Most oil & gas industries rely on external service providers/contractors to run their businesses. These services range from the very low skilled and low risk to very sophisticated support services with high risks and huge scopes of work (such as turn-key projects). Delivering the contracted work safely is very challenging and depends on how seriously the company manages and monitors its contractors’ implementation of the company's HSE performance expectations. Failure to identify the critical elements of the contracted work's nature of management, its processes, as well as failure to integrate the nature of HSE risks management, will result in un-structured, less sustainable and reactive efforts, rather than an integrated risk-based approach to contractor safety management.

Based on experience, the application of these concepts demands a resource that is experienced in hands-on contracted work management with HSE risk-based management. As we know, the contracted work management includes the following steps:

  • Plans to contract the work,

  • Assessing the market,

  • Selecting the contractor,

  • Executing the pre-work readiness,

  • Monitoring the work in progress,

  • Evaluating performance as part of lessons learned and continuous improvement.

Monitoring compliance with safety processes and performance requires unique risk-based safety communication and leadership skills. It is critical that both the contract holder management team and its task force team know and comply with the company's safety business processes. This is not always self evident and sometimes can only be identified after a contractor has already been selected, or worse, when a contractor is ready to be mobilized at site. Rectifying it at this stage may already be too late, too expensive, or too difficult. In addition, sometimes a silo HSE performer (contract holder or HSE officer) may address only site occupational safety issues and have less understanding of contracted work safety business processes. This will only serve to compound the HSE communication problems.

In summary, the success of integrated risk-based contractor safety management relies on two critical elements:

  • persistent monitoring of the risk-based management at every step of the contracted work's business process,

  • the leadership's ability to integrate the language of safety concerns into the contracted work's language of business process elements, such as execution strategies, costs, schedules, engineering and quality management. In fact, contracted work management has their own management language, e.g. turn-key projects, which have very specific management jargon.

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