GPA Midstream Safety Committee spearheads industry’s commitment to safety

During National Safety Month, GPA Midstream is celebrating the work of its member-driven Safety Committee, which leads the midstream in implementing safety practices, procedures, and operations that protect workers, communities where companies operate, and the environment.

The Safety Committee, led by Chair Mike Reed, Energy Transfer, and Vice-Chair Tanner West, Enlink, has helped the industry safeguard workers and surrounding areas with rigorous safety standards and unrelenting focus. Data collected and aggregated by the committee shows the industry’s commitment to safety has reduced the incident rate — the number of safety events per 100 employee work years — by 42% over the past decade.

"The Safety Committee is a place for sharing lessons learned, challenges, and successes — including occupational and process safety," Reed said. "We then take those lessons and successes back to our own companies and apply them in the ways that make sense for our operations. That process helps each company improve at their own pace, and we see industrywide improvement. The numbers don't lie."

To achieve the dramatic safety improvement, GPA Midstream members design, engineer and operate facilities with safety as the highest priority. Companies engage in around the clock infrastructure monitoring, routine inspection of pipelines inside and out, and conduct regular aerial surveillance.

Companies invest in an array of safety resources and equipment, including:

  • Specialized safety personnel
  • Personal Protective Equipment
  • Gas, fire and fall detection and protection
  • Respiratory protection
  • Medical management
  • Communications preparedness
  • Emergency response protocols and procedures

The industry employs advanced technology, equipment and certified experts to monitor and mitigate health and safety risks. Through the use of technology, data analysis, safety devices, training, engineering solutions, and industrial safety expertise, companies work to keep job sites safe and comply with state and federal safety regulations.

Reed, who's been part of the midstream for 37 years — since before "midstream" was a commonly used term, he says — encourages individuals to get involved with the Safety Committee.

"The most impactful takeaway is the lessons learned — hearing the experiences of peers and colleagues around the industry," Reed said. "You'll also have the chance for legislative and rulemaking involvement. Before I was chair, I had the opportunity as a committee member to author public comments submitted to the EPA. Being able to directly work on the legislation and regulations affecting our industry is important work and enormously valuable for the industry, companies, and the individuals working on these issues."

Reed said the GPA Safety Committee is constantly working to serve member companies.

"The committee strives to identify if there will be new information or trends we can track beyond occupational or process safety," Reed said. "We're constantly asking each other 'what more can we do for our members'?"

GPA Midstream and GPSA announced winners of Safety Awards for operational excellence in 2023. The annual recognitions included 18 companies with perfect operational records, as well as a number of facilities that reached major milestones for accident-free operations. Click to see all 2023 GPA Midstream Safety Award winners, and 2023 GPSA winners.

Watch for GPA Midstream and GPSA safety award seals on the websites and social media of 2023 recipients.

The National Safety Month observance, which happens annually each June, was established in 1996 to educate and encourage safe behaviors at work, on the roads, and in communities.