Workers at the WBI Energy Transmission Worland, WY, plant celebrate SHARP success.

WBI Energy Transmission, Inc. (WBI) provides transportation, storage, and gathering services in Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming.

The company started in Wyoming in 1929 when Montana Dakota Utilities bought the Sheridan Gas Company and built a pipeline to Sheridan from its Billy Creek field south of Buffalo. The pipeline is strategically connected to several major pipelines, allowing transportation of regional natural gas supplies, and is a link between Canada, the Rockies, and the mid-continent area of the United States.

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They have since extended their holdings into several areas in northern Wyoming. WBI has 350 employees corporate wide, with the Worland Plant in Worland, WY, having 12 employees.

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The Worland Plant has been in operation for approximately 55 years and originally started with four compressors. Currently, this plant provides gas compression for some of the largest gas producers in Wyoming.

The WBI Worland Plant has worked diligently to achieve and maintain the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA), Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) status since 2013.

The results are exemplified in its reduced injury and illness rates, lowered insurance costs, and employee participation to identify and control unique hazards.

In February, the company earned its most recent SHARP renewal.

OSHA’s SHARP recognizes small business employers who have used OSHA’s On-site Consultation Program services and operate an exemplary injury and illness prevention program. Acceptance of a worksite into SHARP from OSHA is an achievement of status that singles the company out among its business peers as a model for worksite safety and health.

In 2015, WBI experienced Total Recordable Case (TRC) and Days Away from Work, Job Restriction or Transfer (DART) rates of 0.0. That number compares to the Bureau of Labor Statics’ national average for their industry in 2015 of 1.8 (TRC) and 0.4 (DART). In 2016, WBI’s TRC and DART rates remained 0.0.

Since going after the SHARP certification, WBI strives to continually improve safety and health at their facilities. Because of this, WBI saw the opportunity to partner with Wyoming OSHA Consultation as a positive path to achieve this goal. WBI promotes the ingenuity of its employees to control unique hazards, such as the redesign of equipment to eliminate hazards faced by performing maintenance.

The company has implemented an Einstein Award, where employees are involved in using their experience and ingenuity to eliminate or reduce a potential hazard. An example of a successful Einstein Award was the renovation of access to their mainline cooler and removing employees from a fall hazard. The employee group suggested additional doors be added that could be operated at ground level, so employees did not have to climb on, need a lift to add a tarp, or remove a tarp to the cooler for temperature regulation.

Participating in SHARP has helped WBI work with OSHA to identify and implement best practices to protect workers, boosting their morale by involving them in creating a culture that emphasizes a safe and healthful workplace. 

OSHA’s On-site Consultation Program offers free and confidential safety and occupational health advice to small and medium-sized businesses in all states across the country, with priority given to high-hazard worksites. On-site Consultation services are separate from enforcement and do not result in penalties or citations to the company.

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