To achieve an industry-leading environmental and safety record, a company must be willing to take a long, hard look in the mirror on a regular basis. If it likes what it sees, great. But in many cases, there can be blemishes.

The self-evaluation of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) performance throughout Devon is at the heart of the company's EHS program. It is part of our vision to be the premier independent oil and natural gas company in North America.

Sweeping the Company

Our commitment to safety, worker protection and the environment is highlighted by our companywide EHS audit program. Under this initiative, we focus a critical eye on our own facilities and, when necessary, we take corrective action.

Since 2013, Devon has conducted monthly safety audits, each focusing on a different Devon facility or operating area. For example, past audits have included Devon's exploration and production operations and gas processing facilities in New Mexico, Texas, Wyoming and Canada.

The program also includes special audits for potentially elevated risk activities or for the review of other Devon programs and facilities. For example, audits have included contractor drilling operations, FracFocus chemical disclosures and our corporate offices in Oklahoma City.

We also audit our contractors because they often perform our highest-risk jobs, and we do not differentiate between the safety of our employees and our contractors. That is why we include our contractors in our safety metrics, just as though they are Devon employees.

Hand-Picked Teams

EHS audit teams consist of four to nine Devon employees. Each member is hand selected for audits based on their specific area of expertise and typically include EHS professionals and technical specialists from our operating divisions.

Teams typically spend two days on field inspections, one day in field offices examining records and another day to discuss audit findings with field leaders. Subsequent follow-ups are made to ensure corrective action is taken in a timely way.

These audits are conducted in addition to visits by state and federal regulators, who focus on regulations within their jurisdictions, either safety and health, or environmental.

Critical to our Business

EHS performance is our highest priority. Without it, our ability to be a successful business would be diminished.

It is a focus because our employees are our most important asset, and we must take extra measures to ensure they are safe. We also are committed to being a good neighbor and a good environmental steward. Our EHS audit program helps us ensure high performance in all of these areas.

Published: September 2014