At Cheniere, safety is a core value, and we are committed to a safety-first culture in all aspects of our business. Our commitment to protecting the safety and well-being of our employees, contractors, communities and customers starts at the top, as our leadership team champions the ongoing development of a strong safety-first culture through regular engagement and communication with our workforce and communities. This commitment is embedded in our work at every level of the organization through our Health, Safety and Environmental (HSE) Policy and the Cheniere Integrated Management System (CIMS), which define our management standards and processes for occupational health and safety, process safety, and incident management and emergency response. The strength of our safety program is rooted in our ability to work together for the common goal of keeping each other safe. We take a collaborative approach to safety and consider it a central responsibility of everyone in our workforce. To drive accountability, safety is included in the annual performance scorecard for every Cheniere employee. Collectively, we have surpassed these targets, improving our safety performance every year since first publishing targets in 2017. In addition, contractors working on Cheniere sites are expected to comply with our HSE Policy and are fully integrated into our safety management systems and processes. We undertake regular internal and external audits of compliance with occupational and process safety requirements.
Health & safety
Occupational health and safety
We build a safety-first culture across our workforce through a range of processes and initiatives including:
- Lifesaving rules to operationalize our guiding safety principles of controlling work, controlling energy and controlling equipment.
- Hazard identification and mitigation including daily hazard reviews and pre-job assessments.
- Stop-work authority for all employees and contractors.
- Safety incident, near miss and high-potential incident tracking and reporting.
- Internal and external safety assessments and audits performed regularly to assess the effectiveness of our safety management systems.
- Enterprise-wide safety training based on a role-specific qualification and competency matrix.
- Contractor safety management including prequalification and ongoing assessment processes.
We follow robust process safety management standards in accordance with applicable laws to reduce the likelihood and severity of potential incidents. Process safety incident prevention is a top priority and a key element of CIMS. We focus on maintaining the integrity and effectiveness of the equipment and processes that support our operations, including the prevention of unplanned or uncontrolled releases of hazardous materials. Key elements of our approach include:
- Managing process safety across the life cycle of our facilities — from the earliest planning stages through construction, operations and ongoing maintenance — to help us avoid events before they occur.
- Undertaking regular hazard analyses and related risk mitigation actions.
- Tracking process safety events and high-potential incidents.
- Managing asset integrity following our formal Asset Integrity Standard.
Incident management and emergency response
We actively prepare for a wide range of potential incidents that could disrupt business continuity or pose a threat to our employees, contractors, host communities and the environment. This includes unplanned or uncontrolled product releases, fires, severe weather and cybersecurity events. We have a tiered emergency response framework integrating activities from the executive to local level.
Cheniere’s Emergency Response and Crisis Management Framework seeks to maximize coordination, preparation and response to crisis events across the enterprise. This framework includes:
- Asset-level incident management teams (IMTs): These site-level teams implement their respective emergency response and business continuity plans to resolve site-related impacts. When activated, IMTs provide support for local first responders, coordinate communications and actions across relevant internal and external stakeholders, determine potential impacts and identify communication requirements.
- Crisis management support team (CMST): This cross-functional team, comprising select internal experts, provides support to IMTs through operational and strategic coordination, resource acquisition, support to affected employees, government liaison and internal communication management.
- Crisis advisory team (CAT): Established in 2020, this team provides executive-level decision-making, policy guidance and a structure and processes for integrating executive, managerial and operational resources into our emergency response program. We have incident response and business continuity plans in place — including for cybersecurity — which we test at least annually.
Our commitment to protecting the safety and well-being of our employees, contractors, communities and customers starts at the top, as our leadership team champions the ongoing development of a strong safety culture through regular engagement and communication with our workforce. This commitment is embedded in our work at every level of the organization through our HSE Policy and CIMS, which define our management standards and processes for occupational health and safety, process safety, and incident management and emergency response.
