Hess Earns U.S. National Safety Council Honors
Recognizing the significant commitment Hess has made to workplace safety, the U.S. National Safety Council (NSC) is honoring company Chairman and CEO John Hess among the “2011 CEOs Who Get It” in the February issue of Safety+Health magazine.
Each year the publication recognizes CEOs who have made safety an organizational core value at all levels of their organizations.
“Leaders incorporate safety management systems into their organizations not only because it is the right thing to do, but also because safety is valuable to business performance,” said Janet Froetscher, National Safety Council president and CEO when she announced the NSC’s selection of “CEOs Who ‘Get It.’”
The National Safety Council, founded in 1913, is a membership organization representing more than 55,000 businesses, labor organizations, schools, public agencies, private groups and individuals.
“It is a great honor to be recognized by the nation’s oldest and most prestigious safety organization – not only for our chairman and our company, but for the thousands of Hess employees who work tirelessly at consistently reinforcing our safety culture,” said Gerald Bresnick, vice president Environment, Health, Safety and Social Responsibility.
John Hess is among ten leaders chosen by the organization from national and international organizations of all sizes and from a wide variety of industries and locations.
“Safety is essential to the very purpose of our company: to be the most trusted energy partner in the world. We simply have to continue to strive for safe and incident-free operations – everywhere, every day and for all the right reasons,” the chairman told the magazine.
“We believe companies are judged not only by business results but how they achieve them. Operational excellence is a key enabler to success for us, and safety is the cornerstone of operational excellence. We want each person who works for us to return home safe every day from our operations in every where we do business. We owe this outcome to our people, our partners and the communities where we operate.”
Under Hess’ leadership, the company has done all this — and more. Safety is central to three of the company’s six corporate values: Social Responsibility, Performance and Value Creation. The company has also developed a formal Environment, Health & Safety (EHS) policy that establishes a culture of committed and visible safety leadership.
“The biggest challenge I see is sustaining momentum and avoiding complacency,” the Hess chairman said. “I think we do that by continually building awareness, communicating about the importance of safety, and recognizing progress and success.”
The pursuit of excellence in safety practices is an essential element of the Hess culture. Safety is directly linked to the Hess 2020 vision, both in the foundational values and in the Operational Excellence, Risk Management and Trusted Partnerships pillars. All of these elements of Hess 2020 reinforce the company’s safety culture.
There is also a commitment to delivering measurable results. The company performs routine management safety reviews and reports safety performance to employees and executive management on a monthly basis.
In addition to an annual Chairman’s Award for Safety Excellence and annual Global Safety Appreciation Day, Hess recognizes achievements by incorporating safety performance as part of determining payouts for annual salary decisions and cash bonuses for most employees.
Hess’ commitment to safety is clearly working. Employee incident rates have declined 78 percent since 2000, and 2009 was the safest year on record for Hess, with an injury rate that improved 25 percent over the previous year. The culture of safety is so well-established that “employees believe that safety is a lifestyle,” said Alan Bodak, director of Terminal Operations.
Because there is an established safety culture at Hess, “there is much more emphasis on safety and buy-in by all department heads,” said Patrick Henry, Retail Marketing construction and maintenance manager in Woodbridge, N.J. “We have the right tools, training and bulletins on safety. It has become standard practice to be safe.”
Hess’ culture of safety applies across the board, from field operations to retail stores to office buildings — anywhere work is done. Employees even take their focus on safety home with them to their families and work on projects that educate people about safety in the communities where Hess operates.
Froetscher recognized John Hess for his view that Hess Corporation “emphasizes safety as a lifestyle. Employees are able to take what is learned about safety at work and use it to recognize and eliminate safety hazards in their homes and communities.” She said that he is among the CEOs “invested in continuously reducing risks and keeping employees and their families safe around the clock.”
Source: Hess, February 3, 2011;