Social
Occupational Health
and Safety

Why It Matters to Us

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Explanation of the material topic and its Boundary

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We understand that safety is a precursor to achieving operational excellence. The safety of our employees and contract workers is a top priority as the nature of natural gas extraction activities, including well operations and water hauling, has the potential to pose health and safety risks to workers. A strong safety record also contributes to our success in attracting and retaining employees and demonstrating strong and effective management to investors and other stakeholders.

What We Are Doing

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The management approach and its components

SASB EM-EP-320a.2
Discussion of management systems used to integrate a culture of safety throughout the exploration and production lifecycle

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SASB EM-EP-320a.2

The safety of our people and the environment in which they work is at the core of everything we do. We prioritize safety objectives over business objectives and we conduct our active business operations in accordance with the applicable health and safety requirements established by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and other regulatory bodies such as the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, and the West Virgina Department of Environmental Protection. As we strive to be the safest operator in the Appalachian Basin, we implement technologies, robust training, and clear safety guidelines to ensure all workers — including our large contractor base — have the resources, training, and support from our culture necessary to work safely. Our Family, Obligation, Communication, Understanding, and Support (FOCUS) program and training promotes an overall culture of safety and serves as a coaching tool for our employees and contractors.

F is for Family

Family is about expanding our connections and caring for the people here at work and at home, and treating everyone as our family.

O is for Obligation

Each one of us has an obligation to perform our jobs efficiently and safely in a manner that protects the health and safety of ourselves and those around us.

C is for Communication

Communication is engaging in respectful conversations that focus on our common goals and values

U is for Understanding

Understanding is being aware of our safety goals and how we can each contribute to achieving them

S is for Support

Support is working together to create an environment where Zero is Possible, a safe working environment to ensure we all return home safely to our families
 

FOCUS exemplifies our commitment to creating an environment where “Zero is Possible” and ensures that all employees and contract workers receive the same messaging on why safety is important to our family — at home and on the job. The program has been so well received by employees that all of our contractors are exposed to, and trained on, our FOCUS program to ensure their buy-in to our culture and mission. We assess performance of our contractors and provide additional training and coaching to them as needed. We apply a FOCUS lens to our safety management processes, training, contractor guidance, and interaction with local communities. We reward our employees and contractors that exemplify our safety culture using challenge coins — one for each letter of the acronym. Workers receive a digital coin and recognition across the organization for going beyond expectations.

As a responsible corporate citizen, we share our best safety practices with our peers to help improve overall industry safety performance. Through our active membership in the ISNetworld® (ISN) Appalachian Working Group, we share safety-related best practices and innovations with a group of natural gas producers to improve safety performance within the Appalachian Basin. We also require that all of our contractors be a member of ISN and utilize their digital platform for uploading and tracking their safety statistics, which are accessible to us for review. We host monthly, quarterly, and annual meetings with ISN and have representatives from ISN attend our large Contractor Safety meeting to answer any questions and to assist in coaching.

governance and data tracking

Our Safety department is part of our Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) department and works alongside the Environmental, Fleet, and Security teams. The Vice President, EHS — who reports directly to our Chief Executive Officer — leads the department and presents quarterly updates regarding EHS matters to the Public Policy and Corporate Responsibility Committee of the Board of Directors.

We maintain an annual cash incentive compensation plan for our employees, which we refer to as our Short-Term Incentive Plan (STIP). Under our STIP, annual incentive compensation opportunity for all of our employees is based on our successful achievement of specific financial, operational, and EHS performance measures — which are established annually by the Management Development and Compensation Committee of our Board of Directors. For 2022, 15% of the annual incentive compensation opportunity under our STIP is tied to safety performance — specifically, our “safety intensity” performance and employee days away restricted time rate. We believe this provides a meaningful incentive for all of our employees to maintain their focus on safety and further reinforces the importance of safety as part of our culture. For more information about the 2021 STIP and the related performance metrics, see our 2022 Proxy Statement.

We use a centralized database to track all EHS data in a centralized location, which is updated monthly and made available to all EQT employees. This provides the entire organization with transparency on our overall EHS performance and the performance of individual departments.

