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Protect people, the environment and our assets

Everything we do at PMC aligns with our commitment to safety. We maintain the integrity of our operations to prevent injuries and safeguard the environment where we operate.
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Protect people, the environment and our assets

Everything we do at PMC aligns with our commitment to safety. We maintain the integrity of our operations to prevent injuries and safeguard the environment where we operate.

A new approach to emergency management training

PMC’s Emergency Management (EM) team took a different approach to its six simulated full-scale exercises in 2019. Typically, PMC’s training exercises focus on the initial 24 hours of response to an emergency scenario. However, in the unlikely event of an incident, the actual efforts from response teams may extend past a single day.

Looking beyond initial response is what motivated PMC’s EM team to design exercises for internal and external participants to put longer-term action plans into practice. This alternate approach was described as “industry-leading” by Mark Zamin, Emergency Response Coordinator at the Alberta Energy Regulator.

“I know emergency management in terms of what is required and should be done. I have attended many exercises and have seen many companies struggle and require help. Where PMC is now is how it’s supposed to be done,” said Zamin, who attended a PMC emergency exercise in Slave Lake, Alta. “PMC is able to focus on what didn’t go as planned during an exercise and then develop their program properly.”

One of the reasons for the favourable feedback was the realistic deployment of response equipment, including skimmers, booms and wildlife deterrents. This helped employees and local first responders better understand what would actually happen during a real incident.

John Rogers, a PMC pipeline technician, took part in an emergency exercise just outside of Swift Current, Sask., at Lake Diefenbaker. He explained that while PMC crews frequently take part in exercises, the physical deployment of equipment took it to another level. “When you are in a river with a bit of a current and doing the things the way they are actually done in a real-life scenario, it’s unbelievably valuable,” he said.

Peter L’Heureux, Deputy Fire Chief from Swift Current, stated that the Lake Diefenbaker exercise was one

of the best displays he had experienced. “PMC spent two days of actual training on a full-scale exercise and Incident Command Post at the same time. It was a huge commitment to ensure operations and training went smoothly and that everyone was supported. I thought that was exceptional,” he said.

PMC values our commitment to first responders

PMC facilitates training so that first responders get the opportunity to participate alongside our response personnel in simulated incidents related to assets, products and emergency situations in their area. PMC also provides donations to first responders across Canada and the United States to better equip them when they respond to emergency situations.

Some of the donations PMC made to first responders in 2019 included:

  • Funding toward a new fire hall in Miniota, Man., where PMC has a long-standing relationship with the community.
  • $18,000 to the Fort Saskatchewan Fire Department in Alberta so they could send their members to a special railway emergency training program.
  • A decommissioned trailer for confined-space and flammable fuels training to the Vegreville Fire Department in Alberta. The trailer allows volunteer firefighters to use their training to extinguish live fires under safe and controlled conditions. The technical rescue team also uses the trailer to simulate confined-space rescue conditions.
  • $5,000 to the Lesser Slave Regional Fire Service in Alberta, where the fire department took part in one of PMC’s emergency exercises involving the deployment of spill response equipment. For further learning, the department provided a demonstration of their industrial firefighting capabilities to PMC personnel.
PMC donates funds and equipment to first responders
Employees in Calgary’s Emergency Operations Centre

Security Management

Our Security Management Program helps to ensure the protection of the environment, public, employees, property and information through emphasis on physical security, security risk management, information security, personnel security, information technology and industry-related threat intelligence.

Protecting people and the environment
through emergency preparedness

PMC’s Emergency Response Plans (ERPs)

PMC develops, implements and maintains a regulated Emergency Management Program that anticipates, manages and mitigates conditions during an emergency that could adversely affect property, the environment or the safety of workers or the public.

An ERP is crucial for emergency preparedness. This document contains essential information, processes and procedures to assist personnel in the safe and effective response to emergencies.

The ERPs account for risks and hazards in each of PMC’s operating areas. They include hazard-specific emergency response procedures, equipment availability, area- and operations-specific information, as well as critical internal and external contact information.

PMC’s Emergency Management Program (EMP)

identifies hazards and risks so personnel can respond quickly and safely to an unplanned event or incident.

