Pub. 5 2024 Issue 1

Safety & Environmental Awards Wrap Up

The annual UPA Safety & Environmental Awards were announced last month. Some exceptional member companies were presented with awards shining a spotlight on their exemplary work, initiative and leadership for safety and environmental performance.

Step Change in Safety Award

This award goes to a company that:

  • Encompasses PSM- or HSE-related topics.
  • Shows actions that have resulted in significant process change or organizational culture change, with a focus on innovation or broader step changes.
  • Has demonstrated a shift, whether in participation or signup numbers, increased reporting of near misses, or other metrics.

Big West Oil: Improvements to Key PSM Metrics

Since the start of 2022, Big West Oil’s PSM department has made significant efforts to improve metrics applying to incident investigations, investigation recommendations and MOC actions. Due to a number of factors, there was a large backlog, but Karl Judkins, Ben Butler and Trevor Barlow worked diligently to reduce these items through company training, policy updates, individual follow-ups and more.

PSM Engineers Ben Butler and Trevor Barlow helped develop adjustments to existing programs that improved employee familiarity and competence with PSM-related work. Overdue incident investigations have been reduced by 80%, MOC actions by 60%, and all PSM recommendations by 75%. This significant reduction in overdue actions has resulted in over 300 meaningful recommendations that have improved employee safety, process reliability and environmental awareness. One of the key reasons for success has been the focus on accountability without blame or negative reinforcement.


  • Ovintiv
  • Brahma
  • Chevron
  • MMR

Safety Action Award

This award goes to a person or project team and does not have to be a PSM or HSE professional:

  • Relates to PSM or HSE.
  • Shows actions that have resulted in an improved safety result or process.
  • Has impacted the likelihood or potential of preventing an accident or incident through technology implementation, process changes, communication/education or other means.

Berry Petroleum, H2S Exposure Notification

In November 2023, Berry Petroleum implemented a new style of personal gas monitor to provide proactive support to the employees who work in fields with H2S. The old system was clunky, slow and ineffective, resulting in less than optimal safety for employees.

The new H2S personal detector enables Berry to respond more swiftly and effectively. The new units have been found to be accurate on the location of alarm events as well as a less than one minute alert time to HSE and the employee Foreman.

This also allows the company to be proactive in the protection of employees and gives each of them the best chance, if exposed to H2S in concentrations over 100, to survive an event.


  • Dean Carter, Lease Operator, Javelin Energy Partners
  • XCL Resources, Donations to First Responders

Environmental Leadership Award

This award goes to a person, project team or company that:

  • Shows actions that have resulted in a positive, measurable environmental impact that went above and beyond regulatory requirements.
  • Has applied an innovative technology or process to make environmental improvements.


Caerus Operating LLC, GNB Solar Pump & Power Project

Ron Allred of Caerus and his dedicated team managed and drove the GNB solar pump and power project from start to finish. The sheer scale of this project required incredible organization, management and training of a diverse team, and the ordering of 1,600+ solar panels/skids, 4,000+ batteries and multiple phases of this project to ensure its completion by December 2023. Ron also has helped install eight 24 VDC solar compressors on wellpads to assess the efficacy of that technology to run instrument air for pneumatic controllers in 2023.


  • XCL Resources
  • Chevron
  • Javelin Energy Partners

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