EHS Management System and Risk Identification

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Occupational health and safety management system

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Hazard identification, risk assessment and incident investigation

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Worker participation, consultation and communication on occupational health and safety

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Prevention and mitigation of occupational health and safety impacts directly linked by business relationships

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Workers covered by an occupational health and safety management system

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403-8

Our EHS Management System is informed by the federal and state regulatory requirements of OSHA, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, and the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection. Our EHS Management System enables us to systematically identify and manage workforce safety risk by communicating our EHS Policy, workforce safety information, awareness and training, safety procedures, performance monitoring, and safety verification processes to our employees and contractors at all locations. We are committed to auditing our EHS Management System annually to provide updates when needed and ensure alignment with current issues and regulatory requirements. As a result of our 2021 audit and with the assistance of our Internal Audit department, we determined that certain new vendors assisting with our new venture projects did not have prior experience with standard safety procedures for working on natural gas well sites. We identified and shared areas of improvement and training necessary for these contractors to work safely before allowing them to work on our sites. In 2021, approximately 17,200 workers[1] (100% of our employees and contract workers) were covered by the EHS Management System.

The identification, prioritization, and management of our safety risk is core to our EHS Management System. Our detailed risk and hazard analysis (RHA) process uses a hierarchy of safety controls to pursue, establish, and sustain proper safeguards. Before any fieldwork begins, the RHA requires a systematic safety review of the site construction plan and all daily onsite workforce activities. If a task is deemed unsafe, everyone onsite has the obligation and authority to stop work without fear of retribution or discipline. To ensure the RHA functions properly, we use a multilayered verification process and a qualified team of internal and external safety experts to oversee observation, testing, inspections, and audits. We share verification results with our leadership team and, if potential weaknesses are identified, we take action to strengthen them.

We encourage employees to communicate with management about issues or initiatives that could help improve overall safety performance. Our toll-free emergency number operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Our call center received 2,919 calls in 2021 and has played a critical role in enabling us to collect the necessary information to dispatch appropriate individuals and agencies to mitigate incidents. We require all employees, contractors, and vendors to report an emergency, medical issue, fire, spill, safety concern, etc. Members of the EHS department field these calls to ensure the right teams are notified to respond.

We also maintain a community hotline number for community members to report safety concerns; see Community Impacts and Safety for more information on how we protect our communities.

Emergency Hotline: 1-833-990-1534

Safety Training

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Worker training on occupational health and safety

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Safety training is a critical component of our workplace safety initiatives. All EQT employees receive core safety training annually, along with more frequent specialized training for various groups of employees tailored to the work performed and the types of issues faced by those employees. We customize specialized training subjects and delivery methods as needed. For example, monthly safety meetings with field employees, held virtually in 2021 due to COVID-19 constraints, covered issues such as:

  • Stop-work authority;
  • Personal protective equipment;
  • Incident reporting and investigation;
  • Regulatory citation information;
  • Emergency preparedness;
  • Outdoor safety;
  • Safe driving; and
  • Industry specific technical safety training.

We continue to have contractors take our FOCUS training program, including training on water hauler truck safety and rollover prevention. In 2021, many of the trainings continued to be offered virtually and participants were able to engage directly through virtual breakout rooms. Where possible, we offered in‑person trainings in socially distanced outdoor settings. Additionally, in 2021, we launched a monthly safety newsletter that is distributed to all employees. The safety newsletter covers relevant safety matters and other issues that may arise given our predominately remote workforce.

“EQT prioritizes safety, which makes me feel safe on the job because I know that they are doing everything possible to ensure everyone on site goes home at the end of each day without injury.”
- Anonymous EQT Contractor quote from 2021 Safety Culture Survey

During 2021, our field-based employees in the aggregate completed approximately 4,241 hours of EHS training, while our office-based employees in the aggregate completed approximately 4,983 hours of EHS training. Contract workers completed approximately 594,904 hours in the aggregate of EHS training that we hosted.

Contractor Safety

Contract workers made up approximately 83% of our total workforce hours in 2021 — necessitating transparency from, and collaboration with, our partner companies. All drilling, construction, maintenance, or other operations-related contractors that we utilize must agree to adhere to our EHS Policies and Program. These include safety requirements that are updated regularly to reflect best practices and apply to all work performed by a contractor’s employees and the employees of their subcontractors. Contractors must also pass a qualification process developed by ISN — an industry-recognized platform for monitoring safety metrics and performance. ISN ensures our contractors qualify by providing vital information regarding their performance in the following key areas:

  • Safety management systems;
  • Injury and illness statistics;
  • U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) inspection compliance;
  • U.S. DOT motor carrier safety rating;
  • Written safety programs and safety training;
  • Experience modification rating; and
  • Fatality history.

