Aera Energy’s employees in San Ardo hit an important safety milestone last month with six years of operations without a recordable injury, but the team is not resting on the achievement.
“Every day we remind and reiterate that we have to do things safely or not at all,” said Mike Ohman, operations manager in San Ardo.
San Ardo’s safety culture is centered on constant attention to detail and open discussion about best practices, which has also carried over to the contractors at the field, who recently marked three years without a recordable safety issue.
“We work at the speed of safety,” said Eric Peryera, who works for contractor, RHC.
Ohman said Peryera’s comment captures what the San Ardo team emphasizes daily.
“Eric’s statement perfectly captures the fact that we have the time to do
things safely in San Ardo. It’s how we operate,’’ Ohman said.
Weekly all-hands safety meetings emphasize the importance of best practices or in some cases near misses that could have caused an injury, and how it could have been avoided. The use of “stop work authority,” a cornerstone of Aera’s safety culture, is used to help reinforce best practices.
“Aera and contractor leadership is visible and ensures standards are being followed,” Ohman said.
That leadership is a key part of the safety culture, but Ohman credits the tight-knit community for a big part of the success of staying safe.
“There has been a great culture built here in San Ardo through the years,” Ohman said. “It is very much like small community and everyone really cares about each other.”