Koch Pipeline Co.: A Sustainable, Clear Vision of EHS

Nov. 1, 2008
At Koch Pipeline co., being successful at safety requires great employees, great leadership and clearly defined expectations

In an industry that reports a low rate of injuries, Koch Pipeline Co. manages to stand out. Although the lost-time injury rate average for liquid pipeline transportation is .6 - a number most other industries would embrace and celebrate - Koch's injury rate for its 171 employees in Wichita, Kan., is zero.

“Our commitment is to a sustainable EHS performance,” says Bob O'Hair, executive vice president of operations. To his list of “great employees, great leadership and clearly defined expectations,” he adds oversight and knowledge sharing and effective training to a list “of areas that need attention and support from company leaders” if EHS success is to be attained.

“We don't try to measure safety success in terms of dollars. It's the right thing to do - our responsibility - and there are second and third order effects of good safety that while fuzzy, still provide real value to the business,” says O'Hair.

These include improved morale, attracting and retaining valuable employees and lower costs from avoiding excessive workers' compensation costs. Other benefits of safety include “a positive perception among regulators, customers and the general public, and that helps grow the business,” O'Hair says.

The company achieved OSHA VPP Star status in 2007, and has not had a lost-time incident since 2001. The last recordable incident was in 2004. O'Hair says the company approaches many aspects of its business - environmental management, sustainability - with the same dedication with which it has approached safety. Koch has seven EHS management system elements that reflect this philosophy and just as easily could be applied to its environmental management or sustainability initiatives: leadership and management commitment; employee ownership; compliance and risk assessment; compliance and risk management; training; management of change; sustain results.

“In this changing environment, you can't have the mentality of ‘we're going to get there one day.’ It has to be continual learning, continual change, continual improvement,“ says O'Hair.

Return to America's Safest Companies

About the Author

Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith is the former content director of EHS Today, and is currently the EHSQ content & community lead at Intelex Technologies Inc. She has written about occupational safety and health and environmental issues since 1990.

Sponsored Recommendations

Free Webinar: ISO 45001 – A Commitment to Occupational Health, Safety & Personal Wellness

May 30, 2024
Secure a safer and more productive workplace using proven Management Systems ISO 45001 and ISO 45003.

ISO 45003 – Psychological Health and Safety at Work

May 30, 2024
ISO 45003 offers a comprehensive framework to expand your existing occupational health and safety program, helping you mitigate psychosocial risks and promote overall employee...

DH Pace, national door and dock provider, reduces TRIR and claims with EHS solution

May 29, 2024
Find out how DH Pace moved from paper/email/excel to an EHS platform, changing their culture. They reduced TRIR from 4.8 to 1.46 and improved their ability to bid on and win contracts...

Case Study: Improve TRIR from 4+ to 1 with EHS Solution and Safety Training

May 29, 2024
Safety training and EHS solutions improve TRIR for Complete Mechanical Services, leading to increased business. Moving incidents, training, and other EHS procedures into the digital...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of EHS Today, create an account today!