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Bechtel’s Impact Report

Environmental, Safety & Health

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A strong commitment to protecting people and the environment

Bechtel is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace, as well as protecting the environment and local communities affected by project development. This objective is inherent within our planning, design, and construction of projects worldwide. To facilitate this approach, Bechtel has Environmental, Safety and Health requirements that apply to all projects regardless of geographic location, and.  uses an ES&H Management System that is certified to ISO 14001 and 45001.

Contractors selected to perform work on our projects are expected to comply with applicable laws, regulatory requirements, contract obligations, and Bechtel ES&H requirements. Program elements span all three ES&H disciplines, and include:

  • Employees who work on site attend ES&H new-hire orientation and applicable specialized training, as ES&H knowledge and awareness is stressed;
  • Employees are expected to demonstrate ES&H leadership, program participation, and commitment to Bechtel’s Zero Incident philosophy;
  • Managers and supervisors participate in ES&H inspections, self-assessments, audits, meetings, and incident investigations to evaluate ES&H compliance and identify opportunities for improvement;
  • Supervisors conduct "toolbox" meetings and pre-task briefings with employees to emphasize important ES&H issues associated with their work activities, including controls, mitigation, and corrective actions;
  • Employees participate in an ES&H behavior-based program that emphasizes leadership, employee engagement, mentoring, recognition, and opportunities for employees to recommend ES&H improvements;
  • Employees are supplied with appropriate personal protective equipment (e.g., hard hat, safety glasses, gloves) and tools to allow them to perform their work safely and maintain and properly operate equipment;
  • Controls and mitigation measures are applied based on hazard analysis, risk assessment, and regulatory requirements and permits;
  • An emergency response plan and resources are established and supported with necessary equipment, training, and drills; and
  • ES&H documentation includes pre-job planning and training records, audits and inspections, injury/illness cases, performance data, hours worked, and other records.

Specialized ES&H requirements may apply, depending on a contractor’s scope of work, site-specific conditions, work methods, and proximity to communities and protected resources, including:

  • Fall protection and prevention measures when working at heights greater than 6 feet, confined space entry processes, dropped object protection, traffic controls and personnel interface, fire prevention measures, lockout/tagout requirements related to hazardous energy, excavation and trenching controls, hazard communication, tool use, and equipment operations;
  • Waste management, project approval of safety data sheets for proposed chemical products, spill prevention and control, protection of natural and cultural resources, erosion and sediment control, stormwater and groundwater management, wastewater management, and fish/wildlife protection;
  • Occupational health protection and monitoring where workers could potentially be exposed to elevated noise levels, hazardous substances, risk of musculoskeletal injury, heat or cold stress, or pathogens.  Other health-related aspects include employee well-being programs.

If selected to bid work, contractors are provided with detailed information on a project’s ES&H requirements. Contractors are expected to demonstrate in their bid proposal that they have applied appropriate ES&H requirements to the hazards associated with their scope of work. Each project evaluates contractor responses, and the results are a factor in determining whether the contractor is awarded the work.

Work crews are expected to perform daily pre-task planning to identify potential hazards and corresponding mitigation measures to eliminate or minimize risks. Bechtel’s Job Hazard Analysis system and pre-task planning process, known as Field Level Hazard Assessment, are pre-task planning methods.

Contractors are responsible for conducting and documenting regular inspections and periodic evaluations of their work activities to verify compliance with the project’s ES&H requirements.  Contractors also participate in project-wide ES&H audits conducted periodically by Bechtel.

Contractors are responsible for selecting and holding their own suppliers and lower-tier subcontractors to the same standards and requirements that apply to their scope of work as set forth in their contract.

If a government law, regulation, or requirement exceeds a project’s ES&H requirements, the more stringent requirement will apply.

The following sections provide additional information on important elements of Bechtel’s ES&H program.

