Inside Aera
Bakersfield, Featured, Aera At Work Sep 19, 2022

Improving safety on the road

In-vehicle monitoring systems (IVMS) installed in all Aera company vehicles make driving safer for employees, contractors, and everyone else on the road

If you had a chance to prevent a motor vehicle accident to protect a loved one, would you? At Aera, we’re taking a proactive approach to driver safety by installing in-vehicle monitoring systems (IVMS) in all Aera vehicles – to protect Aera drivers and others on the road.

In-vehicle monitoring systems have been installed in all of Aera’s 327 company vehicles

Aera employees and contractors drive company vehicles nearly 140,000 miles every month – transporting equipment, traveling between Aera locations, providing emergency response, and in vanpools commuting to and from work. With all those miles, driving is the leading cause of potentially serious safety events at Aera and typically the most significant exposure Aera employees and contractors encounter daily.

“Some of our more serious injuries and close calls occurred while driving and motor vehicle accidents is definitely one of the work activities that keep me up at night,” said Ron Nunley, Aera health and safety process manager.

In-vehicle monitoring systems (IVMS) were installed in all of Aera’s 327 company vehicles in late 2020 to track harsh events, breaking, turning, acceleration, speed, location, idle times and fuel consumption.

A front-facing camera recalls up to four hours of recorded footage before and after a significant event helping Aera improve its understanding of how motor vehicle accidents occur and how they can be prevented in the future.

Prior to IVMS, Aera had some significant motor-vehicle incidents with no mechanism to see how safe employees and contractors were driving until after an accident occurred — too late for a safety intervention to happen, he said.

IVMS tells us that our drivers, in general, have really healthy driving practices. “However, sometimes drivers do not realize their driving practices need improvement. IVMS proactively tells drivers if they’re speeding or developing driving habits that put them and others at risk. It also helps them recognize if they’ve become comfortable following too closely to other vehicles,” Nunley said.

The system also provides the driver real-time warning before an event occurs including whenever a vehicle starts crossing a lane line, speeds, or suddenly breaks or turns. Aera’s speeding incidents alone dropped 44 percent, and heavy speeding — which includes driving ten to 15 miles over the speed limit — dropped by 85 percent, as part of a three-month pilot of the system in the fall of 2020.

Many oil fields are located on and around narrow rural roads, and many have curves and narrow shoulders which requires attention to driving. “With the system in place, it can warn drivers as soon as they begin to pass over that white or yellow line,” said Nunley. It can give drivers a warning and help them avoid incidents,” Nunley said.

IVMS is just one component of several safe-driving measures recently implemented at Aera. As part of Aera’s normal vehicle replacement schedule, all new vehicles will be five-star safety rated with top crash-test ratings and the latest in safety design features including 360-degree camera-view systems, lane departure and collision sensors. Some employees have said that IVMS has improved their driving in their personal vehicles too – helping them keep an eye on their speed, and just being more aware of their driving habits.

“Being on emergency response teams and seeing car accidents up close and seeing the tragedy associated with those – to me is very personal, said Kyle Hensley, an Aera health and safety specialist. “I want to make sure I do whatever I can do to make sure I can help keep my fellow coworkers safe no matter what, and IVMS is part of that.”

DID YOU KNOW? Aera Energy is a three-time recipient of the Forbes America’s Midsize Employer List, placing ninth in the 2022 ranking and securing its spot in the top ten midsize companies to work for in the United States.

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