Abstract

Esso Australia Ltd. has, over the last few years, implemented significant enhancements to the safety management program covering its Bass Strait operations. The program focuses on involvement by both line management and employees in operations and technical support areas.

This paper describes the actions Esso has taken to enhance employee's attitudes towards safety which have brought about a major and measurable improvement in personnel safety performance.

The key elements of the program have been senior management leadership, commitment and accountability, workplace ownership and involvement, contractor involvement: improved procedures and training, implementation of a risk procedures and training, implementation of a risk management program, and an improved incident investigation and analysis system.

Coupled with this, Esso has embarked upon a significant program of facility upgrades to take advantage of new developments in technology. This paper also describes the controls we have paper also describes the controls we have implemented to ensure that these upgrades are designed and installed safely.

Background

Esso operates the Bass Strait oil and gas facilities on behalf of the Esso/BHP Petroleum Joint Venture. The facilities include 14 platforms, 2 monotowers, 2 subsea wells and onshore platforms, 2 monotowers, 2 subsea wells and onshore plants at Longford (near Sale) and on Westernport plants at Longford (near Sale) and on Westernport Bay.

In July of 1989, Esso implemented a revitalized Production Department safety management program in Production Department safety management program in response to a disappointing Esso employee safety performance for the first half of that year, when performance for the first half of that year, when our employees suffered 12 lost time injuries, and we had a serious fire on Tuna platform.

The revitalized program was centred on obtaining employee accountability and involvement in safety. It was recognized that increased management leadership, commitment and accountability was critical for this to be achieved.

MANAGEMENT LEADERSHIP, COMMITMENT AND ACCOUNTABILITY

The Directors of Esso took the first step by meeting once a month as the Corporate Safe Operations Committee (CSOC), with the role of stewarding safety performance and the safety program implementation. This significant step was program implementation. This significant step was to provide the leadership, commitment and accountability for all levels of management.

Line management commitment to safety has also been made more visible. This has been achieved by making management more accountable for the safety performance of their work groups, through the performance of their work groups, through the setting of key safety objectives and measurable goals, and stewarding against these for each work group, each Division, and the Production Department as a whole.

Senior managers are required to show commitment by being personally involved in the investigation of all lost time and serious near miss incidents, and to show leadership by attending work group safety meetings to communicate the safety responsibilities of all Esso employees and contractors.

Recognition is an important component of any system which depends on employee motivation to achieve results. Esso has a policy of recognizing significant safety milestones by way of an article in the company magazine, or a senior manager presenting a recognition award to the work group on presenting a recognition award to the work group on the day of the milestone. This policy is seen as a method of actively promoting safety awareness.

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