Our EHS department collaborates with our Supplier Relations Management group to oversee contractors’ compliance with our safety standards. If a contractor does not satisfy our safety standards, EHS collaborates with the supplier, applicable operations departments, and Supplier Relations Management to seek improvement. If the supplier does not improve, safer service providers are engaged. Contractors who fail to meet our rules and standards are not permitted to continue to work on our sites.

We remain engaged with our contractors as work evolves to ensure we achieve our joint commitment to safety. We track contractor safety incident rates (injury and vehicle accidents) provided by contractors via ISN and our contractor safety auditing process is incorporated in our contractor safety qualification program. We also conduct quarterly contractor safety meetings and held smaller, virtual meetings in 2021 to continue collaborating and sharing learnings with contractors. In these meetings, we spotlight employees and contractors that have demonstrated success toward our commitment to create an environment where “Zero is Possible.”

We have also automated certain aspects of our operations to improve efficiency and enhance the safety of our workers. In our drilling operations, we perform remote geosteering and use Baker Hughes’ directional drilling services. Our wellbore data is gathered remotely via satellite and analyzed for quality control issues. Adjustments in the speed and direction of drilling are made remotely and, if necessary, instructions are sent electronically to crews on location to make corrections. This not only decreases the number of onsite personnel, thereby reducing the potential for safety issues, but it also allows us to use the best geosteerers and Baker Hughes’ best directional drillers and personnel to perform services on multiple wells and rigs simultaneously.

In our completions operations, we eliminated the use of hammer unions — a known failure point in the industry — in our hydraulic fracturing operations. We have replaced the labor associated with carrying and hammering hundreds of connections with a controlled, mechanically assisted rig-up with connections that are bolted together instead of hammered. Eliminating hammer unions from our hydraulic fracturing operations has decreased the risk of failed connections, thereby improving equipment life and creating a safer work environment that requires less labor and has a lower operational cost.

We have automated our wellhead controls, decreasing the number of personnel needed on location to execute valve actuation and maintenance while increasing valve maintenance and reliability. Our automated system opens and closes the valves on our drilling rigs and greases the valves on a set schedule, increasing the valve’s life.

Additionally, we perform vibration analysis on our wells, which tells our pump operator if the well pump is operating within a specified “danger zone.” Staying outside the “danger zone” extends the life of the pump and decreases the frequency at which pumps need to be rebuilt. Rebuilding well pumps is a labor‑intensive process that increases the risk of workforce injuries and spills — reducing required pump rebuilds improves our efficiency and our safety and environmental impact.

Traffic Safety

Safe driving is an area of particular importance for us as our site activities at times necessitate heavy truck traffic that can affect surrounding communities. In addition to our FOCUS training for water haulers, we maintain Traffic Control Plans and Fleet Safety Procedures. We hire personnel with law enforcement backgrounds to monitor contractors and operate speed radar equipment. Not only do these individuals help ensure our employees and contractors follow our guidelines, they also support community safety. Read more about our efforts to protect public safety in Community Impacts and Safety.

We also work closely with driving safety and industry experts to reduce risk associated with operating our vehicles. Both new and experienced drivers must demonstrate their safe driving skills through a periodic supervisor-observation session. New employees undergo a series of computer-based training programs and behind-the-wheel training, including a defensive driving module. We provide additional instruction for those employees operating specialty vehicles or haul trailers, performing off-road travel, or driving construction vehicles on public roads. One such course is a U.S. DOT training, which enables drivers to cross state lines and remain in compliance with relevant laws. Our drivers are required to be recertified every three years. Our drivers completed a total of 1,444 driver training courses in 2021 — including vehicle, all-terrain vehicle, and snow mobile trainings. We require contractors to record miles driven in ISN to establish contractor preventable vehicle accident rates. Our contractors drove 37,829,598 miles for us in 2021 and had a preventable vehicle accident rate of 1.77.

We require all water hauling vendors to have video cameras installed in their vehicles — one camera facing the driver and another forward-facing camera to show the roadway. These cameras allow us to conduct periodic spot checks on the drivers to verify that they are following the bonded routes, adhering to posted speed limits, and that they are not distracted while driving. The cameras have also assisted us in determining the cause of accidents and are used to share lessons learned from different events to further enhance our safety-focused culture.

