Due to the type of work we do, SWN’s success depends on the contractors who work alongside our employees every day. A vital part of our operating philosophy is fostering a true “ONE Team” culture in which everyone doing work for SWN is held to the same high standards and understands that our respective success depends on working together.

The Origins of ONE Team

In 2017, thanks to our strong culture of safety and our comprehensive health, safety and environmental (HSE) management system, SWN employees had record safety performance. But contractor safety performance had not kept pace. This led to a realization that our contractors needed a better understanding of our culture, standards and expectations. Since then, we have focused our contractor engagement and management efforts around building a culture and environment for our employees and contractors based on open and honest communication, collaboration and shared accountability for results.

“We believe we need to have ONE Team and one culture to achieve the ultimate goal of incident-free operations. We want our contractors as well as employees to know how much we care about their safety. We’re all in this together, we all care about each other equally, and we all want to get home safely to our loved ones.”

Clay Carrell, SWN Chief Operating Officer

Strengthening Our ONE Team Culture

SWN’s culture is one in which employees are empowered, encouraged and expected to collaborate and give honest input on all issues related to and affecting their work, including operational and HSE issues. SWN employees are expected to “own” their job duties and their workspaces, as well as the obligations they have to one another to work safely and make sure everyone goes home without incident. Ensuring that SWN contractors share our expectations and obligations is the essence of our ONE Team culture.

In 2019, we reinforced our commitment to a ONE Team culture by ensuring that all SWN contractors have the training, tools and help they need to achieve desired operational and HSE results.

In 2019, we strengthened SWN’s ONE Team culture by continuing to hold ONE Team events, meetings and open forums across all of our operating areas. Through these events, we directly interfaced with contractor companies to discuss shared strategy and goals, our vision for a ONE Team culture and how we can achieve better alignment with SWN contractors.

These events featured SWN and contractor involvement and engagement at all levels – from employees driving our operations in the field to senior leadership. We supplement and reinforce these official ONE Team events with dedicated contractor onboarding and one-on-one SWN–contractor meetings throughout the year that foster improved collaboration.

In addition, to ensure employee and contractor alignment on HSE issues, we continue to hold joint employee–contractor HSE meetings and other joint on-site meetings focused on specific safety topics. At all times, we reinforce our See Something, Say Something ethos, in which every individual performing work for SWN – regardless of role or status – is obliged to speak up regarding unsafe conditions or behaviors. Included in this effort is making sure every person performing work on any SWN site realizes that they are empowered to exercise stop-work authority any time if they see any safety or environmental risks.1

We integrate SWN contractors into the same HSE trainings and programs as SWN employees, including our required Training Assurance program, and we offer them other safety training resources. See the Health and Safety section for more information on these and other HSE efforts.

Tangible Results

SWN is realizing positive results from our ONE Team culture and has observed an increased willingness to identify and discuss risks, hazards and other issues and develop solutions collaboratively. This led to numerous performance improvements in 2019 compared to 2018. For example:

  • Contractors’ Total Recordable Injury Rate decreased by 10.7 percent
  • Environmental incident rate decreased by 10.7 percent
  • Northeast Appalachia decreased the DART rate for SWN Employees and contractors by 100 percent, with Zero Days Away/Restricted Transfer cases
  • In Northeast Appalachia, we had zero safety incidents for 9 out of the 12 months
  • In Southwest Appalachia, the environmental incident rate decreased by 35 percent
  • SWN Drilling and Completions decreased recordable injury rate by 26 percent
  • SWN Drilling and Completions decreased environmental incidents by 60 percent
  • SWN Drilling and Completions decreased employee safety incidents by 75 percent

Achieving a ONE Team Culture

The following commitments provide the foundation for our corporate responsibility strategy and drive our performance on key environmental and zero incident safety goals:

  • Encourage open dialogue and sharing of concerns, ideas and best practices
  • Engage with contractors by establishing a shared vision
  • Promote continuous improvement with training, educational resources and useful tools
  • Enhance communication and collaboration to mutually engage with our employees and contractors
  • Commit to more frequent SWN and contractor leadership engagement with field personnel
  • Evaluate our progress and identify areas to improve by facilitating ongoing SWN and contractor leadership discussions
  • Hold ourselves and our contractors accountable
  • Publicize, reward and recognize good ONE Team HSE performance
  1. "Stop-work authority" is the authority imbued in every person on a SWN job site – whether employee or contractor – to stop all operations at the job site upon the identification of safety and/or environmental risk(s), such that the risk(s) may be eliminated and/or mitigated.