Employee & Contractor Safety

Live safe zero by choise

Denbury has a long-standing commitment to the highest standards for the health and safety of our employees, contractors and local communities. We recognize that providing and integrating a sound health and safety program into our business is key to our success. As we continue the evolution of our safety culture, we stress the importance of individual choices and the impact they have on our lives, both at work and at home. Our new logo and theme, “Zero by Choice” is a reminder that each employee or contractor can achieve a zero-incident workplace by making the right choices in everything we do.


Employee Health
& Safety

Denbury’s dedication to safety is built into our management structure, starting at the highest levels and extending to our field offices. Three members of Denbury’s Board are representatives on the Board’s Reserves and Health, Safety and Environmental (“HSE”) Committee. One of the Committee’s primary oversight responsibilities is to review and assess with senior management the Company’s health and safety polices, practices and procedures.

We understand that we are individually responsible for our own safety and the safety of those around us. We know that every task can be completed injury free.

Denbury has an established HSE Department that provides corporate guidance and standardization across the organization on HSE matters and is tasked with ensuring that Denbury meets or exceeds safety and environmental regulations. Our Vice President of HSE works closely with a dedicated safety team consisting of eight corporate and eleven field safety employees integrated into our field operations.

Denbury has a Safety Committee comprised of senior managers from each operations department. This team meets on a regular basis to review, discuss and address safety and compliance performance. The Safety Committee identifies those areas that need improvement and then develops, launches and champions new safety programs and initiatives.

It is Denbury’s policy to:
  • Comply with all pertinent safety laws, rules and regulations, not just because we are legally required to do so, but also because we believe it is the responsible way to conduct our business;
  • Set systemic HSE leading and lagging key performance indicators annually to measure our performance and adapt our approach to achieve superior results;
  • Monitor, revise and reemploy safety systems and environmental assessments on a regular basis;
  • Provide operational HSE education and training to our employees in order for them to have the knowledge, skills, and understanding to perform their responsibilities and duties at the highest level;
  • Routinely review and verify performance with audits, evaluations and other quality assurance and quality control methods;
  • Empower and expect all personnel to immediately Stop Work without fear of reprisal, when an unsafe condition or act is observed which could affect the safety of personnel and/or the environment;
  • Provide relevant safety and health information to contractors and require them to provide proper training for the safe, environmentally sound performance of their work; and
  • Communicate our commitment to this policy to our subsidiaries, affiliates and contractors and seek their participation and support.

All employees are required to comply with all health, safety and environmental rules and regulations. Each employee understands that they are individually responsible for their own safety and the safety of those around them.

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Employee Health
& Safety

Each year, Denbury establishes corporate goals specifically related to employee and contractor safety performance and monitors them throughout the year. The performance statistics are continually reported to the Board, senior management and all employees to reinforce their importance. The compensation of every Denbury employee is tied, in part, to achievement of these goals, which further reinforces that safety is integral to everything we do.

Two performance indicators that Denbury closely monitors are Total Recordable Incident Rate (“TRIR”) and Days Away/Restricted or Transfer Rate (“DART”). TRIR is a rate that represents the number of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) recordable incidents for every 200,000 hours worked. DART is a rate that represents the number of days away from work, work restriction or job transfer resulting from OSHA recordable incidents and illnesses for every 200,000 hours worked. As shown in the charts below, Denbury has consistently outperformed our industry’s average TRIR and DART in recent years. The most recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data for the oil & gas extraction sector indicated an average TRIR of 0.90 for 2016 and 1.00 for 2017. By comparison, Denbury's TRIR was 0.59 in 2016 and 0.36 in 2017. Likewise, the oil & gas extraction sector indicated an average DART of 0.40 for 2016 and 0.60 for 2017 while Denbury's DART was 0.34 in 2016 and 0.27 in 2017. We strive to have zero safety-related incidents each year.

