Occupational health, safety and wellness.
Tullow is committed to ensuring our colleagues and host communities are kept safe and well in all international locations where we operate. During 2019, Tullow adopted the new International Oil & Gas Producers (IOGP) Life-Saving Rules, which replace the existing Company safety rules, to support an industry-wide, common approach to safety.
Our safety performance in the first half of 2019 remained positive but deteriorated in the second half of the year, due to an increasing trend of high potential incidents. This led to senior management action to raise awareness, in 16 locations across all 10 countries where we have activities, of the seriousness of these incidents and to develop safety improvement plans. The safety stand downs comprised a review of the new IOGP Safety Rules, and an examination of how their effective application would have avoided many of the near-miss high potential events suffered by Tullow in 2019. The response and output resulted in the development of Business Unit safety improvement plans targeted at safety critical activities and risks the Business Unit faces and shall be implemented throughout 2020.
Although we continue to remain vigilant and drive towards zero incidents, Tullow is proud that our key safety performance indicators in 2019 (Lost Time Injury (LTI) – 0.09 & Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR) – 0.56), remain top industry quartile when benchmarked with the International Association of Oil & Gas Producers (IOGP).
Bypassing safety controls
Obtain authorisation before overriding or disabling safety controls
Obtain authorisation before entering a confined space
Follow safe driving rules
Verify isolation and zero energy before work begins
Control flammables and ignition sources
Line of fire
Keep yourself and others out of the line of fire
Safe mechanical lifting
Plan lifting operations and control the area
Work with a valid permit when required
Working at height
Protect yourself against a fall when working at height
We continue to monitor key health risks related to our operations and take preventive action where possible. A known risk, for example, is malaria and we recorded one non-immune case in 2019, the first in the last three years.
We aim to support our colleagues with tools to improve health, wellbeing and resilience in the workplace. In 2019, we held wellbeing and resilience workshops in the UK, Ghana, Kenya and South Africa and more than 150 colleagues participated.
Process safety relates to the prevention of Major Accident Hazards, such as explosions, fires, and toxic releases associated with the use of chemicals and petroleum products. Tullow addresses process safety through policies, standards and risk management activities covering all our operations from planning to decommissioning. In 2019, under the guidance of our Process Safety Steering Committee, led and attended by senior executives and local Operations Directors, we made further progress in improving process safety management.
In early 2019, Tullow developed and adopted a new proprietary Process Safety Management Standard, based upon the requirements of the High Level Framework for Process Safety Management (PSM framework) published by the Energy Institute. During the year, operations in Kenya and Ghana completed analyses of their current systems against the requirements of the new Standard and developed plans to close identified gaps.
This builds on ongoing efforts to improve process safety. In Ghana for example, following an audit in 2017, 37 specific actions had been completed by the end of 2019, with a small number of additional actions planned for 2020. We have observed a reduction in the number of losses of primary containment in 2019 due to these actions.
We take every precaution to minimise the risk of spills at our facilities or in transit and operate in accordance with the highest process safety standards. We maintain oil spill response plans and on-site spill response capabilities, enabling us to act quickly to contain and minimise damage should uncontrolled releases of any material occur.
As active members of the International Association of Oil & Gas Producers (IOGP), we have been participating in a working group to develop a set of Process Safety Fundamentals (PSF). These aim to influence the behaviours of the front-line workforce so they follow safe systems of work and good practices, recognise and report hazards, and reduce risk from process safety events. We are helping to draft the PSF and are using feedback from our workforce to make sure it provides the most appropriate and useful guidance for member companies.
Operating in an industry with significant potential threats to life and the environment, we must be able to rapidly adapt and respond to unforeseen events in order to maintain business continuity and minimise negative impacts on people, the environment, our physical and intellectual assets, and our reputation. We do this through asset protection policies, standards and plans incorporating corporate security, business continuity, and crisis and emergency management (CEM), to maintain the highest possible levels of protection and response protocols to any major emergency.
We regularly train our colleagues and contractors using credible emergency scenarios in CEM preparedness exercises across the business. We carry out at least four crisis management exercises per year, supported by our Crisis Management Team and in-country Incident Management Teams. In 2019, our specific focus was on cyber resilience and we conducted cyber security workshops for key personnel.
In Ghana, Tullow Ghana partners with Oil Spill Response Ltd and key local stakeholders to conduct regular emergency response exercises both onshore and offshore with Field Response Teams.