We continue to use our Water App to allow us to track the location and status (e.g., loaded, unloaded, etc.) of water trucks and other vehicles operated by our service providers. The application launched in early 2021 and has enabled us to more efficiently source local, available vehicles — thereby reducing mileage traveled — and to monitor for vehicles that fail to operate within our standards such as defined speed levels. We believe that this insight will continue to increase the effectiveness of our incident response times and we estimate that this tool will reduce miles traveled by approximately 600 miles per day. For more information, see Water.

 Occupational Health Services

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Occupational health services

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Healthy employees are more adept at performing their roles safely. To this end, our Medical Services team plays a key role in ensuring the occupational health of our employees, providing advice, and teaming with the EHS department on repetitive motion hazards, industrial hygiene results, and the potential for elevated noise exposure. Our Medical Services team has also played an integral role in helping us ensure that our workforce continues to be safe and healthy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, including providing testing and offering vaccines to employees at our office locations within our operating area. The Medical Services team is accessible to all of our employees 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Read more about employee wellness in Talent Attraction and Retention, Diversity, and Inclusion.

[1] Inclusive of EQT employees and contract workers. The number of individuals in both demographics is as of December 31, 2021.

How We Are Doing

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Evaluation of the management approach

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Work-related injuries

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Work-related ill health

SASB EM-EP-320a.1
(1) Total recordable incident rate (TRIR), (2) fatality rate, (3) near miss frequency rate (NMFR), and (4) average hours of health, safety, and emergency response training for (a) full-time employees, (b) contract employees, and (c) short-service employees

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SASB EM-EP-320a.1

If a safety incident does occur, we record the nature of the event in our safety incident management database as prescribed by OSHA injury/illness recordkeeping requirements. After each incident, we conduct a thorough incident review to determine possible causes, to identify options to prevent recurrences, and to highlight opportunities to improve training, processes, and procedures using a hierarchy of safety controls. Our personnel also conduct biweekly incident review meetings with senior management. By tracking and analyzing safety incidents, we can assess the effectiveness of our approach to safety management and strive for continuous improvement.

We track leading indicators — including near-miss incidents, number of trainings held, audits performed on contractors and our own operations, and survey results — to better benchmark ourselves and identify areas for improvement. We conducted an employee safety survey in 2021, the results of which showed that most employees believe that we promote a values-driven, proactive, and mutually accountable culture and that we are developing a more consistent alignment of our core safety values. We plan to survey our own employees and contractors again in 2022 for a year-over-year comparison.

In addition to the use of safety incident metrics, we also use several safety management verification processes to evaluate our safety program:

  • Safety team inspection program;
  • Safety team contractor monthly safety auditing program; and
  • External (third-party experts) EHS Management System and worksite auditing program.

We analyze all results from our safety verification programs for potential systemic issues and establish actions to promote continuous and sustainable program improvement.

Work-Related Injuries[1]

 Metric

2018

2019

2020

2021[2]

Employees

#

Rate

#

Rate

#

Rate

#

Rate

Fatalities from work-related injury

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

High-consequence work-related injuries[3]

 1

 0.06

 0

 0

 1

 0.16

0

0

Workforce accidents[4]

39

3.20

16

1.98

13

2.02

11

1.63

Lost time accidents[5]

0

0

1

0.12

3

0.47

0

0

Recordable work-related injuries (including fatalities)

 6

 0.49

 4

 0.49

 5

 0.78

2

0.30

 Main types of work-related injury

Nearly 65% caused by slip and fall, struck by/against, or insect bites

Accidental methanol ingestion, ergonomics (heavy lifting), slip and fall, and finger injury as a result of being caught in or between equipment

Majority of injuries caused by struck by/against, slip and fall, or hand and finger injuries as a result of being caught in or between equipment

Tick bites requiring prescription medication

Contractors

#

Rate

#

Rate

#

Rate

#

Rate

Fatalities from work-related injury

2

0.01

0

0

0

0

0

0

Workforce accidents[6]

372

3.04

173

2.44

64

2.18

81

3.20

Lost time accidents[7]

29

0.24

10

0.14

6

0.20

5

0.20

Recordable work-related injuries (including fatalities)

