EHS governance structure
Paul McDade, Tullow’s Chief Operating Officer, is the Executive Director responsible for EHS. He leads a team of over 60 EHS professionals working across the Group including a central function, dedicated teams in Ghana and Uganda and cover for every country where Tullow operates. Paul also heads up the EHS Leadership Team which works to improve Tullow’s EHS culture through regular team meetings, bespoke training, Commitment Statements and greater EHS leadership visibility through visits to operations.
The EHS Leadership Team meets every six weeks to monitor standards and performance, review issues and initiatives, discuss significant incidents and share best practice. The meetings also provide an opportunity to identify and develop action plans for areas of improvement.
A year-end review of EHS Leadership Team activities suggested that a greater focus should be given to proactive EHS measures and this approach is being adopted for 2010.
In 2009, we began bespoke skills training for the EHS Leadership Team. With support from the Tullow Talent Team, we defined comprehensive training requirements and engaged specialists to develop a long-term training programme. The training is focused on increasing knowledge and skills including leadership style, communication techniques, observation, mindful conversations, EHS risk management, incident investigation, environmental management, crisis management and media response.
Commitment Statements make the individual, and by extension their team, responsible for a range of actions aimed at managing risk in their sphere of activity. This also contributes to achieving Tullow’s EHS objectives. Introduced in 2008, and revised in early 2009, these Statements are an established feature of EHS leadership within Tullow. To promote sector-wide learning, Tullow has shared its approach to EHS Commitment Statements with the UK Oil and Gas industry network.
Through the EHS Commitment Statement process, we identified EHS leadership visibility at our operational sites as both an area for improvement and an opportunity to increase leadership engagement generally. Although not uniquely EHS focused, leadership visits must include EHS elements alongside wider business and operational activity. Emphasis is placed on engaging with local staff to discuss issues, review EHS performance and emphasise the importance of maintaining high EHS standards. In 2009, 100 visits took place across the Group and feedback on the increased visibility and involvement of EHS leaders has been very positive.
Although not specifically designed to attract recognition, the Tullow EHS Leadership programme has received a variety of external commendations:
- Our EHS Commitment Statements have been covered on the UK Oil and Gas industry Step Change website, where they are cited as industry best practice examples under the leadership banner; and
- Our EHS Commitment Statements and supporting arrangements were shortlisted for the Best Campaign award by the Institution of Occupational Safety & Health (IOSH).
“Recently I attended the pilot for Module 3 of the EHS training programme covering crisis management and media response. Attendees are restricted to six so everyone gets a chance to lead the team. The training facilities are excellent with very experienced facilitators and role players, two way mirrors for observation and feedback and technology to make the crisis scenario as real as possible. I found the course extremely useful, challenging and relevant. The techniques taught should make a real difference to the management of any crisis or event affecting Tullow.”
Group Commercial Manager