hazard and respond with prompt action when a hazard is identified. Moreover, Targa employees and contractors have the authority to stop work activities if they believe a workplace hazard has not been adequately addressed.
Safety management frameworks are in place for all Targa processing facilities and terminals. Targa’s management system of policies, practices, and controls includes:
- Employee participation and engagement in the design, operation, and maintenance of facilities, including situations where physical or operational changes are made
- Establishment and periodic review of operations and maintenance processes and procedures
- Establishment of programs intended to promote the mechanical integrity of our facilities and equipment
- Training programs that focus on our employees being adequately prepared and aware of the hazards they might face in conducting their work activities
- Establishment, maintenance, and periodic review of emergency response processes and procedures
- Establishment, maintenance, and periodic reviews of procedures to manage process and/or facilitate changes
- Establishment, maintenance, and periodic review of processes and procedures to provide that new or modified facilities are subjected to a thorough safety review prior to the introduction of any hazardous material
ES&H Audit Processes
ES&H audit processes monitor environmental, safety and health performance and compliance. Each year, audits and inspections are systematically conducted of Targa’s operations and contractors throughout the organization. Targa utilizes both internal and independent third-party audit groups to evaluate our performance against our policies, procedures, and work practice standards. The results of these audits are used to identify opportunities to drive systemic improvement of the organization's ES&H performance.
Personal Safety and Critical Risks
At Targa, safety is personal. Each employee is empowered and directed to stop any activity that puts someone in harm's way. We teach our employees to understand and recognize hazards so that appropriate action and safeguards can be implemented for every task. Each employee is taught the concept of Take 10, in which they Take 10 moments to understand the hazards and risks associated with the job they are about to perform. We provide our employees with tools and techniques, like the Targa Hazard Wheel, to help them mitigate every known hazard to the furthest extent possible. Additionally, employees are trained to recognize each of Targa’s Critical Risks, routine activities or scenarios that exist as part of the business that must be given the most care and thought around safety.
Every employee and contractor within Targa’s operations is required to complete regular detailed training, the goal of which is to enable each person to not only follow all applicable regulatory compliance requirements, but also promote Targa’s safety culture. Each employee participates in a range of annual safety training to assist them in performing their job safely and assuring compliance with regulations. Additionally, every employee hired to work in our production facilities is required to participate in extensive new hire safety development and education on Targa’s safety culture. Targa’s New Hire Safety Program provides new employees with a week of baseline training designed to help ensure that they are aligned with Targa on their safe performance and have a working knowledge of the Targa safety tools they need to safely begin their on the job training.
Each day, hundreds of employees take to the road to maintain the consistent and reliable operation of our business. Each field employee and any driver of Targa vehicles is trained on defensive and safe driving techniques and to be focused on the task at hand by reducing distractions from phones and other devices to avoid putting themselves or the public at greater risk. By encouraging our employees to consider driving safety as important as operational safety, we minimize our vehicle incident rates.
Targa’s commitment to safety extends to our employees, contractors, and to our supply chain network. Targa recognizes that the contractors and subcontractors we work with are our allies in safety and we actively engage with contractors to support a safe work environment. Targa provides site and project specific orientation for all contractors at the start of each project, regular safety meetings and tailgate safety meetings, regular work site inspections and audits.
As part of our commitment to contractor safety, we collect and evaluate contractor safety metrics. We expect contractors to report all incidents and share lessons learned by completing incident investigations.
Targa uses ISNetworld®, a nationally recognized contractor safety management system, to pre-screen contractors against our safety grading process prior to generating a service agreement.
Our safety grading process assesses contractors based on key performance areas including total recordable incident rate (TRIR), Days Away Restricted or Transfer Duty Rate (DART), number of fatalities, number of citations, drug and alcohol program compliance, and safety management system compliance. Contractors that do not meet our safety criteria do not work for Targa. We also conduct contractor safety audits utilizing a third-party audit company and internal evaluations of our contractors to review their compliance with both regulatory and contractual requirements. Our environmental, health and safety specialists work with our contractors daily to promote a safe and environmentally responsible work environment.
Targa designs and builds its facilities consistent with recognized engineering standards to achieve the rigorous standards of safety and operational integrity. The integrity of our facilities is promoted through regular inspections, audits, routine maintenance, and management controls. As improvements or changes are considered at our operations, Targa systematically reviews and assesses these actions so that the integrity and safety of the process is not negatively impacted. Each improvement action identified though the management process is also systematically tracked until completion, promoting continuous improvement year after year.
