Safety is one of the number one hot topics across the oil and natural gas industry. From the safety of our employees and contractors – to the well-being of the communities where we operate, we keep safety top of mind for everyone involved in our operations. In a recent series of companywide safety stand-down meetings, Coterra demonstrated the importance of workplace safety to its employees, contractors, and partners.
In March 2022, our Vice President of Operations, Blake Sirgo, wanted to clearly and concisely uphold safety across the company’s footprint and make an impact on our workforce. He stopped work in Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania – – intentionally idling 12 drilling rigs, five frac crews, and thousands of workers across the country to ensure a safe workplace.
Sirgo stated, “If I want to be clear and send an intentional message, it must be one that both creates a memory but it also must showcase that we are prepared to walk the walk.” With this impactful statement and action, Sirgo made it clear a safe workplace is a workplace for which everyone has a voice and the ability to stop work.
Gary Hlavinka, Vice President of the Marcellus Business Unit, made note of the way we track safety records and measures daily through Occupational Health & Safety Administration (OSHA) and internal reviews. He shared that we do monthly employee meetings, quarterly contractor safety meetings, and that we remain committed to the safety of the entire workforce. It’s imperative that we continue to host safety stand-downs to ensure everyone respects the need to be safe. Gary stated, “We can’t simply point to manuals or guidelines – – we need to stop work to demonstrate safety is job one.”
We were pleased to welcome Lee Shelby, one of the country’s most sought-after motivational safety speakers, as the keynote speaker at the stand-downs. Lee, who lost both hands in a workplace accident, delivered a heartfelt message that safety is paramount, and he held himself up as an example of what happens when you forget the rules and cut corners.
Lee spoke passionately about being cavalier and feeling invincible, but that in a blink of an eye, you can make a mistake that will not only impact your life, but all those around you – – teammates, family, loved ones, and peers. Lee recognizes how fortunate he is to have survived his accident, but he also accepts and reinforces that personal accountability rests with him – and in turn, rests with each of us every day.
Throughout these stand-downs, Coterra shared the important message of the absolute need for safety and accountability to rest with each worker across our footprint. This intentional message was aimed to leave a lasting impression of the importance of workplace safety and will hopefully ring true as we set out to work each day.
Skipper Herring, Director Drilling, Completions, & Purchasing at Coterra summed up the event by saying, “We do the safety stand-down because each and every person matters to us. We want everyone to make it home safely after a hard day’s work.”