We have developed corporate governance and ethics guidelines to provide clear direction to our Board of Directors, management, and all employees. These include our Corporate Governance Guidelines and Code of Ethics and Business Conduct, found on our Governance page.
We strive to continuously improve our safety performance and reduce work-related injuries by building and reinforcing a safety-first culture, and by implementing programs that drive continuous performance improvement. For the past four years, we have outperformed the average safety performance of peers in our size class.
Our safety-first culture is supported by the LiveSAFE philosophy, which promotes personal and corporate discipline to help ensure that each employee and contractor returns home safely every day and encompasses our belief that every incident or injury is important. LiveSAFE requires everyone at our worksites to accept responsibility for their safety and the safety of those around them. We ask all employees and contractors to report unsafe behaviors and hazards, which we use to identify trends and eliminate hazards to prevent incidents from occurring. Everyone on a WES site has stop work authority, regardless of seniority or role.
Our consistent and robust safety policies and programs include company-wide hazard and risk assessments, life-saving rules, job safety analyses (JSAs), safety stand-downs, and safety observations, high-potential incidents, and near-miss reporting. We also require all employees and contractors attend orientation and learn our safety values and expectations before commencing work.
Managing asset integrity is an important element of our approach to protecting our workforce, communities, and the environment. Asset integrity encompasses designing, operating, and maintaining pipelines, facilities, and other infrastructure to help ensure effective and safe performance through their lifetimes. The priorities of our approach are protecting people, the environment, property, and commercial operations, in that order. All employees are accountable for asset integrity, including senior executives. Our Asset Integrity teams review a dashboard of key performance indicators with senior executives weekly and monthly.
Our centralized Tactical Operations Center (TOC) at our headquarters in The Woodlands, Texas plays a central role in the 24/7 monitoring of our operations for asset integrity and other operational parameters to help optimize performance and to proactively identify and address potential issues. The TOC is part of a larger initiative called the WES Wing aimed at fostering cross-functional collaboration to improve our overall performance and customer service. The WES Wing brings together a wide range of operational experts – asset integrity, engineering, operations, HSSE, customer relations and others – in one location to work collaboratively on information analysis, proactive management, and incident response. Employees at the WES Wing, including the TOC, work with employees at field-based operations centers to maximize the benefits of both centralized and field-based operations capabilities.
Our Crisis and Emergency Management (CEM) team manages the preparation and response to emergencies, including potential operational issues, natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and cyberattacks. The CEM team works closely with our HSSE and Operations team to reduce risk, provide operational consistency, and enhance regulatory compliance.
We follow a systematic preparedness planning process focused on continuous improvement across an ongoing cycle of planning, organizing, training, equipping, exercising, evaluating, and taking corrective action to ensure effective coordination during the response to an incident. Risk assessments, response plans, and training are conducted collaboratively across relevant business functions to ensure a coordinated and effective response.
Ensuring the security of our worksites, operations, and workforce is essential to the safety and integrity of our operations and communities. We have implemented a range of security standards and processes to maintain a secure work environment.
Additionally, we know that cybersecurity threats are a risk for our industry and the stability of the nation’s energy supply. Led by our Director, IT and OT Security, and CIS Officer, we are implementing rigorous systems to protect both our enterprise information technology and operational technology systems.
Our commitment to HSSE is rooted in our operations, community involvement, and dedication to continuous improvement. This approach in how we operate is detailed in our HSSE Policy.