Tullow puts the health and safety of its workforce and local communities first by creating safe places of work, underpinned by robust management systems. As a core
pillar of our sustainability approach and supported at Board level through the Safety and Sustainability Committee of the Board of Directors, Safe Operations are at the forefront of our daily work and an important element  of decision making at every stage of our operations.

Occupational Health & Safety

In 2021, we enhanced our safety training programmes to reinforce our culture of safe working and further embed safe working practices in line with our safety management system and International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (IOGP) Life Saving Rules implementation. 

Due to a concerning dip in safety performance in 2020, we focused on safety leadership across all parts of the business in 2021. We held a number of safety stand downs, and our Managing Director at Tullow Ghana was personally engaged in meetings with operational leaders to reinforce safety awareness and discuss opportunities to improve embedding processes through all our operations. We also held several leadership site visits, where COVID-19 protocols permitted, for safety related engagements with operators at our offshore sites. Our CEO, Rahul Dhir, visited sites in Ghana, and during additional visits, other members of our Senior Leadership Team also helped spread our critical safety messages.

During the year we also reinforced training in our IOGP lifesaving rules for colleagues
and contractors. We held two Contractor Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) Forums, sharing good practices, lessons from incidents and setting standards for safety leadership across our operations. In parallel, our contract holders, our relationship managers and key points of contact with our contractor suppliers, underwent training in several aspects of
environment, health and safety management during the year. 

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Bypassing safety controls

Obtain authorisation before overriding or disabling safety controls

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Confined space

Obtain authorisation before entering a confined space



Follow safe driving rules

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Energy isolation

Verify isolation and zero energy before work begins

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Hot work

Control flammables and ignition sources

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Line of fire

Keep yourself and others out of the line of fire

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Safe mechanical lifting

Plan lifting operations and control the area

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Work authorisation

Work with a valid permit when required

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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. 

During 2021, we continued to operate in accordance with all relevant regulations and guidance relating to COVID-19 safety measures to keep our colleagues, contractors and visitors safe as the pandemic continued to require significant adaptation and flexibility. Office-based colleagues continued to work from home during intermittent closures, and we provided support to help them deal with the challenges and stress levels that characterised this period.

We were faced with disruption to operations through travel restrictions and quarantine rules, which meant some of our colleagues and contractors were away from home for extended periods of time. 

We strongly encouraged our teams to be vaccinated and supported access to COVID-19 vaccines. Despite the challenges faced, we were pleased to have been able to minimise rates of COVID-19 infections among our workforce and avoid disruption to our operations beyond some delays to planned work programmes.

Tullow addresses process safety through policies, standards and risk management activities, covering all our operations from planning to decommissioning.

We ensure that all hazards that have the potential to lead to major accidents are identified and we take all measures necessary to prevent and limit their consequences for human health and the environment, reducing risks to As Low As Reasonably Practicable (ALARP). We make appropriate preparations to respond to emergencies including any consequences beyond the site boundary.

In 2021, we maintained a strong level of Process safety performance with zero Tier 1 and zero Tier 2 process safety events (PSE) related to Loss of Primary Containment (LOPC) releases. 

In 2021, we commenced a Process Safety Fundamentals (PSF) programme throughout the organisation, aiming to engage all colleagues at the front lines of our operations to ensure that they have both the knowledge and skills to follow safe systems of work and recognise potential process safety hazards.

As active members of the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (IOGP), we adopted the new IOGP PSF framework following its launch in late 2020 and constructed our Tullow-specific PSF roll-out and training using this framework. 

During 2021, we trained all of our operational workforce, including our direct employees and contractors, on the PSFs. To support the roll-out, we nominated PSF champions at our sites and held monthly events for deep dives on each of the PSFs, sharing best practice, discussing further integration into daily ways of working and ensuring the same high level of understanding and engagement for all our workforce at all locations.

Each of these events was well attended by more than 100 employees and contractors and was followed by feedback processes to check new levels of awareness and assimilation of important safety information. In 2022, we plan to conduct a review of our PSF implementation and the degree to which these concepts and practices have been embedded into the organisation. Indications so far is that our PSF programme has started to change the way our colleagues talk about and proactively engage on matters related to Process safety. 

We are committed to maintaining and enhancing our ability 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. Whilst there are inherent safety and environmental risks due to the nature of our industry, our detailed and careful implementation of asset protection policies, standards and plans incorporating security, business continuity, and crisis and emergency management provide a strong basis for Tullow’s ongoing preparedness to respond to any emergency. 

In 2021, we continued our programme of emergency response training and exercises  involving credible emergency scenarios. Extensive well capping and containment training and oil spill response training was conducted followed by a major exercise to test all parts of our response capability.

We support our colleagues through our wellness programme, which continued throughout 2021, by offering a series of talks and a range of activities supported by expert speakers and instructors. During the year, the programme was intentionally oriented to assist colleagues to navigate the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw many employees working remotely or in mandated quarantine situations. We aimed to provide a suite of educational and motivational activities for colleagues and their families, most of which were delivered virtually. A selection of these activities through the year included:

  • Wellness talks on keeping healthy during COVID-19 and positive mental health
  • Meditation sessions
  • 20-day mental health challenge
  • Mini health checks including biometric testing in person on defined days at different locations
  • Move-it challenge to encourage colleagues to be more physically active through walking, jogging, cycling or other activities 
  • Wellness afternoon off
  • Virtual magic and games entertainment for kids (and for adults!)

In addition, we also held our annual global Wellness Fortnight in November 2021, during which the entire company came together to participate in multiple health and wellness activities to boost everyone’s awareness, motivation and investment in their own wellbeing. Talks and activities this year covered breast cancer awareness, prostate cancer, good nutrition, sleeping well, dealing with grief and more. 

The 2021 wellness programme attendee count was more than 2,500 throughout the year which is on average seven different activities per employee. Feedback from colleagues indicates that they appreciate the encouragement to be more aware and more in control of their personal wellbeing and found the activities they attended beneficial, both personally and professionally.