Navigation

International Energy Services: Corporate reputation versus vulnerable road user safety

In February 2012 I had the rather nasty experience of a very frightening close pass by an International Energy Services fuel tanker operator. I documented my experience in my blog posting and in a hardcopy letter to Mr Vin Stenta, Chief Executive Officer of International Energy Services. I sent the letter and a copy of the video on DVD to Mr Stenta in February 2012.

In conclusion I have come to the view that Mr Stenta does not give a toss about the safety of vulnerable road users, and that Mr Schwarz is more concerned about International Energy Services corporate reputation than the safety of vulnerable road users.

A very sad state of affairs when the “reputation” of company becomes more important than a human life, a very sad day indeed.

Roll forward to April 2012 and out of the blue a comment was posted on my blog by Mr Bernie Schwarz, who it turns out is the Regional Operations Manager East / West at International Energy Services. Mr Schwarz comment was

We have used your video in toolbox discussions with the drivers, it is an insightful and usefull learning tool which we will continue to repeat regularly so all of our drivers are reminded of the importance of sharing the road with all users.

Our General Manager also provided you with a reply by email as to the actions to be taken unfortunately you have not chosen to acknowledge this on your website or in correspondence.

While I appreciated at the time that International Energy Services had used (note the tense) my video in “toolbox discussions with the drivers” I was very disturbed by Mr Schwarz criticism of myself; that is this comment:

Our General Manager also provided you with a reply by email as to the actions to be taken unfortunately you have not chosen to acknowledge this on your website or in correspondence.

I pride myself on my practice of providing a right of reply as I value my integrity and  so was very concerned by Mr  Schwarz’s comment.

I undertook a very through search of my emails (they are achieved back some three odd years) for any emails from the email address used by Mr Schwarz, for emails from International Energy Services and for emails from @Cootes.com.au to no avail. I also knew that I had not received a hardcopy response to my letter to Mr Vin Stenta of February 2012 despite providing my physical address, my email address, my web address and my phone number in the letter.

In light of this I felt it appropriate to provide Mr Schwarz an opportunity to clarify his criticism of me before I responded publicly to his comment. Mr Schwarz has been emailed twice in April 2012 and despite his expectations of myself, Mr Schwarz has never bothered to reply those email. It seems Mr Schwarz has some issues with applying what he expects of others to himself.

I also felt it was appropriate to respond in a timely manner to Mr Schwarz’s comment and posted this reply on April 5, 2012.

Thank you for your comment Mr Bernie Schwarz.

As you are aware or should be aware I have some serious concerns with the veracity of your comments and hence have raised those concerns with you privately via email on April 4, 2012.

In light of those concerns I am extending you the courtesy of replying to me in a reasonable period before I make my concerns public in a follow-up post and with Shell Australia Limited whom I understand you provide fuel delivery services for in Western Australia. A courtesy mind you Mr Schwarz not extended to myself either by you or Mr Stenta nor your articulated truck operator in February.

That comment got an email response from Mr Schwarz, unlike the emails! The substance of that response was that Mr Greg Niven, General Manager of  IES Liquids had emailed another person who had a gmail email address, not myself at andrew@aushiker.com. This was despite actually providing ALL my contact details in a hardcopy letter in February 2012. That letter which by the way continues to remain unanswered!

So not only do I have my life put at risk by the International Energy Services operator, I cop criticism for ignoring an email never sent to me! I would hate to think how International Energy Services would have treated my family if their operator had killed me.

Throughout all this not once, yep that is right, not once has Mr Stenta responded to the letter sent him in February 2012, not once has Mr Schwarz actually responded to the emails sent directly to him, and not once has Mr Schwarz shown an ounce of decency and offered to withdraw his unjustified criticism of myself, a criticism made because Mr Niven emailed someone else, not myself! How rude is that?

The only shining light in all of this has been an email from Mr Matthew Taylor which has gone a little way towards acknowledging the very poor handling of this matter. Mr Taylor’s email follows:

Thanks, the easter break was a welcome warm change from this Melbourne weather!

I monitor all IES related communication I come across in an effort to ensure our public profile is maintained. I don’t normally get involved with these matters, however as you addressed me directly, I thought it appropriate I reply.

I’ve just had another meeting with the GM of Cootes (Greg Niven) to try and shed some light on where the communication has fallen over. Clearly, outside of the incident itself, there has been a breakdown of communication and a response was sent to someone whom Greg believed was the rider. As I understand it from the blog comments, Bernie Schwartz also believed you had been responded to directly… although I agree that could have been articulated a little better and directly to you rather than in the forum.

With regard to the incident itself, Greg has confirmed that the driver in question has been spoken to regarding sharing the road with other road users. The silver lining out of this is the Cootes team are using your footage as a training tool in their Toolbox meetings (meetings with the driver group) as it gives a good perspective of the ‘other road users’ we talk about. I’m not a cyclist myself however I have ridden motorbikes for some years so can appreciate what it’s like to be the sometimes ‘unseen’ road user.

My contact details are below should you need them.

I find it staggering and this is the only conclusion I can come to given the events that have unfold that Mr Stenta considers it smart business practice to ignore a letter about a very serious road safety matter and then to standby when his senior staff make matters worse (Mr Stenta has been copied in on all emails) and to do nothing.

In conclusion I have come to the view that Mr Stenta does not give a toss about the safety of vulnerable road users, and that Mr Schwarz is more concerned about International Energy Services corporate reputation than the safety of vulnerable road users.

A very sad state of affairs when the “reputation” of company becomes more important than a human life, a very sad day indeed.

I have taken the rare step of moderating further comment from International Energy Services as I have no desire for further discussions with them. International Energy Services has been given every reasonable chance to respond appropriately and with integrity, regretfully they have not taken taken up that opportunity.

I just hope I never had to experience their dangerous driving again and I really really hope that no family ever has to make the ultimate sacrifice at the hands of an International Energy Services operator.

Please stay safe our our roads; watch out for those green and white fuel tankers delivering fuel for Shell Australia.

2 Responses to International Energy Services: Corporate reputation versus vulnerable road user safety

  1. Paul December 5, 2012 at 12:53 PM #

    Hi there, I used to work at Cootes. Greg Nivens responce does not surprise me…he is a complete tosser and the reason they turn over so many staff.
    Take care

Please share your thoughts ...

%d bloggers like this: