2018 CEOs Who "Get It"

2018 CEOs Who Get it
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Dan Evans

Daniel M. Evans

President and CEO
Fluor Federal Petroleum Operations
New Orleans, LA


  • Engages employees in a repeated safety perception survey to identify incremental improvement opportunities and provide training for all employees to identify safety hazards.
  • Created a Subcontractor Safety Council that meets quarterly to discuss concerns and new or changed processes, ask questions, and share best practices.
  • Created the Management in Action process to facilitate conversations among managers, supervisors and workers about job hazards and controls and to track and analyze process outputs to view improvement opportunities.
  • Identified the 9 “Life Critical” operations so additional hazard controls are implemented when these activities are conducted; all employees are trained on this process.

Fluor Federal Petroleum Operations is a special-purpose company formed for the sole purpose of managing and operating the Strategic Petroleum Reserve under a prime contract with the U.S. Department of Energy. With the capacity for holding up to 713.5 million barrels, the SPR is the largest emergency supply of crude oil in the world. FFPO, which employs 576 workers, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Irving, TX-based Fluor Corp.

Describe your personal journey to becoming a CEO who “gets it.” What experiences or lessons brought you to where you are now?

My approach to safety has grown out of having been part of a variety of organizations, many with high-hazard missions. Early in my career, these projects gave me an up-close-and-personal view of how others would lead. The best of these leaders created safe environments for workers by understanding their businesses and the inherent risks, demonstrating an in-depth knowledge of the people doing the work, creating a personal connection with employees, speaking the truth, following through on commitments and leading by example.

I strive to carry those lessons forward in my role at the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. While working at the world’s largest petroleum reserve offers new safety challenges, the same lessons apply. The end result, I believe, is that we have created an environment where we are responsible for our own safety, and we help each other to be safe. If issues arise, we work them out in a just environment where we can all learn how we can perform better. I have also observed that our safety culture “goes home” with our workforce – our approach to hazard recognition, work planning and mitigation gets used at home for simple but potentially hazardous tasks like using ladders and power tools. We work every day to renew this passion for safety, and I believe it works.

Why is safety a core value at your organization?

Safety is the first core value (Safety, Integrity, Teamwork and Excellence) at Fluor Federal Petroleum Operations because we truly care about our employees. Our employees are our greatest asset, and making sure they are safe is our top priority.

Our mission on the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is to keep the country safe and secure. The way we accomplish this is to take care of ourselves and each other on and off the job. FFPO is proud to have made an immediate and significant impact on safety at the SPR. For the last three years, we have enjoyed the safest years ever in the history of the project.

What is the biggest obstacle to safety at your organization, and how do you work to overcome it?

The biggest obstacle to safety is inattentiveness. Everyone must be focused on what they are doing and aware of how they can perform the task safely. Some of the ways we work to overcome inattention is through sharing lessons learned, distributing cross-talk communications and discussing safety topics. Every meeting begins with the brief discussion of a safety topic, which keeps the importance of safety at the forefront of employees’ minds.

How do you instill a sense of safety in employees on an ongoing basis?

Safety is something we talk about and something we live. We make sure our employees have whatever they need to keep them safe, such as a safe working environment, hazard recognition, thorough training and appropriate personal protective equipment. Safety is one of the ways we measure the quality of the work we do.

How does your organization measure safety? What are the leading indicators that show you how safe your organization is, and where do you see room for improvement?

FFPO relies on leading indicators to help us get in front of potential safety issues. Here are a few examples:

  • Results from our Management in Action program give us valuable safety data. Supervisors, managers and executives “walk the site” and engage in one-on-one dialogue with the employees. Observers identify opportunities for improvement with the intent of creating a positive impact. These data are compiled and we look for root causes and trends.
  • The number of “stop works” called by month, year and cause
  • How many Safe Work Permits are issued by site and year, and the number of work orders completed
  • Reporting and tracking first aid injuries and illnesses by cause, body part injured, site and year. The first aids are excellent predictors of accident occurrences.
  • Job Hazard Analyses performed by types of hazard, nature of work to be performed, location and site
  • Gathering annual findings from all audits – internal, external, client, corporate – and analyzing the total group of findings and their impact on safety culture or performance
  • Near-miss reporting
  • Looking at our leading indicators, one of the areas that we can improve on is the way we prepare and use Job Hazard Analyses.

What role does off-the-job safety play in your organization’s overall safety program? What types of off-the-job safety and health programs does your organization offer to employees?

We want our employees to be safe no matter where they are. Instilling and cultivating a strong safety culture at work will flow naturally into a way of life. One of the ways we keep off-the-job safety at the forefront of employees’ minds is using personal experiences as safety topics to open our meetings.

Each issue of our weekly employee newsletter features an article about off-the-job safety. The topics range from how to safely deep-fry a Thanksgiving turkey to the safety issues created by drowsy driving. FFPO hosts meetings and presentations in New Orleans, at the storage sites and by video teleconference about safety and health topics. Most recently, a nationally known ergonomist delivered a presentation on how changing work and lifestyle behaviors can improve health.

The company also provides opportunities to join local health clubs at a reduced rate and provides a free, confidential Employee Assistance Program to help employees cope with the stresses of everyday life. Also, we are planning a vehicle accident reduction program for 2018.

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