Safety Overview and Our Commitment
At Targa, we are committed to protecting our employees, our contractors, and the people living in the communities in which we work and operate. Wherever we operate, we strive to conduct our business with attention to the environment and to manage risks to enable sustainable business growth. We endeavor to reduce and eliminate injuries, occupational illnesses, and incidents of environmental harm arising from our activities. We take our commitment to fulfill the requirements of all federal, state, and local agencies very seriously. We seek to be leaders in our industry by working directly with government agencies and industry groups. As a member of the community, we aim to be a good corporate citizen. We value our relationships with our neighbors and the government agencies who regulate our operations.
To support our efforts in this area, we have implemented an environmental, safety and health ES&H framework of policies, practices, systems, and controls that includes automated permit compliance tracking, systems development, compliance audits, and training. In addition, we work with federal, state, and local agencies during lawmaking and rulemaking, technology review, and benchmarking.
Environmental, Safety, and Health Statement
Targa’s approach to ES&H is articulated in our Environmental, Safety and Health Statement. We review our key ES&H metrics and performance quarterly with our Board of Directors. We strive to operate safely, reliably and in a way that avoids, minimizes, and mitigates our environmental impacts.
Fostering safe working attitudes, positive engagement, and training are key elements as we continually seek to enhance our safety performance as an infrastructure operator. To protect the safety of our workers, Targa maintains and implements policies, practices, systems, and controls. We strive to take a proactive approach in identifying workplace hazards and take prompt action when a hazard is identified. We continually look for ways to improve our safety performance. Moreover, Targa employees and contractors have the authority to stop work activities if they believe a workplace hazard has not been adequately addressed. Targa recognizes that the contractors and subcontractors we work with are our allies in safety. We endeavor to diligently monitor our contractors’ performance to ensure potential risks from their work activities are efficiently managed and mitigated.
Targa promotes a culture of excellence throughout our operations by seeking skilled employees and contractors with a high degree of competence in terms of education, training, knowledge, and experience. We provide initial training for employees and recurring training at regular intervals. Our training program promotes continuous improvement and helps us meet objectives for an informed and knowledgeable workforce.
We work to keep our operations safe by teaching and encouraging our employees to be proactively involved in safety activities and hazard recognition. Each employee is taught to identify, communicate, and mitigate hazards as a routine part of their job. Targa’s Hazard Wheel is our visual reminder to each employee of the eight hazard types that can be encountered as they are performing the duties of their job.
Targa's Critical Risks
In addition to hazard recognition, employees are trained to recognize specific activities and operational scenarios that may pose the greatest risk for serious injury, called "Targa's Critical Risks". By targeting these risks and providing our employees with additional special training, tools, and resources to address the hazards associated with those risks, we can prevent or reduce the occurrence of serious injury or fatality.
"Targa’s Critical Risks" are identified as:
- Confined Spaces
- Electrical Safety
- Hazardous Atmospheres
- Hot Work
- Materials Handling
- Motorized Vehicles
- Pressurized Systems
- Working at Heights
With the Targa Hazard Wheel and "Targa’s Critical Risks" in mind, Targa encourages our employees to stop and Take 10! before performing every operation by simply taking ten moments to ensure everyone is prepared to move forward with the task at hand safely. By using those extra moments, each hazard can be identified, communicated, and mitigated to lower the risk for an incident or injury.
Our health, safety, and emergency management training also covers topics required by standards of the various federal agencies under which we operate including Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Department of Transportation (DOT), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and their state equivalent or partnering programs.
As one of Targa’s Critical Risks, the safe operation of motorized vehicles is of utmost importance. 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 are 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.
Targa is committed to the continued improvement of our safety culture and performance. We are focused on fostering safe working attitudes, positive engagement and training.
Safety management frameworks are in place for all of Targa’s processing facilities and terminals. Targa’s management framework of policies, practices, systems, and controls includes:
- Consideration for 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 assure the mechanical integrity of our facilities and equipment
- Training programs that focus on our employees being adequately trained and fully 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 facility 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
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
- Participate 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 a pipeline public awareness program to communicate with stakeholders and prevent third-party damage to our pipelines
- Public awareness and education programs
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 the 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
Public Awareness and Emergency Preparedness
Targa’s Public Awareness Program is focused on educating the public on pipeline safety and product storage. Our company participates in and allocates the necessary resources to develop, implement and manage the Public Awareness Program. 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
We continue to enhance processes and safeguards to prevent incidents. However, if an incident does occur, we are ready to respond safely and effectively and work together with local first-response agencies and regional and national authorities. In some areas of concentrated industrial activity, Targa is a member of mutual aid networks that provide trained personnel and equipment to supplement and aid Targa’s responders just as Targa provides trained personnel and equipment to aid other companies' responders. These networks include local public first responders.
Targa maintains an emergency preparedness and response framework. 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 are properly trained and equipped to undertake a safe, rapid, and effective response.
Each Targa facility conducts emergency response drills. Where public first responders are likely to respond in the event of a real emergency, public responders are invited to participate in these drills. Targa undertakes an evaluation of these drills to identify where improvements or procedural changes may be warranted. In addition to these drills, each facility routinely conducts “table-top” exercises to discuss potential incidents and discuss the appropriate response.