Why is safety important in oil and gas?
News, knowledge and insights – Occupational safety is a key concern in any line of work, but especially so in high-risk industries such as the energy sector. Oil and gas workers face a host of potential dangers in their work environment, like falling equipment and hazardous chemicals.
With a higher possibility of being struck by hazards, workplace safety becomes all the more crucial — organisations should place the well-being of their workers at the heart of their culture and values. In an interview with McKinsey & Company, Bernadette Spinoy — then senior vice president of health, safety, and environment (HSE) from the major global oil and gas player Total —talks about how inculcating a collective mindset in which workers choose the right behaviour even when no one is watching can lead to a successful safety culture transformation.
To encourage this collective behaviour, this article will cover 5 ways on how safety can be achieved in the oil and gas industry.
What is the basic concept of safety?
Safety is a state in which hazards and conditions leading to physical, psychological or material harm are controlled in order to preserve the health and well-being of individuals and the community. It is an essential resource for everyday life, needed by individuals and communities to realise their aspirations.
a climate of social cohesion and peace as well as of equity protecting human rights and freedoms, at the family, local, national or international level; the prevention and control of injuries and other consequences or harm caused by accidents; the respect of the values and the physical, material and psychological integrity of individuals; and the provision of effective preventive, control and rehabilitation measures to ensure the presence of the three previous conditions.
These conditions can be assured by initiatives that focus on the environment (physical, social, technological, political, economic and organizational) and on behaviour, Source : Québec WHO Collaborating Centre for Safety Promotion and Injury Prevention, WHO Collaborating Centre on Community Safety Promotion, Karolinska Institutet, World Health Organisation, 1998.
What is HSE and process safety?
Process Safety Management: The Key Ingredients
Matthew Powell-Howard, Head of Product Development at, a global provider of health, safety and environmental management qualifications, outlines how companies can ensure process safety is embedded into their organisations What is Process Safety? In personal safety we naturally think about the individual and the traditional actions that can be taken to reduce the risk of injury and ill health – for example by avoiding trips, slips and falls.
By comparison, process safety management (PSM) can be rather more complicated. Whilst high hazard industries such as those in the chemical and oil and gas sectors suffer personal accidents like all other workplaces, there is also the potential for a major incident which has the potential to inflict multiple injuries, massive environmental damage and even cause fatalities.
- There are many different definitions of what process safety is.
- The one I like to use comes from the Center for Chemical Process Safety.
- They define process safety as “a blend of engineering and management skills focused on preventing catastrophic accidents and near misses, particularly structural collapse, explosions, fires and toxic releases associated with loss of containment of energy or dangerous substances such as chemicals or petroleum products”.
This means that in reality, process safety is relevant across multiple industries and roles. So, what needs to happen to make sure that process safety risks are managed? Well, there is no easy answer to this. PSM is complex and it takes resource and absolute commitment at all levels of an organisation.
There isn’t room here to cover everything needed in a robust approach, so let’s look at two of the stand-out factors: Leadership Effective health and safety must be led and supported by top management – and this is also true for process safety. Board members have both individual and collective responsibilities in this regard.
On a personal level, they need to examine their own process safety behaviours and understanding. History has shown that if process industry leaders do not fundamentally understand the hazards and risks inherent in their business, unless they are extremely lucky, ignorance may ultimately lead to disaster.
Leaders must, when thinking about what they can do collectively, see process safety as a key business risk and therefore properly factor it into Board decisions. As a result, they must be involved, competent (or have competent representation) and be actively engaged in the management of process risk.
This is of course a moral, legal and financial imperative for them. Training and Qualifications Leaders must provide their staff with the right training at the right level, so that it provides tangible benefits to both process safety management and culture.
- To get the best results, organisations should look for specialist health and safety training that once completed will enable the person undertaking that training to “own” their PSM responsibilities.
- In complex or unique environments, the ability to tailor training to make it sector or even company specific is vital to ensure it is meaningful and relevant.
There are many options when it comes to health and safety training qualifications, but if you’re working in a high hazard environment, you need to think about process safety and find a qualification that specifically addresses this. For example, NEBOSH developed a joint qualification with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) focusing on process safety management.
The NEBOSH HSE Certificate in Process Safety Management is designed to provide a well-rounded understanding of the subject, and ensure participants think about potential risk areas. The learning can be quickly implemented when back at work and encourages those who’ve completed the qualification stop and think about the implications that any action or new process might have on their company’s overall process safety.
Such awareness is invaluable in helping to drive positive process safety cultures and performance. Conclusion Embedding process safety thinking into an organisation requires the right leadership and the right training. Organisations that achieve this mix will see powerful improvements in their culture, incident levels and overall safety performance. : Process Safety Management: The Key Ingredients
What is the importance of safety in production?
The Importance of Safety in Manufacturing Industry – Safety in the manufacturing process is important to prevent or minimize the risk of worksite injuries, related illnesses and even death. Employee morale and efficiency improves with a highly effective safety process.
What is the importance of safety in chemical industry?
Conclusion – Advanced safety measures are critical to ensuring the safe handling and processing of chemicals in the manufacturing industry. These measures can include minimizing exposure to hazardous chemicals, implementing process safety management, enhancing hazard communication, emergency response planning, and continuous improvement.
What is the importance of PPE in oil and gas industry?
From 2003 to 2010, 823 oil and gas extraction workers were killed on the job—a fatality rate seven times greater than the rate for all U.S. industries. Workers in the oil and gas industry face a wide variety of hazards in their daily job duties. Oil and gas products and chemicals can be irritating, corrosive, flammable and worse.