This paper reviews a project that required the implementation of a comprehensive occupational health system in a brown field (named Majnoon) in the Basra Province of Iraq. This paper reports outcomes from the project and builds on an earlier published paper describing planning and preparation for the project.

A multidisciplinary team from Shell Limited was responsible for implementation of the project comprising of Health, Industrial Hygienist, HSE and Social Performance team. The project required implementation of a comprehensive occupational health management system where none had existed previously. This was required in a diverse work force that was from different ethnic cultural backgrounds with very different experiences of the oil & gas industry.

The Key elements of the occupational health programme were:

  1. Medical Emergency Response

    • First aid and defibrillation in four minutes

    • Tier 2 medical response from a paramedic or doctor in one hour for advanced care

    • Admission to an approved hospital in four hours

    • Referral to specialist centre as required

  2. Health Hazard Management

    • Carry out a health risk assessment for all activities by Industrial Hygienist

    • Identify assess control and arrange recovery measures for all health hazards to reduce risks ALARP

    • Assign and track all remedial actions to close out

    • Set up a HACCP system to manage food hygiene and safety

    • Set up a system to manage the risk of Legionella

    • Set up and roll out a system to manage working in a hot climate (temperatures up to 55 C in summer)

    • Set up systems to manage health of workers during the Holy Month of Ramadan

  3. Fitness to work

    • Programme to check all international staff are fit to come and work in arduous conditions in Iraq (OGUK standard or equivalent)

    • Task specific medicals for food handlers, drivers, crane operators, BA wearers, Emergency Response team workers

  4. Drug and alcohol program

    • Develop and educate workers on a program to control use of drugs and alcohol in the work place

    • Set up system for carrying out drug and alcohol test as required

  5. Workers Welfare

    • Ensure all worker camps meet minimum requirements

    • Air conditioned bed rooms

    • No over crowding

    • Sufficient and good quality food (HACCP system in place)

    • Exercise and leisure facilities available

    • Facilities to communicate with families

    • Fatigue management for workers, adequate sleep time, good sleep hygiene

  6. Social Performance

    • Ensure health projects included in the health programme are fit for purpose

    • Improve health capacity in local communities and in Basra Province

    • Working in conjunction with NGOs and the Ministry of Health to bring health care to communities which previously had none

    • Inclusion of Health education programs in local schools and training of Lady Health Workers

    • Recruitment and training of national doctors to take over health management as a part of the company's commitment to local content

  7. Incident Reporting and Investigation

    • All occupational illnesses and injuries should be reported. They are classified according severity under the OSHA system. Targets are set for Total Recordable Case frequency, and the number of man hours worked and Lost time Incident were tracked. All serious incidents are investigated with root cause analysis.

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