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May 24, 2018

Customer Spotlight: Tim Mukoda, Kinder Morgan



Kinder MorganOur Customer Spotlight series showcases the unique perspectives and innovative approaches of the EHS professionals who are using our solutions every day. For this installment, we’re speaking with Tim Mukoda, EHS Manager at Kinder Morgan.


Kinder Morgan is one of the largest energy infrastructure companies in North America. The company owns an interest in or operates approximately 85,000 miles of pipelines and 152 terminals, transporting and storing natural gas, gasoline, crude oil, carbon dioxide, and more. Their customers include major oil companies, energy producers and shippers, local distribution companies, and businesses across many industries.


Kinder Morgan is committed to being a good corporate citizen, and invests heavily in integrity management and maintenance programs to operate their assets safely and to protect the public, their employees, contractors, and the environment. As part of this effort, Kinder Morgan uses Enviance’s SDS Vault to help manage their chemical inventory. We spoke to Tim about how Vault and his partnership with the Enviance Customer Service team help limit exposure at Kinder Morgan:


How many years have you been on the job?


I have been working for Kinder Morgan a little over 5 and a half years. I started with Kinder Morgan in September of 2102. Prior to that I served on Active Duty with the US Air Force for almost 21 years providing occupational safety, health, and emergency response support. In addition, I’m a Certified Industrial Hygienist, a Certified Safety Professional, a member of the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), and a Six Sigma Greenbelt.


What are your day-to-day responsibilities?


I am an 'army of one' providing comprehensive occupational health and safety support to 5 business units and a corporate group made up of roughly 11,000 employees. I serve in both consultant and execution roles. SDS Vault is mostly in my execution lane. I work with Enviance and our field staff to keep things on, hopefully, a good path.


Was there a specific incident or event that led you to prioritize or seek out software?


There was no specific event. Kinder Morgan was using MSDS Vault when I began my employment in 2012. I led a strategic sourcing team that decided to continue using SDS Vault when OSHA adopted the Global Harmonization System (GHS).


What goals or objectives do you hope to achieve with Vault?


The goals/objectives associated with the SDS Vault are two-fold. Number one, we want to make sure employees have access to critical information if an emergency or unexpected event occurs that has a chemical exposure component. Second, we want to protect the company from exposure related to regulatory non-compliance. Since OSHA requires ready access to SDS information, the Vault helps us meet both objectives with a single solution.


What have your biggest challenges been so far?


The biggest challenge, by far, is the same as with any large project - communication. Kinder Morgan operates in almost all 50 states, Canada and Mexico. It can be very difficult to get everyone on the same page. I have learned the hard way that assuming information is being distributed, absorbed and/or retained is dangerous. Employee turnover creates an added challenge to effective communication. When I get tired of talking about the SDS Vault and Hazard Communication on a given day, I figure I'm about half done.


What role has the Enviance Customer Success Team played?


The Enviance Customer Success Team, in particular our point of contact, Leah, played a huge role in helping overcome challenges we have encountered. Leah has been extremely responsive to requests for information and assistance. In addition, she has made many suggestions based on her experience with other clients to help our implementation go more smoothly. This was especially evident when Kinder Morgan made the transition from MSDS to SDS Vault, which was coupled with a major reorganization of the underlying structure in the Vault. We could not have gotten this done without incredible customer support from Leah.


Have there been any measurable outcomes?


We’re not thinking in terms of outcomes from the standpoint of, "Okay, we're done." There are indicators that we look at periodically to assess effectiveness relative to employees using the SDS Vault. For example, it's good to compare the facilities listed in our Corporate Directory to determine if all the locations that should be in the Vault are actually listed. It's also helpful to look at how comprehensive the product inventories are for specific operating locations and how often individuals access the SDS Vault. I don't think there is one 'silver bullet' measure or outcome to indicate things are good. You have to examine the whole operation. It would be like trying to determine your car is running well by only looking at the speedometer. Doing that might be okay for a while, but if you're not also looking at the fuel gauge and tachometer you may get a surprise at some point in time.


Any future plans associated with Vault?


The future plan is to keep the information in the SDS Vault up to date, while at the same time adjusting as the company grows. Building a solid foundation is hard, but I think maintain what's been built may be even harder.


Success in any large endeavor is a team effort. No one is successful without help from other people. The team is not successful unless every person knows their role and executes competently. Kinder Morgan has had, and will continue to have challenges related to the SDS Vault. I am confident we will be successful as the alliance between Kinder Morgan and Enviance is very strong.



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