The Vice President (VP) of HSE oversees HSE compliance, as well as health and safety performance and strategy. The VP of HSE is supported by an executive safety committee made up of leaders from across the company. The committee is responsible for strategic planning, the facilitation of safe working practices and the promotion of our safety culture. Management reports to the Board on HSE performance and the implementation of strategic initiatives on a quarterly basis.
Our corporate HSE Policy articulates Cheniere’s commitments, outlines our expectations of employees and contractors, and supports continuous improvement. Our health and safety management systems are integrated into CIMS, which coordinates the management of all core business functions required to support our HSE performance, operational excellence and reliability. This integration will streamline work processes across functions, while establishing a common framework for risk and opportunity assessment, management and performance assurance. Our safety management systems cover our own employees and contractors who work on our sites.
We follow a robust marine assurance process for all vessels and terminals that interact with Cheniere assets and chartered vessels, including ships coming to our liquefaction facilities, fuel vessels supplying our chartered fleet and downstream terminals, and air boats serving our pipeline assets. Our marine safety efforts focus on identifying, managing and mitigating potential risks that may occur during the arrival, loading and departure of vessels from our terminals, as well as during the complete cycle of the chartered fleet activities worldwide. We seek to mitigate the risk of potential incidents including collisions, groundings, fires, pollution events and injuries. We also monitor and respond to impending national and international regulations.
We take an active role in supporting safe marine operations and engage regularly with stakeholders across the shipping value chain, either independently or through active participation in industry bodies such as the Society of International Gas Tanker and Terminal Operators and the Oil Companies International Marine Forum, among others. We host annual workshops for LNG carrier owners and operators to both convey our expectations regarding safety, security and environmental and operational standards and use the platform to share learnings from the attendees on subjects such as maritime security, environmental monitoring and compliance, and technological advancements.
CIMS includes a formal Asset Integrity Standard that defines the minimum requirements for our strategies and processes to achieve and ensure the integrity and reliability of critical assets throughout their life cycle, from design to construction, installation, operations and ongoing maintenance, and decommissioning. According to the standard, business units must perform integrity management of assets in accordance with a written asset integrity management plan, which includes:
• Site-specific application of required asset integrity procedures including best-in-class engineering and design specifications, compliance with regulatory requirements and design codes, and implementation of strict quality control and quality assurance processes.
• Implementation of risk identification, avoidance and mitigation processes.
• Integrity test inspection programs following recognized industry standards including at commissioning and start-up and on an ongoing basis throughout operations, following a risk-based schedule. Examples of testing programs include but are not limited to smart pigging, nondestructive testing — such as infrared and ultrasonic testing, vibration analysis and visual inspections of in situ piping for corrosion management and abnormal piping conditions, commissioning leak detection and pressure testing, safety-integrity-level loop testing, and tan delta and tip-up testing of electrical equipment to monitor health of electrical insulation. We also undertake routine preventative maintenance and calibration tests of instrumentation.
• Development of specific asset integrity key performance indicators (KPIs), data and reporting requirements. KPIs can include frequency of loss of primary containment events and upset conditions that could impact integrity, number of equipment repairs and deferred repairs, number of inspection events and average time to correct equipment deficiencies.
• Approved procedures for continuous improvement reviews, corrective action development and implementation, and root-cause analyses for near misses and actual incidents.
• Change management processes and documentation.
• Training and qualification requirements for relevant employees and contractors, including those engaged in testing, inspections and quality management reviews.
• Decommissioning plans that comply with company standards and regulatory requirements.
Asset integrity activities are overseen by the Senior Vice President of Operations. Compliance with our Asset Integrity Standard and asset integrity management plans is evaluated following the governance standard of CIMS, which requires regular departmental self-assessments and internal, independent functional verification assessments. Additionally, we conduct internal audits based on assessed risk profiles and obtain periodic third-party audits for specific focus areas, such as turnaround maintenance audits, American Petroleum Institute process safety management audits and tank inspections.