Excess workplace fatigue is a risk to safe operations and has been recognized as a contributing factor in recent industry incidents including Texas refinery explosion. API Recommended Practice 755 now requires refineries, petrochemical and chemical operations, natural gas liquefaction plants, and other facilities such as those covered by the OSHA Process Safety Management Standard to establish Fatigue Risk Management System (FRMS) policies and procedures. Chevron has implemented programs for refining and chemicals operations to address the risk of fatigue and is in the process of expanding these guidelines to cover other operations as well.
The scope of FRMS guidelines includes workers on rotating shifts, extended hours/days, or callouts and those involved in process safety sensitive actions. Chevron existing pilot programs in select operating units in its U.S. Refineries, Upstream Gas Plants and Chemical Plants. Upon completion of the pilot programs, the FRMS system will be deployed in the remaining Process Safety Managed facilities in the United States and refineries in Canada and South Africa.
The following areas are addressed based on guidelines: (1) Staffing Workload Analysis – performing initial and periodic assessment of the staffing balance; (2) Hours of Service Limits – establishing management exception processes and compliance; (3) Employee/ Supervisor Training – identifying causes, risks and potential consequences of fatigue and recognizing at risk employees; (4) Fatigue in Incident Investigation – determining if fatigue is a root cause or contributing to incidents; (5) Work Environments – determining changes that can affect alertness and fatigue risk and (6)Prevention and Management of Medical Conditions - providing sleep disorder screening and support resources.
Next steps include evaluating how the FRMS guidelines may apply to Chevron's global workforce. Our international locations include off-shore production platforms, camps and shipping vessels where employees may work 12-hr. shifts for 28 days on/28 days off. The next wave of this project will determine which of the identified guideline areas will apply to each of these locations.