Safety is much more than a platitude, it’s a culture. Without clear policies and procedures, along with engaging oil and gas safety training, you will never achieve zero incidents. In the first edition of our ACE Leadership Insights series, we talk to Aubrie Golden about the critical role culture plays in creating a safe and profitable workplace.
Oil and Gas Safety Training Video & Transcript
James: I’m James Hahn II the founder of Tribe Rocket, we do Sales-Driven Marketing for oilfield services companies. One of the companies we have the pleasure of working with is ACE Completions, especially working with the lovely Aubrie Golden. Aubrie, welcome in, tell the people who you are and what you do for ACE Completions.
Aubrie: I’m Aubrie, I work on our ERICKA Team, which is an acronym for Environmental, Regulatory, Insurance, Compliance, and KPIs. We’re kind of, I don’t want to say the backbone, but our primary goal is to help make things run smoother. To help improve our operations, doing oil and gas safety training to make sure we are complying with regulations, make sure we’re doing positive things as far as environmental. Those are the big areas we focus on.
And we also do a lot of the internal auditing. We help make sure our departments are running smoothly. If there’s any areas where we see, “Hey, we might be able to improve and make things run better”, we will help that department make those changes. Make sure those improvements are implemented.
We’re just here to help optimize the company.
Building a Safety Culture
James: Everybody that has ever met me knows I used to work at Quicken Loans. They have these ISMs, these corporate sayings. And you have a really great corporate cultural saying around “Clean Up Your Act”, which speaks to the oil and gas safety training piece. Talk to me about what Clean Up Your Act means to you and the whole organization.
Aubrie: Yeah, every year we set aside five core principles for the year. Things that we as a company really want to focus on. And one of those for 2018 is the idea of “Clean Up Your Act”. That means a whole lot to the business.
It means safety, it means making sure you’re not putting yourself in danger, making sure you have your personal protective equipment on. Making sure your employees and your coworkers are performing their jobs safely, completing their oil and gas safety training. It means stopping somebody if you see something that could potentially be unsafe.
It also goes into our environmental side, being conscious and aware of things. Always reporting spills, it doesn’t matter if it’s a drop. We report it, we clean it up, we go through all of our procedures. It’s really important out here in the oil industry to make sure that you are having a positive impact, especially not a negative impact. Because there is a little bit of scrutiny behind the industry. You have to make sure you’re really trying to do something good. You’re not being detrimental to the environment.
And then it also goes into your business processes. How your employees are doing their business. Making sure they’re not cutting corners, making sure our employees are treating each other well. It also goes into how we present ourselves to the general public.
The idea of cleaning up your act really is a overall company culture in every area of the business.
Accountability & Rigorous Reporting
James: That’s what I really love about working with y’all because company culture is something I geek out about and you have it there, a great one. Talk to me about that, because I think I just heard you say “one spill and its reported”. I think I’ve heard some others talk about that, so what does that look like? Like you said, there are so many people that think we don’t care about the environment in oil and gas.
Aubrie: Right, there’s that idea behind the oil industry, “Well, they don’t care they’ll just dump it wherever and move on their way because oil is money and let’s just keep going.” That’s a culture we at ACE Completions do not want to be associated with. We really strive and really implemented great procedures to teach and educate our employees on how to handle spills. How to handle spills on every type of chemical that’s out there. Our employees take oil and gas safety training that teaches even if it’s a single drop on the ground, they’re required to report it and immediately clean it up. We don’t want to give anybody the idea that were not trying to do what’s best for the environment and what’s best for the company. best for the company.
James: Yeah, because ultimately we live where we work and we love the environment. I don’t know more hunters and fishermen and outdoorsmen or women than in the oil industry.
Aubrie: Right, yeah.
Keep Your Head on a Swivel
James: We care about this stuff. Talk to me then about what that looks like practically speaking. This is our first conversation here and some people might not even realize what ACE does out on the yard, if you will. It’s a really unique situation with the amount of chemicals that you do source into Midland out there, so talk to me about that.
Aubrie: We have several facilities here. We have two big primary facilities and a couple other smaller locations, our offices and our maintenance shop. But, primarily we do a whole lot of transporting chemicals to frac sites. That also includes storing them at our property.
On a daily basis we see a ton of tanker trucks coming into the yard. We see movement through rail, we’ve got 2 rail spurs that can hold 40 railcars on them in a single instance. We got so many moving products and there’s all this potential that if you’re not careful, and you’re not keeping conscious of Cleaning Up Your Act, there’s the potential you could have a spill and all of these little things add up.
So, taking those proactive measures with good oil and gas safety training to ensure that were not doing those things really helps the company. Maintaining a good yard really helps operations. If you’re being conscious of the environment and you’re keeping your facilities organized, it’s going to help long-term down the road monetarily. You can move more trucks out of the yard, get more loads on location, and help everything run smoothly.
Let the Good Times Roll
James: That was the most amazing thing when I finally had a chance to get out there on the yard in Midland.
Aubrie: There’s so many moving objects. There’s a million things going a million different ways. It’s pretty amazing how they can get this all to just perfectly go together. You’ve got people coming in, you’ve got people going out, you’ve got blends going. There are so many moving parts in a single day.
James: Especially now that the Permian is popping the way that it is and then oil is headed back. I guess I haven’t even talked y’all about that, but I’m sure you’re pretty busy now that oil’s up over $70-$80.
Aubrie: We’re definitely seeing an increase with everything starting to boom, the whole of West Texas. West Texas is very dependent on the oil and gas industry, so when it’s good it’s really good out here. Everything raises up in prices. I heard on the radio recently gas is up to $3 and it hasn’t been since 2012, which is the last time we had a pretty big boom. So we’re definitely seeing a lot of positivity out of that. We’re seeing a lot more work, we’re seeing a lot more movement, we’ve got a lot more employees we’re hiring. We’re hiring some really good individuals with good knowledge.
The company is growing. It’s pretty cool.
James: It’s really cool and I’m very honored to be part of it and we will continue this conversation as we move forward. So, Aubrie Golden, thank you for your time.
Aubrie: Thank you.
Do you have any best practices on building a strong safety culture? We’d love to hear them in the comments!