Total Recordable Incident Rate

Days Away/Restricted or Transfer Rate

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Denbury’s focus on safety is highlighted by our annual Safety Leadership Conference. The conference attendees include all levels of operations management (approximately 230 employees) and focuses on our commitment to the development of a culture of safety. Our safety motto was conceived at this conference and is still a symbol of our core beliefs about safety. The two-day conference fosters the sharing of ideas, provides clarity on expectations, and sets in motion changes in Denbury’s safety performance. Each year the conference builds upon the safety themes discussed in previous years and features success stories from employees who make a difference in the safety culture in their respective workplaces.

2017 Safety Conference Keynote Speaker

Our 2017 Safety Leadership Conference’s keynote address was given by former U.S. Air Force Colonel and NASA Astronaut, Mike Mullane. Colonel Mullane previously served as a Weapons Systems Operator in the United States Air Force and was selected as a Mission Specialist who completed three space missions aboard the Shuttles Discovery and Atlantis. He was inducted into the International Space Hall of Fame and was the recipient of many awards, including the Air Force Distinguished Flying Cross and the NASA Space Flight Medal. In his presentation, Colonel Mullane discussed how “Normalization of Deviance” is rooted in decision-making while under job-related or personal pressures. He used the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster to show how a world-class team can be victimized by incremental deviances from teamwork, leadership and safety best practices. His presentation focused on how procedural compliance is the best defense against vulnerability and that risk is not diminished by the frequency at which one is successful in taking the risk. Colonel Mullane also used a personal story from his Air Force flying career to explain the importance of owning your safety responsibility by speaking up or taking action when you see a concern, particularly in hazardous operations. You might see something safety-related that nobody else sees.

Keynote speaker Mike Mullane - 2017 Safety Leadership Conference

2016 Safety Conference Keynote Speaker

Our 2016 Safety Leadership Conference’s keynote address was given by Jim Wetherbee who has over 35 years of experience in high-hazard operational environments. Mr. Wetherbee previously served as a Naval Aviator aboard the USS John F. Kennedy, has over 20-years of experience in the aerospace industry as a NASA executive and astronaut, and has worked in the oil and gas industry focusing on safety issues. He was the only astronaut to have commanded five missions in space. The theme of Mr. Wetherbee’s presentation was “Controlling Risk”. He explained how organizations manage risk with systematic and structured processes implemented by managers to help the workforce conduct their jobs in a safe and productive manner. However, Mr. Wetherbee noted that even the best organizations have to control risk when it is time to go to work. He stressed that in order to work effectively and stay alive, workers need operating techniques for controlling risk. Mr. Wetherbee described his ‘techniques of operating excellence’ which enable groups of people working together to optimize performance in any high-risk business and accomplish more in our dangerous world.

Jim Wetherbee Keynote speaker Jim Wetherbee - 2016 Safety Leadership Conference

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Contractors are an integral part of Denbury’s business, and the well-being and safety of our contractor partners is equally as important as the safety of Denbury’s employees. Our employees’ engagement with contractors about safety is a standard practice. Contractor orientations and pre-job safety reviews promote both a safe work environment and clear communications.

We invite our contractors to inspirational safety presentations with our employees because we believe their well-being and safety is equally as important as Denbury’s employees.

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In order to have sustainable success in our Zero by Choice (“ZBC”) Program (“Program”), we needed to focus on leading indicators (hazards that may exist that could be precursors to an incident). One of the cornerstones of our Program is identifying, mitigating, and communicating hazards. As we rolled out ZBC in February 2018, we were thrilled to see the level of participation among employees and contractors and their willingness to share their Hazard Observations. But it didn’t stop there; we also encouraged sharing of positive behaviors such as ‘Safety Conversations’, ‘Stop the Job’ examples and ‘Safe Acts’. We quickly realized that we had successfully kicked off a set of leading indicators that could help us prevent incidents from ever occurring; the goal of any successful safety program. Leading indicators, such as hazard observations of behavioral or operational conditions, provide key information regarding our culture and maintenance philosophies, which allow us to act before an incident occurs. This focus on leading indicators will impact the performance of our employees and contractors and influence the daily business objectives.

