With its stated goal of zero incidents, CEPA Integrity First® is driving continuous improvement in the pipeline industry. Through Integrity First, CEPA members share their knowledge and innovations, joining forces to advance performance.

Integrity First is considered a systematic approach to improving performance for the entire pipeline industry in three key areas – safety, environment and socio-economics. Integrity First focuses on continuous improvement in leading practices as new technologies, ideas and innovations are introduced. In this section, we report on our ongoing Integrity First initiatives.

Integrity First is driving continuous improvement in the pipeline industry. Through Integrity First, CEPA members share their knowledge and innovations, joining forces to drive industry-wide improvements.

Similar to the Responsible Care® program in the chemical industry, Integrity First is a carefully managed, ongoing systematic approach to drive continuous improvement. CEPA members do not compete on safety and as a result, Integrity First provides the means through which they are accountable to collaborate to improve their practices in safety, environment and socio-economics.

Since 2014, Integrity First has been focused on five key priorities:

  1. Emergency management
  2. Control room management
  3. Pipeline integrity
  4. Damage prevention
  5. Water protection

CEPA Integrity First® priorities

Here’s a look at where each priority is at in the performance improvement cycle:

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Emergency management

Ensuring we continuously develop and maintain programs that promote an appropriate, timely and effective response to emergency events in order to protect workers, the public and the environment

  • Guidance document completed
    2014
  • First self-assessments completed
    2014
  • Action
    plans implemented
    2015
  • Second self-assessments completed
    2016
  • Third-party verification initiated
    2016

Control room management

Ensuring we apply leading practices to advance control room management and learn from events to improve practices so that controllers have the right information to make timely and informed decisions

  • Guidance document completed
    2015
  • First self-assessments completed
    2015
  • Action
    plans implemented
    2016
  • Second self-assessments completed
    2017
  • Third-party verification initiated
    2017

Pipeline integrity

Ensuring we apply strict standards and systems in the design, construction, inspection and maintenance of our pipelines

  • Guidance document completed
    2014
  • First self-assessments completed
    2014
  • Action
    plans implemented
    2016
  • Second self-assessments completed
    2017
  • Third-party verification initiated
    2017

Damage prevention

Ensuring we minimize damage to pipelines by systematically identifying all hazards, risks and exposure to damage throughout their life cycle

Ensuring we inform the public of the presence of pipelines and how to prevent damage to pipelines through actions, such as unsafe digging

  • Guidance document completed
    2016
  • First self-assessments completed
    2016
  • Action
    plans implemented
    2017
  • Second self-assessments completed
    2018
  • Third-party verification initiated
    2018

Water protection

Ensuring we protect water resources through the development of industry-leading practices, adoption of technological innovations and engagement of diverse stakeholder groups to maintain or improve water quality in all phases of the pipeline life cycle

  • Guidance document completed
    2016
  • First self-assessments completed
    2017
  • Action
    plans implemented
    2017
  • Second self-assessments completed
    2019
  • Third-party verification initiated
    2019
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Integrity First in action: Improving control room management

Studying incidents to prevent them
In 2012, CEPA did an in-depth analysis of 35 transmission pipeline incidents dating back to 2000, as reported by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada and the National Transportation Safety Board in the U.S. The report provided valuable information about the root causes of pipeline incidents, and highlighted three areas that contribute to the severity of transmission pipeline incidents – detection and isolation of the failure (control room procedures), emergency response and public awareness.

A multi-year improvement process
CEPA members are tackling the root causes of pipeline incidents through Integrity First, with control room management going through the stages of Integrity First from 2014 to 2017. Once through the stages of Integrity First, control room management will repeat the cycle with a focus on continual improvement.

Improving control room training and practices
Control rooms have often been described as a pipeline system’s “eyes and ears” – they operate 24/7, 365 days per year. The personnel work in secured areas, are highly trained and directly involved in the day to day operations. They are able to monitor flows, pressures and many other features specific to the operations of a pipeline. If an abnormal condition occurs they are responsible for responding to the condition in a safe and efficient manner.

When control rooms function well, they provide effective and thorough monitoring of pipeline systems. But if poor training or management practices impair the ability of either the operator or the equipment to keep watch, the consequences could be undesirable.

That’s why CEPA members are taking control room management one step further, and why it’s one of the top priority areas of Integrity First.

Building the strategy
In 2014, subject matter experts from CEPA member companies worked together to develop a guidance document to improve control room procedures. The document identifies the four key focus areas are for control room management – competencies, alarm management, fatigue management and information management.

Assessing current practices
In 2015, all CEPA member companies used the guidance document to assess their control room systems, processes and procedures around these focus areas.

Focusing on higher standards
The results of the self-assessment were analyzed by CEPA to determine areas of improvement and opportunities to share leading practices among member companies.

Sharing results
Consolidated self-assessment results are analyzed for each priority to identify potential areas of improvement. CEPA facilitates the development of action plans to improve performance and the sharing of leading practices. Member companies will continue to improve on their own, but also work alongside member companies and control room experts who are part of the control room management knowledge network to share leading practices and advance control room performance.

Improving performance continues in 2017 and beyond
CEPA member companies will complete their second round of self-assessments in summer 2017; followed by third-party verification later in the year. These two activities will further advance the consistency and high performance of CEPA members’ control room operations.

Every Integrity First priority undergoes the same process, providing a collaborative approach to continuous improvement.

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CEPA Integrity First® 2016 milestone – the first round of third-party verifications

The goal of CEPA Integrity First® is for CEPA members to get to zero incidents by driving continuous improvement in critical areas such as safety and environment.

But how can Canadians trust that the industry is striving towards, and performing at, the high standards that Integrity First intends?

That’s why, in fall 2016, CEPA implemented third-party verification as part of Integrity First. Essentially, an independent verifying company evaluates and validates the self-assessments that each CEPA member company completes to ensure they are reporting consistently and accurately on their performance. These technical specialists not only know certifications and verifications, but also have deep knowledge about the pipeline industry. Importantly, none of them have worked for CEPA members, and so are completely independent. Third-party verification adds the independent scrutiny that Integrity First requires to maintain public confidence and demonstrate that the industry is maturing.

Emergency management was the first priority area of Integrity First that went through the third-party verification stage in late 2016. Lessons learned were applied to other areas of the program. Two additional reporting categories – control room management and pipeline integrity – will undergo external verification in fall 2017.

Also in 2017, CEPA members will be doing the first round of self-assessment on water protection. And later in the year, CEPA will analyze the data and determine areas to focus on for continuous improvement.

Integrity First reflects the best aspects of industry improvement programs, such as third-party verification, developed by other industries, including: the Chemical Industry Association of Canada’s Responsible Care; Toward Sustainable Mining, developed by the Mining Association of Canada’s; and the Sustainable Electricity Program, which was developed by the Canadian Electricity Association.

Questions and Comments
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