98

 0.80

 29

 0.41

 15

 0.51

18

0.71

 

Main types of work-related injury

Nearly 70% either struck by/against, slip and fall, or hand and finger injuries as a result of being caught in or between equipment

Majority of injuries caused by struck by/against, slip and fall, or hand and finger injuries as a result of being caught in or between equipment

Majority of injuries caused by struck by/against, slip and fall, or hand and finger injuries as a result of being caught in or between equipment

Majority of injuries caused by struck by/struck against (e.g., hand tools, hose, mobile equipment), or same level slip/trip/fall

Total Recordable Incident Rate

Metric

Unit of Measure

2018

2019

2020

2021[8]

Full-time employees

Incidents per 200,000 hours worked

0.49

0.49

0.78

0.30

Contract employees

0.80

0.41

0.51

0.71

Short-service employees

0

0.25

0

0

The majority of our workforce injuries result from struck by/against, slips and falls, and hands/fingers getting caught in or between equipment. In 2020, we created videos for all employees to watch regarding prior safety incidents/injury. In the videos, the individuals who were injured describe what occurred and what could have been done differently to prevent the incident from occurring. These videos have been very well received by our field employees because the message is coming from their peers and we attribute much of our year-over-year improvement to the effectiveness of these safety videos. We are proud to report that our 2021 employee work-related injuries decreased or stayed the same in every metric that we track as compared to 2020. We again had no work-related fatalities in 2021.

Work-Related Ill Health

Metric

2018

2019

2020

2021[9]

Employees

Number of fatalities as a result of work-related ill health

0

0

0

0

Number of cases of work-related ill health

1

1

0

0

Contractors

Number of fatalities as a result of work-related ill health

0

0

0

0

Number of cases of work-related ill health

3

0

1

0

We had no incidents of employee or contractor work-related ill health in 2021.

Near Miss Frequency Rate[10]

 Metric

2018

2019

2020

2021[11]

Full-time employees

3.70

0.99

0.78

1.78

Contract employees

1.95

1.56

2.08

1.42

Short-service employees[12]

Not applicable

0

0

0

While our contractor near-miss frequency rate decreased in 2021 as compared to 2020, our employee near-miss frequency rate increased. We believe the reason for the increase can be linked to an increase in reported small, near-miss incidents following training we conducted throughout the year during which employees were educated on the importance of reporting all near-miss incidents (regardless of magnitude or severity) so that we can use the reported incidents as a way to train our employees and contractors.

Preventable Vehicle Accident Rates[13]

 

2018

2019

2020

2021[14]

Employees

1.27

1.10

1.14

1.32

Contractors[15]

2.15

2.36

1.63

1.77

Our employee and contractor preventable vehicle accident rate increased slightly in 2021 compared to 2020 due to additional work vehicles in use during 2021 to support our operations.

[1] All rates are calculated per 200,000 hours worked.

[2] 2021 safety metrics do not include incidents related to the Alta Assets and Alta employees and contractors which occurred prior to our acquisition of such Alta Assets on July 21, 2021.

[3] Inclusive of cases with a return to work date greater than six months from date of incident.

[4] Includes all reported injuries.

[5] Number of lost work days per 100 full-time equivalent employees.

[6] Includes all reported injuries.

[7] Number of lost work days per 100 full-time equivalent employees.

[8] 2021 safety metrics do not include incidents related to the Alta Assets and Alta employees and contractors which occurred prior to our acquisition of such Alta Assets on July 21, 2021.

[9] 2021 safety metrics do not include incidents related to the Alta Assets and Alta employees and contractors which occurred prior to our acquisition of such Alta Assets on July 21, 2021.

[10] All rates are calculated per 200,000 hours worked.

[11] 2021 safety metrics do not include incidents related to the Alta Assets and Alta employees and contractors which occurred prior to our acquisition of such Alta Assets on July 21, 2021.

[12] Short-service employee information is available for our employees only.

[13] (Number of preventable vehicle accidents * 1,000,000) / miles driven.

[14] 2021 safety metrics do not include incidents related to the Alta Assets and Alta employees and contractors which occurred prior to our acquisition of such Alta Assets on July 21, 2021.

[15] Does not include contractor information associated with the Mountain Valley Pipeline project. Inclusive of contractor preventable vehicle accidents occurring on and off our property.

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