At Sempra, we know that our stakeholders are key to our success. We are dedicated to protecting the safety of our employees and the public, supporting the communities in which we operate, championing our employees in their careers and personal lives, and protecting human rights — that’s how we deliver energy with purpose.
Anchored by our value to do the right thing, safety remains foundational to all we do. The global pandemic reaffirmed that nothing is more important than the safety of our employees, our contractors, our customers and the communities we serve. At the onset of the pandemic we quickly adapted, directing many of our employees to work from home and implementing comprehensive safety measures throughout our companies’ operations.
The pandemic also highlighted the importance of psychological and emotional safety, and we continue to support our employees as they adapt how they live and work. Read more about how we support our employees’ emotional well-being in Social.
- Activated enterprise-wide pandemic response leadership forum to help respond quickly to changing conditions and manage risks
- Hired infectious disease specialists to provide us with expert advice
- Instituted travel restrictions, limited office access and increased sanitization
- Revised protocols for essential onsite employees, including physical separation within operating groups and increased protective gear
- Expanded paid sick and emergency leave policies for employees who need additional flexibility
- Provided employees technology reimbursement, stress management and mental health resources
- Continued to adhere to the guidance of public health authorities to implement current health, safety and security guidelines, in an effort to implement a safe return to work plan
- Offered flexible payment plans and suspended service disconnections at Sempra California to help maintain uninterrupted energy service
- Enforced physical distancing and personal protective equipment protocol while performing work in customer homes / businesses
- Introduced contactless enrollment option for energy savings assistance program in response to COVID-19 social distancing guidelines
- Since early 2020 we have donated over $17 million for COVID-19 relief and recovery efforts. Our support addresses food insecurity, senior services, medical supplies, worker relief and more
- Expanded employee giving program to include a one-to-one match by Sempra of employees’ financial contributions to charitable causes, virtual volunteering or actual time spent volunteering
Our safety-focused culture emphasizes that work should only begin when all safety measures are in place. Employees and contractors are empowered to take responsibility for their own safety as well as the safety of others. This allows and encourages colleagues to speak up when needed. It influences how a coworker responds when someone raises a safety concern and encourages a “stop the job” mentality.
The responsibilities of the Sempra board’s SS&T committee include oversight of a variety of ESG topics including Sempra’s overall health and safety policies, reinforcing our company’s strong commitment to robust safety practices. Executive leadership is responsible for overseeing reported safety concerns and promoting a positive safety culture and an environment of trust. Comprehensive safety management plans that follow international safety protocols are also integral to our approach.
In 2021 an SDG&E employee was fatally injured while operating a vehicle. The incident was thoroughly investigated, and SDG&E identified the cause and took action to help prevent reoccurrence. No other employee or contractor fatalities occurred in 2021. We continue to work to strengthen employee and contractor safety.
In 2021 our company-wide employee recordable incident rate decreased while our lost-time incident rate remained level. SDG&E developed a new safety framework that addresses process safety: building safety into every process, reimagining the way processes are detailed and described and implementing change management to help stakeholders understand and adopt the new approach. With an increased focus on supervisor engagement and quality job observations, SoCalGas reported a decrease in both recordable and lost-time incident rates in 2021. Also in 2021, SoCalGas participated in a safety culture assessment commissioned by the CPUC. The assessment offered recommendations to enhance SoCalGas’ safety culture by moving beyond compliance to a more systemic and integrated approach. It also identified similar suggestions for Sempra to promote a healthy safety culture. SoCalGas is looking forward to working with the CPUC and other utilities and stakeholders to continue to build a top-tier safety culture.
Sempra Infrastructure’s Energia Costa Azul natural gas liquefaction export project under construction achieved over 1 million manhours without a recordable injury. The business also significantly strengthened its emergency preparedness and response program based upon the lessons learned from the severe U.S. Gulf Coast hurricane season.
Building on its updated safety vision and strategy, Oncor hit a new milestone of 10 million safe work hours completed with no lost time incidents between December 2019 and January 2021, continuing its trend of reducing lost time and recordable incident rates and preventable vehicle accident rates.
Our commitment to safety extends to our contractor and supplier workforce. Our supplier code of conduct outlines our expectations that suppliers provide a safe working environment that incorporates accident prevention and minimizes exposure to health risks; and are responsible for knowing and understanding the health and safety laws and regulations impacting the goods and services they provide. See Introduction for safety performance data.
We also strive to protect the public from dangerous contact with energy infrastructure. In 2021, there were three serious injuries and one fatality alleged to involve company pipes, poles and wires, construction areas, motor vehicles or other facilities.1
All our companies are working to build safety awareness in the communities in which they operate. For example, to help bridge the gap in electric safety education for Texas’ public-school students, Oncor created the Super Safe Kids program, a traveling show that teaches students about electric safety. Since the program’s launch, Oncor employees and a cast of animated characters have presented more than 165 Super Safe Kids safety shows at schools and community events, reaching more than 85,000 kids in Oncor’s metro and non-metro service territory.
- Reflects the number of fatalities or personal injuries requiring in-patient hospitalization involving our energy infrastructure.