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Zero Incident philosophy

Bechtel has adopted a Zero Incident philosophy, meaning that all work-related incidents - including injuries, illnesses, property damage, and environmental incidents - are considered preventable.  All employees are granted Stop Work Authority as part of that strategy, recognizing the importance of early employee involvement during planning and work execution. The philosophy promotes:

  • Awareness of individual responsibility to identify and mitigate unsafe practices and at-risk conditions within and near the workplace;
  • A team mentality that recognizes ES&H contributions by all employees, applying supervisor and team capabilities and knowledge for risk management; and
  • A culture in which everyone accepts responsibility and accountability for environmental protection and their own safety and health, as well as the safety and health of coworkers.


Contractors are responsible for complying with all governing environmental laws, regulations, permits, and project plans.  An Environmental Management Plan prepared by each project describes environmental requirements, responsibilities, and documentation.  Contractors are expected to use effective planning and control measures applicable to their scope of work. 

Environmental permitting and approvals will be identified and defined as an Owner, Bechtel, or Contractor responsibility depending on the authority having jurisdiction. Permits and approvals will be received prior to the associated work being performed.

Environmental topics can be diverse depending on the location and regulatory requirements.  Protection of natural resources can include erosion and sediment control, stormwater and groundwater management, restricted clearing of vegetated areas or access to unique habitats, wastewater and stormwater discharge, species conservation, and site and habitat restoration.

Cultural resource protection can involve processes to protect and document archaeological and historic sites, protection of important resources with cultural value to a community or indigenous peoples, and stop-work procedures in the event of an unanticipated discovery (e.g., human remains, artifacts).

Other environmental topics include controls to minimize carbon emissions and energy use, hazardous waste management, methods to achieve waste minimization through recycling/reuse and material selection, spill prevention, and noise mitigation measures.   

Contractors, sub-tier contractors, and suppliers will be required to comply with all access restrictions, including prohibitions on access to sensitive resources (e.g., wetlands, archeological sites, special wildlife habitats) or areas adjacent to the worksite.

Contractors may be required to provide a supplemental Environmental Plan that addresses specialized or early work activities not fully addressed in the project’s Environmental Management Plan. Bechtel has to accept the plan before associated work can be initiated.

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Safety and health

Contractors are responsible for complying with all applicable safety and health laws, regulations, and codes.  A Safety and Health Management Plan prepared by each project describes safety and health requirements, responsibilities, and documentation.  Contractors are expected to use effective planning and control measures applicable to their scope of work.

Contractors may be required to provide a supplemental Safety and Health Plan that addresses specialized or early work activities not fully addressed in the project’s Safety and Health Management Plan.  Acceptance of this plan by Bechtel is required before associated work can begin.

Important safety topics pertain to work planning, proper use of personal protective equipment, housekeeping, use of hand and power tools, and vehicle and heavy equipment operation.  Application of controls is based on risk assessment and can involve barricades and signage, a dropped object prevention program, processes for confined space entry, fall protection measures, fire prevention, scaffolding inspection, cranes and lifting operations, mobile elevating work platforms, and traffic controls.

Bechtel typically maintains a medical or first aid clinic at the project site, and identifies supporting medical services offsite, to be used by employees if there is an injury or illness associated with onsite work activities.  Up-to-date and confidential medical records are maintained.  Wellness programs are emphasized by onsite medical personnel, and drug and alcohol testing requirements are applied specific to the project.  

Contractors may be required to have an employee who is currently certified in first aid to render initial aid for their onsite employees.  Contractors will be responsible for promptly reporting injuries, property damage and near miss events to project ES&H management and conducting incident investigations in a timely manner. The incident investigation should focus on identifying and documenting root causes, findings, and corrective actions.

Industrial hygiene (occupational health) considerations involve risk assessment, sampling and monitoring, and controls applicable to the scope of work.  This includes respiratory protection, noise monitoring, musculoskeletal injury prevention, thermal exposure, temporary facilities for workers, and exposure to hazardous substances.  

Suppliers must ensure the safety of Bechtel or customer representatives while present at supplier facilities and those of sub-tier providers.  If, at any time, a Bechtel or customer representative deems the conditions at a supplier facility, or sub-tier facility, to be unsafe, and notifies the supplier accordingly, Bechtel or its customer representative will suspend their activities at such facilities until the unsafe conditions are resolved.

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