The EMP is built on four integrated pillars:

Prevention and Mitigation

Identify and manage hazards to avoid incidents or minimize their impacts.

Preparedness

Train personnel and other responders on the tools necessary to perform their responsibilities.

Response

Help employees respond safely and effectively to an emergency.

Recovery

Once an incident is over, assist with the recovery of the environment, communities and operations.

Health and Safety

PMC conducts operations in a manner designed to maintain the safety and security of the public, employees and contractors; the protection and stewardship of the environment; and the integrity of all our assets. Our Health and Safety Management Program reflects that commitment and enhances our processes through a variety of initiatives. These include Life Rules, Stop Work Authority, Visitor Visibility Program, Incident Reporting and Investigation Program, and Corrective and Preventative Action Management Program. Our Process Safety Management Program is another important component of safe operations at PMC.

PMC’s safety culture
reflected in our programs

We put a strong emphasis on creating a culture focused on safety in both our corporate and field locations. Our Health and Safety Management Program encompasses initiatives that create proactive awareness and identify immediate dangers.
One initiative that PMC takes great pride in is our Stop Work Authority, which is intended to prevent unsafe actions or conditions before an incident occurs. Every employee or contractor is responsible for, and authorized to, stop any work they deem to be unsafe or noncompliant with safety policies, procedures or our Life Rules.

Because PMC’s leadership takes safety very seriously, they have made a commitment that there will be no repercussions for any individual who stops unsafe work.

Our Safety Incentive Program is another way we demonstrate that safety is everyone’s responsibility. This awards program was initiated four years ago as part of our commitment to continuously improve and our belief that incidents are preventable. Through Good Catches and Safety Leadership awards, the program rewards workers in safety-sensitive positions who take a pre-emptive approach to safety and exemplify safe behaviour in the field.

Every quarter, PMC gives Good Catch awards workers who proactively identify and report hazardous conditions,

One initiative that PMC takes great pride in is our Stop Work Authority, which is intended to prevent unsafe actions or conditions before an incident occurs. Every employee or contractor is responsible for, and authorized to, stop any work they deem to be unsafe or noncompliant with safety policies, procedures or our Life Rules.

Because PMC’s leadership takes safety very seriously, they have made a commitment that there will be no repercussions for any individual who stops unsafe work.

Our Safety Incentive Program is another way we demonstrate that safety is everyone’s responsibility. This awards program was initiated four years ago as part of our commitment to continuously improve and our belief that incidents are preventable. Through Good Catches and Safety Leadership awards, the program rewards workers in safety-sensitive positions who take a pre-emptive approach to safety and exemplify safe behaviour in the field.

Every quarter, PMC gives Good Catch awards workers who proactively identify and report hazardous conditions, potentially preventing incidents from occurring. Considerations include the impact of the learning across the business as well as the hazard being mitigated and the associated risk.

In 2019, PMC workers and contractors submitted 1,260 Good Catches as part of the Safety Incentive Program. Several areas of our business have benefited from Good Catches, including updates to our Emergency Response Plans and improvements in the PMC Electrical Safety Program.

Safety Leadership awards recognize workers nominated by their peers for going above and beyond to promote safe work and contribute to strengthening our safety culture. In 2019, 28 PMC workers and contractors received Safety Leadership awards.

potentially preventing incidents from occurring. Considerations include the impact of the learning across the business as well as the hazard being mitigated and the associated risk.

In 2019, PMC workers and contractors submitted 1,260 Good Catches as part of the Safety Incentive Program. Several areas of our business have benefited from Good Catches, including updates to our Emergency Response Plans and improvements in the PMC Electrical Safety Program.

Safety Leadership awards recognize workers nominated by their peers for going above and beyond to promote safe work and contribute to strengthening our safety culture. In 2019, 28 PMC workers and contractors received Safety Leadership awards.

I’m exceptionally proud to be part of a company that aligns with my own beliefs and values in its commitment to the personal health and safety of every worker. Our Life Rules and Stop Work Authority reflect PMC’s commitment to safety and encourage a strong safety culture across the organization, empowering workers to do the right thing.

