Ten years ago, Precision Pipeline opened its doors as a small regional pipeline contractor. But times have changed, with successful work in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale region propelling Precision Pipeline toward growth in step with the natural gas pipeline industry boom. Today Precision Pipeline operates as a subsidiary of MasTec, a multinational leader in engineering and construction for the oil, gas, and electricity sectors. Through it all, Precision Pipeline has stayed true to its core values high standards of safety, environmental stewardship, quality, and efficiency.
Improvements in Health and Safety
An important key to growth is not being afraid to reevaluate your operations, identifying your own weaknesses and therein the places where you can improve. At Precision Pipeline, this means taking another look at safety standards in an effort to do better by their employees and clients.
“Was our safety good because we were lucky, or was our safety good because of what we were doing?” asks McKone. “So we reevaluated our whole program.” Through this reevaluation strategy, Precision Pipeline has been able to take a keen look at its daily operations and make significant improvements, addressing issues like equipment safety and team leadership while enacting precautionary measures like visiting job sites before project start dates in order to assess and plan for any potential hazards ahead of time.
This increased emphasis on safety and the adoption of a “no tolerance” position for hazardous situations is also encouraged among Precision Pipeline’s network of suppliers and partners. “We know what our values are, and we try to push those down to others,” says McKone. “Subcontractors have to make the same commitment to us that we make to all of our project leaders – a commitment to zero injuries and zero incidents.” Through this broad spanning commitment, Precision Pipeline has been able to drastically reduce incidents throughout its projects.
Better Training and Collaboration for Better Results
Strong training has been vital to Precision Pipeline’s growth. As a proud hirer of union workers, Precision Pipeline is able to hire skilled welders and other craftsmen – but for those who are working a pipeline for the first time, there can be a learning curve. Because of this, good training is vital and at Precision it starts with on-the-job guidance on the field.
“We’re able to provide on the job training,” says McKone. “We really value those new workers, because they’re a fresh set of eyes. But pipeline work is new to them, so we have what we call a ‘green hand,’ which means they’re new. They’ll actually wear a green hand on their hard hat, so other workers are aware that they’re new to this and will look out for them.”
An especially beneficial aspect of the training and learning process at Precision Pipeline is its position within the MasTec family, giving the company a unique opportunity to learn from and share knowledge with others in the industry. “Being that we are a part of a larger group, we’re able to bounce ideas and lessons learned off of other companies that are owned by the same parent company,” says McKone.
Training is also a crucial part of leadership, with field workers being prepped for every project in regards to issues like health and safety so that everyone is on the same page in understanding each project’s goals and standard expectations. “Some of these guys go through it every time a new job starts – but while the message is always similar, it’s always improving,” says McKone. “We’re always adding things, always trying to make it better.”
Ten Years and Running
This year marks Precision Pipeline’s tenth in operation, and the company is looking ahead toward further growth potential in regions like Marcellus Shale, Utica Shale in Ohio, in the Dakotas and even Texas. What it isn’t doing, on the other hand, is stopping to pat itself on the back.
“We don’t beat our chests – we put our heads down, work hard, and try to do the best we can with the resources we have and try to improve, so that we’re a leader without standing up and shouting that we’re a leader,” he says. “That’s how our company was built, and that’s how it continues. It’s a good company, and we’ll continue to grow and get better – it’s an exciting time to be here.”