With our Program being documented and shared in various ways across our Company, we identified the need to develop a consistent, standardized approach to allow the reporting to be efficient for all personnel, provide a means of sharing information across the organization, and ultimately provide a way to report on trends that could lead to process improvements. We also needed to consider those observations that might require a corrective action on a piece of equipment to make sure those were captured in our maintenance program.

Leading indicators of behavioral and operational conditions are vital to business performance and integral to enhancing our focus on creating favorable outcomes. These indicators include substantial amounts of business related activities such as:

  • Asset Integrity – Maintenance work orders (Preventative & Corrective)
  • Hazard Observations (Stop Work Authority, Unsafe Conditions, & Unsafe Behaviors)
  • Safety Conversations (Tool utilized to track field engagements)
  • Safe Acts (Tool utilized to recognize safe behaviors of teams)

With the assistance of our HSE and Asset Integrity Management (AIM) teams, our internal IT Department developed an application within SharePoint that is compatible with both desktop and mobile platforms. This new application captures all of the ZBC leading indicators (Hazard Observations, Safety Conversations, and Safe Acts) in one place, and allows front-line workers to send in leading indicators in real time from their mobile devices, instead of relying on the old method of using either paper forms and/or emails.

Additionally, our Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) team and IT Department developed a process that would allow the ZBC Reporting Tool to communicate with our SAP-EAM corrective maintenance program. If a report contains a Hazard Observation on a fixed piece of equipment, a notification is automatically sent to the SAP-EAM to create the corrective maintenance work order. This not only creates transparency of the hazards identified in the workplace, but also ensures maintenance is being performed to correct the hazard, and in some cases, prompt continued preventative maintenance.

As part of the development of the ZBC Reporting Tool, our field and corporate leaders desired a means of viewing engagements reported in the tool. As a result, our IT Department created a series of reports, notifications, and dashboards that would allow visibility of the data entered into the system. Those reports and notifications are as follows:

  • Daily Report – An automated report that is emailed to the entire Operational Organization and provides an overview of the entries from the previous day
  • Stop Work Authority Notification – An automated email notification to Business Unit & Corporate Leaders advising that an engagement that required the stoppage of work took place. The notification provides the location in which the Stop Work Authority event occurred and what was done to correct it
  • Hazard Observation – If a Hazard Observation involving an Unsafe Condition on Denbury-fixed piece of equipment is reported, an automated work order notification is sent to SAP-EAM
  • Spotfire Dashboard – This dashboard displays real time data that allows business leaders and field personnel to adapt and actively improve business performance

This internal solution allows Denbury to progress our ZBC initiative through enhanced focus on reporting and sharing of leading indicators. It also allows us to further assess our HSE culture to determine if additional training, resources, or equipment are needed to help our workers perform their jobs safer and more efficiently. Additionally, this solution provides:

  • One consistent, company-wide platform of reporting, analyzing, and trending leading indicators;
  • Integration of our behavior based observation and corrective maintenance program with the ability to track a work order from the time it is entered to completion; and
  • Encouragement for our managers and personnel to engage workers throughout the organization through Safety Conversations and reporting of Safe Acts.

Shortly after the pilot of the tool began in August 2018, the North Dakota Petroleum Council (NDPC) selected Denbury’s implementation of the ZBC Program and the development of the ZBC Reporting Tool as the recipient of their annual Excellence in Safety Award.

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There are times where our workers are required to work and/or travel alone in the normal course of business. In these situations, we believe it is important to have a means for our employees to seek help when needed. Denbury initiated a Lone Worker Safety program using satellite and cellular based devices capable of issuing an alert if our employee is not moving, falls, or has not checked in at a pre-determined time. Employees can also trigger an alert on the unit itself to notify others of potential distress.  In any of these situations, the device allows employees to communicate with personnel on the emergency call-out list or trigger an on-site response, if needed. The GPS capability of the devices also provides our employee’s exact location, so help can be directed as efficiently as possible. The devices are currently being utilized throughout our Company.

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