Laura Hughes, PMC Analyst Health & Safety

Teaming up to
prevent pipeline
strikes

Preventing pipeline strikes is one of the core objectives of PMC’s Damage Prevention team, which educates stakeholders about working safely around our pipelines. Provincial One-Call centres are a critical component of that process, providing the public with a way to ensure they can work safely around buried infrastructure while doing any excavation activities.
When PMC receives a call through the integrated One-Call ticket management system, our locators visit the sites where we have been identified as a pipeline owner and mark the locations of buried lines.

In 2019, a collaboration between our Damage Prevention and Geographic Information System (GIS) teams resulted in an innovative and time-saving solution. The GIS team had previously developed the Plains Asset Location Map (PALM), which has been pivotal in helping teams across the organization quickly locate underground assets, pipelines, facilities and valves. Using the information within PALM, our GIS team then helped develop a mobile mapping system.

This system comes in the form of an app available on iPads and Android tablets, so locators can use the mobile technology in the field. The app’s functionality is specific to locators’ needs, enhancing on-the-go experiences and containing the same up-to-date data as PALM.

Teaming up to
prevent pipeline
strikes

Locators have provided positive feedback about the app, stating they have more confidence in the accuracy of line locates. The app has also decreased the time they spend on each locate and reduced their reliance on paper maps.

The technology was implemented as a pilot project and is expected to be rolled out organization-wide in 2020.

Sometimes it’s hard to visualize where exactly a pipeline is located by simply looking at a given area. The live map gave me a second dimension to spatially plot my path while locating and relating to the excavation areas.

David Tramer, PMC Instrumentation Technician

Are you planning work that will disturb the ground? Visit clickbeforeyoudig.com for the One-Call centre information you need before working near a pipeline or any buried infrastructure.

The use of tablets makes it easier to locate underground assets

Damage Prevention

Our comprehensive Damage Prevention Program includes core elements that work together to protect the public, employees, contractors, assets and the environment by preventing damage to underground infrastructure. The core elements include One-Call Management, Crossings and Encroachments, Ground Disturbance, Right-of-Way Surveillance and Monitoring, Class Location and Land Use Monitoring, Unauthorized Activities and Public Awareness. Each approaches public safety in a different way, with the common goal of increasing awareness and changing unsafe behaviour around our pipelines.

PMC employees conduct environmental testing of a groundwater monitoring well

Environmental
inspections are
key to compliance

PMC’s Environmental Protection Program outlines a framework to safeguard the environment when we plan and execute work activities. During project planning, we identify environmental sensitivities and develop strategies to minimize or avoid potential impacts.
Environmental inspections at our asset locations are a crucial part of this program. Our Environment team worked alongside our Operations personnel in 2019 to ensure our Inspection Program was fully embedded into operations across the company.

The completion of inspections drives our sites toward a continuous state of environmental compliance. The inspections focus on aspects such as waste management practices and the protection of soil and groundwater. Findings are documented and, if necessary, corrected.

PMC’s commitment to the protection of the environment extends through all phases of project design and construction to minimize or avoid adverse environmental effects. Our Environmental Protection Program seeks to address all provincial and federal acts and regulations.

Reclamation
of the environment

Almost nine years have passed since PMC faced one of our biggest challenges as a company. In April 2011, approximately 28,000 barrels of crude oil released from our Rainbow pipeline, approximately 100 kilometres northeast of Peace River, Alta.

The incident occurred in a location known for its wetlands and forested areas. Eight months of response activities focused on cleanup, including the recovery of oil using vacuum trucks and skimmers, removal and offsite disposal of affected vegetation and absorbent materials, and excavation and removal of contaminated soil.

By December 2011, the entire release footprint was fully remediated, and PMC began the process of restoring the area to a pre-incident condition. Ongoing site monitoring showed the return of wildlife to the area, the surface water and groundwater quality met provincial guidelines and vegetation had re-established.

The issuance of a reclamation certificate from the Alberta Energy Regulator in 2019 ended any further reclamation requirements from PMC.

Fast Fact
Following the incident the entire pipeline network was examined, and PMC addressed the issue that led to the failure. We also shared lessons learned from the incident with industry peers. These steps were part of a company-wide effort to mitigate potential incidents in the future and safeguard the environment and communities around our pipelines.
PMC reclaimed wetlands and forested areas within the release site