Pipeline and Storage Safety
Targa operates an extensive network of natural gas and natural gas liquid pipelines. Some of these pipelines fall under the jurisdiction of DOT’s Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA) and its state partners. We implement processes and procedures for the operation, maintenance, and inspection of these pipelines in accordance with the requirements of applicable regulations. Targa’s pipeline safety management protocols include:
- Employee training
- Participation in one-call damage prevention programs administered by the states in which we operate
- Visually inspect pipeline rights-of-way by air and/or ground on a regular basis
- Maintain cathodic protection systems to protect our steel pipelines from external corrosion
- Maintain pipeline public awareness and education programs to communicate with stakeholders and prevent third-party damage to our pipelines
Targa operates underground storage facilities in Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi for natural gas liquid products. Operation and maintenance of these facilities are generally regulated under various applicable state agencies. These storage wells are designed, operated, and maintained in accordance with technical guidelines published by the American Petroleum Institute. Noteworthy elements of Targa’s underground storage management protocols include:
- Instrument systems that monitor operating pressures within the caverns and shut down operation of individual caverns in the event pressure or pressure changes exceed set limits
- Periodic inspection and testing of the caverns to assure mechanical integrity - inspections include:
- - Sonar surveys of individual caverns to determine their size, shape, and any abnormal changes
- - Casing logs to monitor corrosion or mechanical issues with well tubulars
- Pressure testing of each cavern to support operating pressures
- Public awareness and education programs
Safety data including incident investigation details are reviewed by our senior leaders so that our operations have the resources and focus needed to enhance the safety of our people and reliability of our assets. Our Board of Directors reviews our performance metrics quarterly.
In 2019, OSHA Compliance and Safety Engagement both improved annually due to increased field participation, active leadership, and better documentation practices. Our OSHA Total Recordable Injuries Rate (TRIR) decreased year over year by 25% as we expanded and advanced our companywide safety programs. In addition, expansion of our New Hire Safety Training Program helped reduce New Hire injuries significantly in 2019.
Targa's safety core concepts, including safety programs like Targa Take 10 and Targa Critical Risk, and an overall consistency in the safety vision of Zero is Achievable worked to achieve immeasurable improvements in Targa's safety culture.
In 2019, Targa improved and standardized its job safety assessment and work permit process. By standardizing the process for identifying hazards and obtaining required safe work approvals, Targa was able to implement companywide training and auditing processes for the work permit program to enable each task to be completed safely and consistently. These efforts worked successfully to advance our safety culture, in alignment with our Take 10 concepts, and continued improvement in our total recordable incident rate.
Targa achieved key safety milestones at two of our facilities in 2019, with both Longhorn Gas Plant and Channelview Terminal being recognized by the Gas Processors Association for 5 years each without a Lost Time Accident.
Targa’s Public Awareness Program is focused on educating the public on pipeline safety and product storage. Our safety brochures are mailed regularly to those who live and/or work near our pipelines and/or storage facilities, emergency responders, public officials, excavators, and farmers. We meet routinely with public officials, including emergency responders and Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPC), to discuss the specific hazards posed by our facilities and operations and collaboratively determine an appropriate emergency response for specific situations. The objectives of the program are to:
- Raise awareness of key stakeholders of the presence of pipelines in their communities
- Educate those who live or work near our pipelines and our storage facilities to recognize and properly react to a pipeline leak or emergency
- Help excavators understand the steps they can take to prevent damage and to respond safely and promptly should their actions cause damage to our facilities
- Better educate the affected public, emergency officials, local public officials, and other key groups about our organization’s emergency response and key safety procedures in the unlikely event of an operating incident
- Help emergency response agencies better understand the safe and proper actions to take to respond to a release or emergency
Targa designs, constructs, and operates its facilities, and trains its personnel to rigorous industry standards to minimize the occurrence of emergencies. However, if a safety incident does occur, we are ready to respond safely and effectively, working together with local first-response agencies and regional and national authorities.
Targa maintains an emergency preparedness and response framework that reaches the expanse of our entire organization. We regularly test and continuously improve our emergency response tactics and plans with local first responders and emergency management and government officials. We review our emergency management programs across our businesses to confirm they are functioning as intended and identify opportunities for continual improvement. In the event of an incident, our employees and contractors utilize the training and extensive preparation to lead and implement a safe, rapid, and effective response. Additionally, Targa’s Crisis Communication Team facilitates communication with external stakeholders during emergencies.
Each Targa facility conducts regular emergency response drills in “table-top” exercises and actual field exercises. Where public first responders are likely to respond in the event of a real emergency, public responders are invited to participate in these drills. Through systematic review of the results of these drills, Targa identifies and implements improvement measures that promote continuous improvement. Additionally, Targa staffs and trains fully functional Emergency Response Teams at its most sensitive operations. These teams drill extensively with local mutual aid organizations so that Targa is prepared for emergency events.